The Salesian girls and El Cerrito boys basketball teams have been selected to play in the Open division of the California Interscholastic Federation state basketball playoffs, which start Friday.
Both teams have certainly earned the honor, having had memorable seasons during which they earned trips to the North Coast Section title game for their respective divisions. However, the two squads are looking to bounce back from losses in those NCS championship games.
El Cerrito, which lost 89-69 to Bishop O’Dowd in Saturday’s NCS Division IV title bout, is the sixth and final seed in the CIF’s North division. The Gauchos will travel to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose (28-3), the No. 3 seed, for its first round matchup.
Bishop O’Dowd is the North division’s top seed. No. 2 is Capital Christian of Sacramento (27-3), No. 4 is Newark Memorial of Newark (23-7); and No. 5 Modesto Christian (28-3).
For the South division, the top seed is undefeated Mater Dei of Santa Ana (31-0); No. 2 J.W. North of Riverside (25-3); No. 3 Redondo Union of Redondo Beach (24-6); No. 4 El Camino Real of Woodland Hills (25-6); No. 5 Etiwanda (26-4); No. 6 La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad (27-5); No. 7 Westchester of Los Angeles (28-6); No. 8 St. Augustine of San Diego (28-3).
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The Salesian girls are seeded fourth in the North division of the CIF tournament and will play at No. 5 St. Ignatius of San Francisco (26-4) in the first round.
The Pride is looking to bounce back following a 65-57 loss last weekend to rival St. Mary’s of Berkeley (26-7) in the NCS Division IV championship.
St. Mary’s is the No. 1 seed for the North division; No. 2 is Carondelet of Concord (27-3); No. 3 St. Mary’s of Stockton (25-4); No. 6 Miramonte of Orinda (28-1); No. 7 Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco (21-7); No. 8 Sacramento (23-8).
In the South division for girls, the top seed is Windward of Los Angeles (24-2); No. 2 is Mater Dei of Santa Ana (26-2); No. 3 Long Beach Poly (23-3); No. 4 Etiwanda (20-6); No. 5 Clovis West of Fresno (27-3); No. 6 Bishop’s of La Jolla (27-5).