Popscout takes a look at a few key match-ups today as we kick off State playoffs.
Girls Open Division
March 9, 2018
So. Cal games (7pm unless noted)
Clovis North @ Harvard Westlake 6pm
Fairfax @ Windward
Mater Dei @ Clovis West
Etiwanda @ Mt.Miguel
Fairfax (27-4, 12-0) vs Windward (23-3, 6-0)
Tough task going onto the Windward (#4 State, #7 National ranking per Maxpreps) campus in hopes of knocking off the reigning CIF SS Open Division Champions. Windward has won 15 games in a row since a defeat in Arizona during the Nike TOC (12/22/17). That means these young ladies haven’t lost a game in 2018. Charisma Osborne has been special with word on the street she’s getting looks from powerhouse colleges such as Connecticut. Rightfully so, as we’ll see just how special she becomes tonight on a big stage. Fairfax (#25, #98) has a chip on it’s shoulder after picking up the CIF LA City Section final against Granada Hills Charter Saturday (3/3/17) at Cal State Dominguez (59-46). The City Section always feels as if it has something to prove against Southern Section powers, so look for first year Fairfax head coach Charles Harrell to pull all the tricks from up his sleeve, in order to propel the Lady Lions to victory.
Harvard Westlake (25-5, 8-0) vs Clovis North (26-5, 8-2)
Harvard Westlake (#5 State, #13 National) matches up against Clovis North (#22, #77) for the second time this season. The Wolverines defeated Clovis 60-55 during the Harvard Westlake make up tournament due to the Santa Barbara fires (12/23/17). Popscout was on hand for the first match up as Clovis North surprisingly gave The Lady Wolverines a run for their money. Look for this contest to go down to the wire, with Harvard Westlake eventually gaining control, primarily because of their dynamic twin duo of Jayla and Jayda (Pepperdine commits). Clovis has a few pieces as well – in the first contest showing strong play from their guards. As a result, look for their back-court running mates to be ready for the twin challenge with hopes of an upset.
Mater Dei (23-5, 8-0) vs Clovis West (30-3, 10-0)
Mater Dei (#10, #38) has to be at full strength in order to handle Clovis West from Fresno tonight. The Lady Monarchs hit the road in what it hopes won’t relate to a one and done. Clovis West has been stout all season long, coming in riding an 18 game winning streak. The #7 ranked team in the State, #24 nationally have won 30 games, losing just 3. This one might come down to who’s better prepared against stiffer competition. In other words, who has limited the cream puffs in their schedule in anticipation for games such as this. We shall see.
Boys Open Division
March 9, 2018
7pm Unless noted
Fairfax (22-9, 11-1) @ Mater Dei (23-7, 9-1)
Foothills Christian (26-6, 12-0) @ Sierra Canyon (23-4, 7-0)
Etiwanda (28-3, 10-0) @ Westchester (30-5, 11-1)
Mission Bay (27-5, 11-1) @ Bishop Montgomery (27-1, 8-0)
Fairfax vs Mater Dei
City section powerhouse Fairfax (#22, #136) comes to Orange County to take on Southern section powerhouse Mater Dei. The two know each other very well from occupying the same balling circles out here in sunny Socal. Mater Dei (#4, #24) comes in after being crowned the CIF SS Open Division Champions, knocking off Sierra Canyon 55-53 (3/2). Fairfax lost in its bid to capture a CIF La City section title to league rival Westchester 63-53 (3/3). Will there be a let down? Who will step up and become special, leading their team to victory? Player of the year candidate Spencer Freedman has matured and grown into a stud. He does everything right out there on the court, while still being able to keep that killer instinct on the offensive side of the ball.
The back court running mates of Jamal Hartwell and Ethan Anderson will have their hands full containing the Harvard commit. The two may be up for the challenge, having played against competition throughout the course of the season that’s prepared them for the rigors of CIF SS Open Division play. It may come down to coaches at the end of the day. We have two of the best going at it: Gary McKnight calling shots for the Monarchs and Steve Baik pushing buttons for the Lions. You may need to draw something up more than once family.
Mater Dei advances
Westchester vs Etiwanda
Big boys on a big stage. Put on your seat belts and get ready for some up and down action. The two squads look to run and gun, pull the bow and arrow, play lock down defense, and capitalize of their opponents mistakes by getting out and running. Something gotta give. Unfortunately only one will come away with the W, which is unfortunate. Westchester (#6, #37) has grabbed some hardwood, capturing the 2018 CIF LA City Section title. Etiwanda (#5, #26), knocked off by Bishop Montgomery in Open Division play, looks to regroup and keep it’s season alive.
This one is a toss up.
Bishop Montgomery (27-1, 8-0) vs Mission Bay (27-5, 11-1)
Mission Bay (#33, #204) comes to town (1) after picking up the San Diego Open Division ‘Ship and (2) with one of the most dynamic PG’s on the market. Rejean ‘Boogie’ Ellis should bring enough swag to socal to make it a game. But at the end of the day, The Knights of Bishop Montgomery (#2, #7) are on a mission to prove to everyone – and themselves – that they’re still the team to beat. Look for Singleton (UCLA) and co. to be as focused as ever, hoping their games faces and strong play will be enough to advance.
Sierra Canyon (23-4, 7-0) vs Foothills Christian (26-6, 12-0)
Foothills Christian (#16, #107) has played a national schedule. They also just took an L from Mission Bay during the CIF San Diego Section Boys Championship (52-42). They boast Arizona State commit Taeshon Cherry and a few studs in their back-court with the likes of So. PG Yassine Gharram and Jr. Jaren Nafarrete. Jaren stands only 5’7 but poses a threat with his maneuverability and swag. Yassine is an up and coming PG who’ll be a top prospect for the Class of 2020. The lost to Mater Dei still stings The Trailblazers as they try to get their act back on track tonight. They have arguably 5+ D1 prospects, which should be enough to keep Foothills Christian at bay. Nonetheless, if Foothills Christian gets into a groove, it could mean trouble for star-studded Sierra Canyon and first year coach Andre Chevalier.