February 26, 2011
Updated prep basketball times, locations, outlooks for girls; top seeds still soaring

By Joe Davidson

Next-round times and locations for the Sac-Joaquin Section basketball playoffs have been officially updated and posted.

Division I
Semifinals:Pacific, Wednesday
No. 1 St. Francis vs. No. 5 Armijo, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Lincoln-Stockton vs. No. 3 Oak Ridge, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: No surprises here as the top three seeds advanced. St. Francis remains the favorite with its depth and guard play, headed by Briana Charles and Jolise Limcaco and coach Vic Pitton. Oak Ridge, the defending D-I state champions, takes on a Lincoln team that has lost to St. Francis, and Oak Ridge has lost twice to St. Francis. Still, it's hard to bet against Oak Ridge and coach Steve White and a veteran crew headed by Carly Bettencourt.

Division II
Semifinals:Pacific, Wednesday
No. 2 Del Oro vs. No. 3 El Camino, 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Bella Vista vs. No. 1 St. Mary's, 9 p.m.
Outlook: The titanic clash here is the early game where old coaching friends Bill Baxter of El Camino prepares for Mike Takayama of Del Oro. The teams have combined for eight section titles. Del Oro has played well as The Bee's top-ranked team since early January behind leaders Belle Olbert and Madeline Campbell. And yet here's El Camino, fresh off earning Baxter's 600th coaching victory, rolling at 28-1, losing only a close game to Oak Ridge, yet a darkhorse. That's how talent-rich this bracket is. El Camino's Laurel Donnenwirth was superb in a quarterfinal win over Rocklin with 20 points in a half. Meanwhile, Bella Vista and leaders Leah Parrish and Kelly Logue brace for the tradition, shooting and suffocating defense of St. Mary's, unbeaten in the section the last four years.

Division III
Semifinals: Cosumnes River College, Wednesday
No. 2 El Dorado vs. No. 3 Vanden, 4 p.m.
No. 1 Sacramento vs. No. 4 Christian Brothers, 5:30 p.m.
Outlook: The seeds suggest it will Sacramento against El Dorado, but do not underestimate Vanden, an athletic team that stunned the Dragons with a buzzer beater earlier this season. El Dorado, superbly coached by Pat Winter, has the roster to upend Vanden. Sacramento, with its deep reservoir of guards headed by Briana Williams and Fantasia Hilliard, have limpressed of late, and coach Michele Massari said her club is light years improved since the Vanden loss.

Division IV
Semifinals: at Cosumnes River College
No. 2 Bear River vs. No. 3 Calaveras
No. 1 Modesto Christian vs. No. 4 Colfax
Outlook: The top four seeds advanced, so no surprises there. Those in the foothills are eager for a Bear River-Colfax rematch. The programs have been rivals since the late 1980s, when Bear River opened. Bear River's last loss? Colfax.

Division V
Semifinals:Tuesday, Galt High School
No. 2 Brookside Christian vs. No. 3 Turlock Christian, 4 p.m.
No. 4 Vacaville Christian vs. Bradshaw/Foresthill, 5:30 p.m.
Outlook: If Bradshaw Christian doesn't roll to a fifth title, that's your shocker of the tournament. Experience, depth, drive, coaching with Mike Ruble - it's all there for a NorCal and state title drive.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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