The Bee's Bill Paterson breaks down today's CIF State high school basketball Championship games.
GAMES AT A GLANCE
All games at Sleep Train Arena
DIVISION I BOYS
Pleasant Grove (27-6) vs. Santa Monica (29-6), 8 p.m.
It's a matchup of two programs, one decades old, the other still relatively new, making their first appearance in the modern state boys basketball championships that date to 1981. Santa Monica was runner-up in the 1928 state boys game, the last season of the early tournament era. Santa Monica advanced to tonight's game by defeating Loyola of Los Angeles 53-50 last week on Jonah Mathews' three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left in the Southern Regional final after losing twice to the Cubs during the season. After losing by three points in the section final to NorCal Open Division finalist and league and neighborhood rival Sheldon, Pleasant Grove has reeled off impressive wins over Piedmont Hills of San Jose, De La Salle of Concord and Deer Valley of Antioch, the NorCal top seed.
DIVISION I GIRLS
Berkeley (22-11) vs. Long Beach Poly (29-5), 6 p.m.
The two venerable girls programs combining for 18 state title game appearances meet for the first time since Long Beach Poly beat Berkeley three consecutive times from 2006 to 2008. Long Beach Poly has gone 4-1 in state title games, losing only to Oak Ridge 55-42 in 2010. Berkeley is 2-9 overall, not including a 1998 loss to Narbonne of Harbor City that was later vacated because of an ineligible player. Berkeley is led by four-year starter and USF commit Rachel Howard, and junior forward Desire Finnie, who combined for 37 points, 17 rebounds and seven steals in a win over Oak Ridge in the NorCal final. Poly is led by the backcourt duo of Keyla Morgan and Arica Carter.
DIVISION III BOYS
Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco (21-11) vs. St. Augustine-San Diego (28-4), 4 p.m.
How scrappy is Sacred Heart? Tough enough to shoot less than 30 percent from the field and beat Campolindo of Moraga for the NorCal title. Sacred Heart is led by the guard trio of Khalil James, Herman Pratt IV and DeOndre Otis, but the Fighting Irish could use another solid game from Liam O'Reilly, who scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds against Campolindo. St. Augustine won the San Diego Section title and is led by point guard Brynton Lemar, a UC Davis recruit.
DIVISION III GIRLS
Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco (25-6) vs. Bishop Alemany-Mission Hills (31-5), 2 p.m.
Sacred Heart is making its seventh championship appearance but the first under coach LyRyan Russell. Deep and quick, Sacred Heart is led by 5-10 junior Ge'anna Summers-Luaulu. Alemany counters with a veteran group headed by Loyola Marymount-bound guard Leslie Lopez-Wood.
DIVISION V BOYS
St. Joseph-Alameda (25-11) vs. Horizon Christian-San Diego (20-11), noon
It doesn't get old for St. Joseph coach Don Lippi, Northern California's winningest active boys basketball coach (726 wins). He has standout players in sophomore Marcus Harris and junior Temidayo Yussef, who combined for 35 points and 10 rebounds in a 50-36 NorCal title win over Capital Christian. Seniors Cody Underwood and Darren Carrington lead Horizon Christian.
DIVISION V GIRLS
Pinewood-Los Altos Hills (23-8) vs. Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth (22-9), 10 a.m.
Pinewood is 5-1 in state championship games under coach Doc Scheppler, despite often being the underdog. Pinewood lost by double digits three times to Eastside College Prep of East Palo Alto, yet turned around and beat the Panthers 48-36 in the NorCal title game. Sierra Canyon, making its first state appearance, is led by one of the top sophomores in the state in 6-1 Kennedy Burke, who had 28 points and 24 rebounds in the Trailblazers' 63-62 SoCal win over Horizon of San Diego.
Open Division boys: Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (28-5) vs. Mater Dei-Santa Ana (33-2), 8 p.m.
Open Division girls: Bishop O'Dowd-Oakland (29-3) vs. Windward-Los Angeles (32-0), 6 p.m.
Division II boys: College Park-Pleasant Hill (26-5) vs. Redondo Union-Redondo Beach (27-8), 4 p.m.
Division II girls: St. Francis-Mountain View (25-8) vs. Lynwood (28-5), 2 p.m.
Division IV boys: Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (32-3) vs. Pacific Hills-West Hollywood (28-4), noon
Division IV girls: Salesian-Richmond (29-7) vs. Serra-Gardena (29-5), 10 a.m.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.