High School Sports

Section basketball playoff brackets released. Why No. 1 Sheldon boys open on the road

The West Campus girls celebrate their second consecutive CIF State championship March 23, 2018, at Golden 1 Center. The Warriors are the No. 2 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs this year. Brackets for all divisions were released Saturday.
The West Campus girls celebrate their second consecutive CIF State championship March 23, 2018, at Golden 1 Center. The Warriors are the No. 2 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs this year. Brackets for all divisions were released Saturday. Sacramento Bee file

There were no real surprises here Saturday afternoon, but there were plenty of debates.

When a committee of retired high school coaches and administrators and current Sac-Joaquin Section staff members finished crunching mounds of data and paperwork, the seeds for the girls and boys basketball playoffs were set.

The girls start play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and the boys on Wednesday in what will amount to a all-out sprint to the section finals set for Golden 1 Center on Feb. 22 and 23.

If those finals dates seems early, there’s a reason. The CIF academic year was moved up a full week back in August, meaning these will be the first section championship games not be contested in March.

Sheldon was tabbed the top seed in boys Division I, based on body of work and on-court record of 22-6 with losses to state powers (and wins against some, too). But because the Huskies forfeited four Delta League victories due to a player competing in two Sunday adult league games with family members, the committee was torn at what exactly to do.

Seed the Huskies according to on-court success or seed them based on their official fourth-place finish in league after the forfeits?

To seed the Huskies based on forfeits would have disrupted the D-I field, as Sheldon would not have been a typical middle seed.

“It was pretty much a 100 percent consensus that Sheldon had the résumé to be the No. 1 seed, but because of the forfeits, it became a lengthy discussion,” said Will DeBoard, the section’s assistant commissioner and director of media relations. “Ultimately, it was decided that we weren’t going to mess with the integrity of the bracket and have Sheldon seeded sixth or seventh and mess things up.”

But there are two more oddities tied to Sheldon, a powerhouse in this sport for years, including winning the CIF Open Division Northern California championship.

The Huskies will play their Tuesday playoff opener on the road, at the winner of Monday’s play-in game between Edison of Stockton and Modesto. This is punishment for what happened after last season’s section Division I championship game at Pacific.

Sheldon players did not stick around to shake hands with the victorious Modesto Christian players and walking to their locker room. That act goes against the section’s sportsmanship policy. A memo was sent to Sheldon as reminder, though the school’s athletic department already knew.

And one more: If Sheldon and Jesuit were to meet in a section semifinal Feb. 20, the game would be played at Jesuit since the Marauders are technically Delta champs and the section rewards champions in these instances.

Normally, higher seeds host. Sheldon beat Jesuit twice in league play, 82-53 and 85-72.

Still, Sheldon towers as one of the region’s greatest teams, deep in guard play, heavy on defense, coached by a man who once won four successive D-I section titles (Joey Rollings) and led by national recruit Marcus Bagley, a 6-foot-8 junior wing.

With five new starters this season, Folsom is the No. 2 seed in D-I, followed by Modesto Christian, Jesuit, Oak Ridge and Capital Christian.

In girls, Bear Creek of Stockton is the top D-I seed with a résumé that includes beating D-II top seed Antelope and red-hot Cosumnes Oaks, surely a factor in D-I.

Grant is the top seed in boys D-II, eager to return to the section finals after losing there to St. Mary’s last year. The Pacers are Metro League champions.

Rocklin is the No. 2 seed, St. Mary’s is No. 3 and Whitney is No. 4.

In girls, Antelope is the defending champion and top seed with Sacramento seeded second, Whitney third and Del Oro fourth.

Antelope is led by Bee Player of the Year candidate Jzaniya Harriel, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard who is a five-star recruit. She is averaging 23.4 points and 12.7 rebounds.

In D-III, Weston Ranch of Stockton, riding a 26-game winning streak, is the boys’ No. 1 seed and Vanden tops the girls bracket, with defending champion Christian Brothers seeded second. In D-IV, Liberty Ranch is the top boys seed in D-IV and Colfax is the top seed in girls, with two-time defending CIF State champion West Campus seeded second.

For complete brackets, visit cifsjs.org.

All-Metro notice – Area coaches are encouraged to send All-League teams to The Bee at jdavidson@sacbee.com.

Coaches are also urged to nominate players for The Bee’s All-Metro first, second, third and honorable mention teams. Teams that decline to input statistics into MaxPreps in an effort to hide scoring and rebounding tendencies from opponents will not have players considered for Bee All-Metro honors.

At a Sheldon High Huskies practice this week, Marcus Bagley, younger brother of Sacramento Kings power forward Marvin Bagley III, dunks with authority. Marcus is a 6-foot-7 forward with guard skills who can shoot the three, too.

Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs

Here are all the opening-round games for boys and girls.

Girls

Division I

Play-in game Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 17 Inderkum at No. 16 St. Francis

All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

St. Francis/Inderkum at No. 1 Bear Creek

No. 9 Woodcreek at No. 8 Franklin

No. 12 Davis at No. 5 Oak Ridge No. 13 Monterey Trail at No. 4 Folsom

No. 14 Pitman at No. 3 St. Mary’s

No. 11 Turlock at No. 6 Cosumnes Oaks

No. 10 Edison at No. 7 Lincoln-Stockton

No. 15 Enochs at No. 2 McClatchy

Division II

Play-in game Monday at 5:30 p.m.

No. 17 McNair at No. 16 Mira Loma

All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Mira Loma/McNair at No. 1 Antelope

No. 9 Vista del Lago at No. 8 Granite Bay

No. 12 Rodriguez at No. 5 Elk Grove

No. 13 Wood at No. 4 Del Oro

No. 14 Grant at No. 3 Whitney

No. 11 Modesto Christian at No. 6 Atwater

No. 10 Roseville at No. 7 Laguna Creek

No. 15 Lincoln at No. 2 Sacramento

Division III

Play-in game Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 17 Center at No. 16 Pioneer

All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Pioneer/Center at No. 1 Vanden

No. 9 Livingston at No. 8 Bradshaw Christian

No. 12 Cordova at No. 5 Nevada Union

No. 13 El Capitan at No. 4 Manteca

No. 14 Merced at No. 3 Placer

No. 11 Beyer at No. 6 Kimball

No. 10 East Union at No. 7 Lathrop

No. 15 Los Banos at No. 2 Christian Brothers

Division IV

Play-in game Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 17 Natomas at No. 16 Bear River

All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Bear River/Natomas at No. 1 Colfax

No. 9 Highlands at No. 8 Dixon

No. 12 Orestimba at No. 5 Ripon

No. 13 Hughson at No. 4 Union Mine

No. 14 Mountain House at No. 3 Sonora

No. 11 El Dorado at No. 6 Capital Christian

No. 10 Central Catholic at No. 7 Calaveras

No. 15 Liberty Ranch at No. 2 West Campus

Division V

All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

No. 9 Hughes at No. 8 Rio Vista

No. 11 Millennium at No. 6 Leroy Greene

No. 10 Holt at No. 7 Le Grand

All games Thursday at 7 p.m.

No. 5 Golden Sierra at No. 4 Western Sierra

Rio Vista/Hughes at No. 1 Mariposa

Holt/Le Grand at No. 2 Argonaut

Leroy Greene/Millennium at No. 3 Woodland Christian

Division VI

All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

No. 9 Victory Christian at No. 8 Sacramento Adventist

No. 10 New Life Christian at No. 7 Stockton Christian

All games Thursday at 7 p.m.

No. 5 Turlock Christian at No. 4 Ripon Christian

No. 6 Sacramento Waldorf at No. 3 Vacaville Christian

Victory Christian/Sacramento Adventist at No. 1 Forest Lake Christian

New Life Christian/Stockton Christian at No. 2 Valley Christian

Boys

Division I

Play-in games Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 17 Modesto at No. 16 Edison

No. 18 Bear Creek at No. 15 Pleasant Grove

All games Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Modesto/Edison vs. No. 1 Sheldon

No. 9 Davis at No. 8 Monterey Trail

No. 12 Kennedy at No. 5 Oak Ridge

No. 13 Turlock at No. 4 Jesuit

No. 14 Chavez at No. 3 Modesto Christian

No. 11 Tracy at No. 6 Capital Christian

No. 10 Gregori at No. 7 Franklin

Bear Creek/Pleasant Grove at No. 2 Folsom

Division II

Play-in games Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 18 Buhach Colony at No. 15 Elk Grove

No. 17 Vista del Lago at No. 16 Lincoln

All games Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Lincoln/Vista del Lago at No. 1 Grant

No. 9 Ponderosa at No. 8 Roseville

No. 12 Rodriguez at No. 5 Sacramento

No. 13 Woodcreek at No. 4 Whitney

No. 14 Granite Bay at No. 3 St. Mary’s

No. 11 Inderkum at No. 6 Burbank

No. 10 River Valley at No. 7 Rio Americano

Elk Grove/Buhach Colony at No. 2 Rocklin

Division III

Play-in games Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 18 Florin at No. 15 Mira Loma

No. 17 Lathrop at No. 16 Sierra

All games Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sierra/Lathrop at No. 1 Weston Ranch

No. 9 El Capitan at No. 8 Center

No. 12 Kimball at No. 5 Vanden

No. 13 Cordova at No. 4 Manteca

No. 14 Del Campo at No. 3 Central Catholic

No. 11 Placer at No. 6 El Camino

No. 10 Beyer at No. 7 Golden Valley

Mira Loma/Florin at No. 2 Wood

Division IV

Play-in game Monday at 7 p.m.

No. 17 Venture Academy at No. 16 Dixon

All games Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Venture Academy/Dixon at No. 1 Liberty Ranch

No. 9 Calaveras at No. 8 Bear River

No. 12 Mesa Verde at No. 5 Mountain House

No. 13 Amador at No. 4 Ripon

No. 14 Highlands at No. 3 West Campus

No. 11 El Dorado at No. 6 Marysville

No. 10 Foothill at No. 7 Union Mine

No. 15 Riverbank at No. 2 Sonora

Division V

All games Wednesday at 7 p.m.

No. Rio Vista at No. 8 Woodland Christian

No. 12 Hughes at No. 5 Mariposa

No. 13 Gustine at No. 4 Ripon Christian

No. 14 Leroy Greene at No. 3 Sacramento Adventist

No. 11 Denair at No. 6 Bradshaw Christian

No. 10 Western Sierra at No. 7 Foresthill

No. 15 Holt at No. 2 Argonaut

Bye: No. 1 Brookside Christian

Division VI

All games Wednesday at 7 p.m.

No. 9 Alpha Charter at No. 8 Turlock Christian

No. 12 Freedom Christian at No. 5 Forest Lake Christian

No. 11 Lodi Academy at No. 6 Faith Christian

No. 10 Valley Christian at No. 7 Victory Christian

Byes: No. 1 Stockton Christian, No. 2 Sacramento Waldorf, No. 3 Vacaville Christian, No. 4 Big Valley Christian

Joe Davidson has covered sports for The Sacramento Bee since 1988 and is award-winning authority on high school sports, specializing in going behind the scenes. Davidson was a high school athlete in Oregon, where he participated in football and track.


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