NorCal Roundup: Mack, Drake, and Miramonte pull off upset wins and Freedom wins a tip-in by Smith


Top seed Monte Vista (29-1) hammered CCS Division I champion No. 9 Bellarmine (13-17), 70-42. Spencer Rust scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked two shots as the Mustangs played its first NorCal game in five years.

No. 5 McClymonds (20-8) overcame a 11-2 hole for an impressive 57-48 win at No. 4 San Ramon Valley (25-5).

The Warriors used a key 15-2 run after that early deficit, led by three at the half and got a big performance from Deion Ellis who, despite some foul trouble, scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

McClymonds coach Edgar Jackson told Mitch Stephens, “The last month of the season he’s picked us up at key times all year. This was the biggest. We haven’t been ranked all year. Nobody saw this coming. I did. I’ve been telling everyone the sky is the limit for this squad.”

A major story was the free throw line as Mack made 18-of-20 (90%) foul shots and San Ramon converted just 16-of-30.

Jackson also told Stephanie Hammon, “This was our best free throw shooting performance of the year, by far. We usually don’t knock them down like that.”

Mack now looks for revenge against Monte Vista in the semifinals. The Mustangs embarrassed Mack in December, 65-24.


No. 3 Freedom (25-6) held on for a 74-72 win over No. 6 Rodriguez (27-4) as Elliott Smith scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, including the winning tip-in with two seconds left.

The Falcons raced out to a 9-0 lead but Rodriguez dominated the rest of the half for a 40-30 lead at the break.

Smith told, “We just kept thinking ‘keep fighting, keep fighting, the game isn’t over because there are still seconds on the clock.'”

Oklahoma running back commit Joe Mixon had one of his best games of the season for the Falcons, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

There were a ridiculous 65 free throw attempts in the game as Freedom was just 13-for-30 from the foul line and Rodriguez was 22-of-35.


No. 2 Jesuit (29-3) easily took out No. 10 Lincoln (25-9) in a 76-47 final as Isaiah Bailey had 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

Air Force commit Luke Lutes scored 15 points and told Joe Davidson, “The coaches have been preaching to us all year to defend and get out and run. As you saw against Rodriguez and (Saturday night), we can be a fast team as well.”

Jesuit is 4-1 versus Bay Area teams heading into its semifinal home date versus Freedom.


No. 1 Folsom (30-2) jumped out to a 10-0 lead and a 34-14 advantage at the half in a 66-40 rout of No. 8 St. Ignatius (23-7).

Sophomore Jordan Ford shined in his point guard matchup with SI senior Trevor Dunbar as Ford scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished seven assists. Dunbar finished with eight points on 1-of-13 shooting.

Bulldogs coach Mike Wall told Davidson, “That’s as dominant of a first half against a good team as we’ve had here. When our supporting cast shoots like that, we’re hard to stop. And our defense gave a great effort.”


No. 4 Serra (22-8) trailed by as many as 10 in the second half but recovered for a 59-54 win over No. 5 Montgomery (26-7).

Sean Watkins scored 16 points, including nine in the final period, and Danny Mahoney added 13 for the Padres.

Alec Raven finished his outstanding high school career with 26 points for the Vikings, including 10 in the opening quarter.

No. 3 Cosumnes Oaks (15-17) turned a 58-56 fourth quarter deficit into a rout in the fourth quarter with a 82-63 win versus No. 6 Leigh (24-5).

Leigh coach Patrick Judge told Darren Sabedra, “We gave it our all. But they went on a huge run. I think that’s the thing that we’re all upset about is the fact that people are going to open up the newspaper and see that they beat us by 17 or whatever the final was. We had a couple of what we call pick-six turnovers that they converted and then we started to scramble a little bit.”

Joe Giacchetti and Jared Williams each scored 15 points for the Longhorns.


No. 7 Grant (27-6) held No. 2 Concord (22-9) without a field goal over the final 3:45 in a 66-58 road win.

Cam Oliver scored 21 points and also came up with a couple of key blocks late.

Oliver was part of a very good defensive effort that held Siaan Rojas to nine points and Spencer Clark to just two.

The Pacers have a shot to win three straight road games to reach a NorCal final when it visits Cosumnes Oaks on Tuesday.



Upsets took over in the top half of the Division III bracket.


Behind a career-high 38 points and 10 rebounds from junior Jesse Hunt, No. 9 Sir Francis Drake (24-7) upset top seed and two-time NorCal champion Sacred Heart Cathedral, 69-60.

Alfred Hollins led the Fightin’ Irish (19-12) with 19 points.

Sacred Heart coach Darrell Barbour told Mitch Stephens, “We knew he was good but to his credit, we just didn’t have an answer for him. He scored every way imaginable: outside, inside, free throws. … We just seemed to play a step slow. We committed turnovers when we weren’t pressure. It was a frustrating night, but Drake definitely earned it. Coach (Doug) Donnellan does a very good job.”

Drake’s Jasper Verduin told Ed Yevelev: “We are such a better team when we’re playing playing loose, shooting freely and we’re not as worried about when we miss. That’s really when we play our best.”


Drew Anderson scored 34 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, and blocked two shots but it was Jackson Wegener who drilled two free throws with 10.6 seconds left as No. 12 Miramonte (18-12) continued its Cinderella run with a 78-76 win at No. 4 Burlingame (26-5).

Anderson is averaging 32.5 points and 15 rebounds in the two NorCal wins for the Mats, who ended the first half a on a 14-1 run for a 38-33 lead at the break.

Miramonte will play at Drake on Tuesday and look for its third straight road win to reach a NorCal final, similar to what rival Campolindo accomplished a year ago.

In his final high school game, USF commit Frankie Ferrari scored 29 points, including 13 in the final quarter but missed some shots late.

Ferrari told Glenn Reeves, “I got pretty good looks on all of them, I just couldn’t get them to fall. We played our hearts out. If a shot falls here or there, we win. We made a great run in the fourth quarter, but we just came up short.”


No. 3 Archbishop Riordan (20-9) escaped with a 43-41 win over feisty No. 11 Christian Brothers (21-11). Jiday Ugbaja scored 12 points for the Crusaders, who will play at Campolindo on Tuesday.


No. 2 Campolindo (23-7) set a season-high in points with a 96-64 victory versus No. 10 Vanden (20-12).

The Cougars scored 55 in the second half and were paced by Justin Dunn’s season-high 27-point effort on 11-of-15 shooting.




It’s an all Bay Area final four in Division IV.


Top seed Moreau Catholic (25-6) cruised to a 84-49 win against No. 8 Encina Prep (28-5) behind 18 points from freshman Damari Milstead.


The Mariners will have a tough game against No. 4 St. Patrick-St. Vincent (25-9) after the Bruins knocked off upset-minded No. 12 Riverbank (24-5), 64-51. Freshman B.J. Standley and senior Jose Flores each scored 14 points for the Bruins.

St. Pat’s coach Derek Walker told Thomas Gase, “Once our guys figured out that Riverbank was for real, we played very well. The first four minutes they basically kicked our butts. Riverbank isn’t very big but they have a lot of heart. That’s a good basketball team we just beat.”


No. 3 Half Moon Bay (26-5) ended the season for No. 11 Fortuna (26-4), 67-57. Four different players scored in double-figures, including Case DuFrane’s 17.

In a game that was tied late in the third, No. 2 Salesian (22-14) was a 69-58 winner over No. 7 Sacred Heart Prep (21-8). Jonathan Galloway scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

The Pride advanced to play Half Moon Bay but did blow a nine-point halftime lead.

Salesian coach Bill Mellis told Joe Wolfcale, “You know it was a little like last week. It’s a little hard to say we’re a little inexperienced, heck, we’ve played thirty something games. But every now and then we can do some boneheaded things on the court. I’m just glad we were able to make our free throws when we had to.”


Top seed Central Catholic (26-6) was a 74-58 winner against No. 8 University (25-8) and will host Branson on Tuesday.


No. 4 Branson (26-6) advanced to the NorCal semifinals with a 62-51 decision over No. 5 Liberty Christian (25-5).

The Bulls came back from a first quarter deficit with a 24-4 spurt in the second quarter.

Branson coach Bret Tovani told the Marin-Independent Journal, “That was the quarter where we played really, really well. In the third quarter we didn’t play very well.”

Henry Feinberg scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had three steals.


Kenyon Williams had 29 points, six rebounds, and six assists as No. 3 Brookside Christian (26-4) scored a 75-58 win over No. 6 Stuart Hall (24-8).


Three-time NorCal champion St. Joseph Notre Dame (28-5) jumped out to a 10-0 advantage in a 57-35 win over No. 7 Pinewood (24-5). Temidayo Yussuf scored 19 points to go with 11 rebounds and two blocks.

The Pilots host Brookside Christian on Tuesday.

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2 Responses to NorCal Roundup: Mack, Drake, and Miramonte pull off upset wins and Freedom wins a tip-in by Smith

  1. It seems apparent to me that Monte Vista should have went to the open.It’s just my opinion. Is there any point at which CIF can make you go up or will teams always have a choice? Just curious.

    • Pat O'Rourke says:

      It’s possible that the CIF may change the eligibility rules and force the best teams to go into the Open Division.

      As a program that has never played in a state title game, I understand Monte Vista’s decision, though.

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