Boys basketball playoff preview

Published: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 - 10:20 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 - 12:23 am

DIVISION I

FAVORITE

•  Jesuit (24-3): The Marauders seek a ninth section title and first with leaders Nick Hilton, Lake Lutes, Brady Anderson and Isaiah Bailey.

CONTENDERS

•  Franklin (19-8): The Wildcats have size, speed and skill and a terrific floor leader in guard John Moscoso.

•  Kennedy (19-8): The Cougars, strong at guard, seek their fourth overall title and first with coach and fiercely proud alum Robert Fong.

•  Monterey Trail (20-7): The Mustangs are a quick, senior-laden group headed by guard Leondre Lintz. The school has yet to play for a title.

•  Rodriguez (23-2): The Monticello Empire League champion out of Fairfield aims to race past all comers.

•  Merced (21-6): The Bears are heating up, thanks to defense. They seek the program’s fifth title but first since 1997.

DARK HORSE

•  River City (21-6): The tall, active Raiders seek their first D-I playoff win after years of lower-level play.

DIVISION II

FAVORITE

•  Folsom (25-2): Winners of 15 games in a row and seeking a sixth title, the Bulldogs use a team-first motto behind leader Jordan Ford.

CONTENDERS

•  Del Oro (26-1): Behind guard Danny Becker, the Golden Eagles have won 22 in a row and seek their first title since 1998.

•  Cosumnes Oaks (11-16): The on-court record is 26-1 behind scorers Alex Van Dyke, L.J. Reed, Jaaron Stallworth and Eric Toles.

•  St. Mary’s (26-1): Its last on-court loss was to Cosumnes Oaks, and the winning streak is officially 19 for a program that seeks its ninth title.

•  Grant (23-5): The Pacers have perhaps the section’s top talent in versatile 6-foot-8 forward Cameron Oliver and a leader in guard Donovan Brown.

•  Del Campo (24-3): The Cougars have a 12-game winning streak and a dynamic player in 6-6 Vasilije Saraba.

DARK HORSE

•  Sacramento (22-5): The Dragons are without center Solomon Young, but guards Christian Terrell and Tre Finch are as quick as anyone.

DIVISION III

FAVORITE

•  Modesto Christian (19-8): The Crusaders are athletic and deep with a record 15 titles in various divisions.

CONTENDERS

•  Lincoln (21-6): Marcus Salgado leads the way with poised point guard play for a program that seeks its first title.

•  Christian Brothers (18-9): The Falcons rely on balanced scoring and defense. Their only league losses were to D-II contender Del Campo.

•  Vanden (17-10): DeMarre Walker leads the Solano County Athletic Conference champion, which will contend for the school’s section eighth title.

•  Fairfield (22-5): DeMoriaye Hart-Spikes propels the Falcons, averaging 17 points. The team has wins over Oak Ridge and Antelope.

DARK HORSE

•  Rio Americano (15-12): The Raiders have shown championship glimpses behind Luke Moore and Nick Tatar.

DIVISION IV

FAVORITE

•  Encina (24-3): The Bulldogs can run with Donald Jackson (13.4 points) and score inside with Nate Jefferson (14.3). One early loss was to Jesuit.

CONTENDERS

•  Natomas (15-8): The Nighthawks are coached by Brian Hamilton, the leader of McClatchy’s 1993 Section D-II title team.

•  Riverbank (21-3): The Bruins, led by Rolaun Dunham (18.1 points), rolled past contender Mariposa County 78-54 earlier this season.

•  Mariposa County (23-3): The Grizzlies have won 16 in a row behind balanced scoring (six players average 7.6 points or more) and defense.

•  Mesa Verde (16-10): The Mavericks have a prolific 1-2 punch in guards Bret Lynch and Ja Quan Deary. They average 31 points combined.

DARK HORSE

•  Colfax (15-12): The Falcons, seeking their fifth title, are led by guard Jordan Balser (17.7) and center Kevin Zachman (16.3).

DIVISION V

FAVORITE

•  Capital Christian (23-3): Top-ranked by The Bee all season and seeking a three-peat, the Cougars have size (D.J. Wilson and Nifae Lealao) and quickness (Uchenna Iroegbu and Tyler Jennings).

CONTENDERS

•  Central Catholic (22-5): The Raiders have a 13-game winning streak and five players averaging at least 9.1 points.

•  Brookside Christian (24-3): Six players average 8.4 points or more for the Knights, the section’s hottest team with a 20-game winning streak.

•  Forest Lake Christian (23-3): Luke Jordan, Chase Augustino and Christian Dethlefs each score at least 14.7 points per game for a team that averages 75.

DARK HORSE

•  Elliot Christian (16-11): A December win over Central Catholic and two competitive losses to Brookside Christian make the Lodi team a tough draw.

DIVISION VI

FAVORITE

•  Victory Christian (19-6): The Vikings of Carmichael, behind Mike Halverson (22.8) and Tyler O’Day (18.4), seek their third title since 2010.

CONTENDERS

•  Valley Christian (12-13): Never mind the record – check the scoring, including a section record for three-pointers.

•  Faith Christian (22-5): The Lions of Yuba City are led by Justin Glen (18.2) and Bailey Carter (13.2).

DARK HORSE

•  Turlock Christian (18-9): The Eagles are paced by Brady Turner (11.8) and Jordan Riise (8.9).

– Joe Davidson

RELATED STORY: Preps: Breaking down section playoff games



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