The CIF D2 and D5 games will be on Saturday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento and D3 and D4 will be on Friday

CIF Championship Weekend Preview – Divisions II thru V

March 9, 2023

The CIF state championships for girls will feature six games, three on Friday and three on Saturday, all at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, home of the NBA Sacramento Kings. The following preview will cover Divisions II, III, IV and V. .

Division II

Northern Regional Champion Central-Fresno (21-12) versus Southern Regional Champion Bonita Vista-Chula Vista (23-9), Saturday at 2pm

Both teams played a tough schedule and as a result based on competitive equity they were placed in Division II by the CIF with Central as the No. 4 seed in the Northern Regionals and Bonita Vista the Southern Regional top seed.

Each team posted double-digit victories in their respective regional title games. Central earned its trip to the Golden 1 Center with a 62-51 victory over Pleasant Valley-Chico and Bonita Vista is headed to the state capital after an 80-67 victory over Leuzinger-Lawndale.

One thing the CIF and its competitive equity methodology can take credit for is neither team has ever made it to a state title game so one of the two teams is going to be a first time winner in a fairly high division.

Bonita Vista has played a bit of a tougher schedule with losses to three nationally ranked teams, Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth by only 14 points La Jolla Country Day and Nevada Centennial-Las Vegas, and they have tournament losses to Tennessee No. 4 ranked Cookeville and Maryland top 10 Howard, and both were close. They also have a forfeit and losses to Vanden-Fairfield and Mission Hills-San Marcos, and both of those teams were in D1 for their respective Regionals.

On the win side they have wins over San Ramon Valley-Danville and Clovis, and both of those teams were high seeds in the D1 NorCals. They also have a blowout win over Del Norte-San Diego, and they made it to the SoCal D1 title game.

The Barons are led by junior are led by junior Mahliya Qilson and senior Alyssa Alvarado.

Central played in the Diamond Division of the West Coast Jamboree where they took some lumps in losses to NorCal Open finalist Salesian, and a Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland team that was in the D1 NorCals. They went 5-5 in the tough Tri-Rivers Conference that included two losses to NorCal Open semifinalist Clovis West, Clovis, and a Buchanan-Clovis team that lost big to Bishop O’Dowd in the D! NorCals.

The Grizzlies are led by senior Talia Maxwell and junior Keytonna Ross. Maxwell went for 37 points in the win over Pleasant Valley.

If Maxwell can duplicate an effort like that Central could bring home the title but Bonita Vista would seem to be the favorite.

Division III

Northern Regional Champion Colfax (34-2) versus Southern Regional Champion Los Osos-Rancho Cucamonga (28-5), Friday at 2pm

At one point during the season when they started the season 12-0 including a 10-point win over a Santiago team that’s playing for a Division I state championship they were in the Cal-Hi Sports top 25 before a young Los Osos took some losses. But even then the losses were to very good teams that also at one point were ranked. The loss that dropped the Grizzlies down to Division III was a 68-58 loss to Flintridge Prep-La Canada in the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA championship.

As a result Los Osos was seeded No. 1 in the SoCals and the closest anyone got was 14-points in a win over Mark Keppel-Alhambra. The Grizzlies earned their trip to Sacramento with a 60-39 victory over Redondo Union-Redondo Beach.

Los Osos is led by freshman Jackie Polk, sophomore Destinees Knight and senior Hailey Estrada.

Third-seeded Colfax punched its ticked to the Golden 1 Center with a two thrilling squeakers, 41-40 over defending Division IV state champion and host and No. 2 seed Branson-Ross in the semifinals, and 53-52 to upstart No. 9 seed Caruthers.

The Falcons only have two losses, including a 10-point loss to NorCal D2 finalist Pleasant Valley, but they were did not play anywhere near the caliber of the Los Osos competition.

Colfax is led by seniors Maycee Heimann and Gabriella Bittner, and sophomores Kaia Diedrichs and Juliette James.

Colfax is 2-1 in state championship appearances but the two wins in division III were back to back in Division III in 1983-1984, and their last appearance was in a 1998 loss in Division IV. Los Osos lost in its only appearance in the 2017 Division IV title game.

Colfax will have the benefit of playing close to home, but Los Osos would appear to be a solid favorite.

Division IV

Northern Regional Champion San Domenico-San Anselmo (27-7) versus Southern Regional Champion Shalhevet-Los Angeles (25-2), Friday at 10am

Competitive equity is not just for the Open and Division I teams and the CIF Division IV state championship between Shalhevet and San Domenico is a perfect example in what will be a rematch of the 2022 Division IV state title game where San Domenico was a 37-28 winner in the lowest scoring affair ever in CIF state championship history.

Based on competitive equity the CIF moved both teams up to Division IV this year and made each the top seed in their respective regions in the only girls division where both top seeds have advanced to the title game.

Both teams return talent with San Domenico led by Summer Jenkins and Shalhevet by Yalee Schwartz, who was not a factor in last year’s loss after going out of the game with 2:46 left in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Both teams are aiming for milestones.

San Domenico head coach Michael Fulton will be going for his fourth CIF state championship, but the first three were in D5 after he won back-to-back in 2007-08 with Branson of Ross. Four titles would put him in some pretty select company, including Terri Bamford of La Jolla Country Day, Ellis Barfield of Lynwood and John Paye of Atherton Menlo School.

Shalhevet was the first orthodox Jewish school ever to appear in a CIF state title game last year and now are looking to become the first to win a state championship. Even with Schwartz returning San Domenico has more returning talent and played a much tougher schedule to prepare for a D4 run. It will be close but San Domenico would seem to have the edge.

Division V

Northern Regional Champion Bret Harte-Altville (25-7 versus Southern Regional champion Marina-Huntington Beach 21-15, Saturday at 10am

We admittedly know very little about these two teams other than the fact that both are going for a first CIF state title.

Third-seeded Bret Harte got five three-pointers and 20 points from freshman guard Maddie Kane in its NorCal D5 title-game victory over No. 1 seed McArthur-Fall River. Junior center Makenna Tutthill added 14 points.

Marina has become the darlings of Orange County as its only girls team competing for a state championship. The Vikings are led by freshman Rylee Bradley and the SoCal No. 8 seed was 51-43 upset winner over San Pedro in the SoCal D5 title game.

This one could go either way but Bret Harte may have a slight advantage.

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