February 14, 2013
Sizing up the Sac-Joaquin Section girls basketball playoffs

Here's a closer look at the Sac-Joaquin Section girls basketball playoffs, by division, with schedules, outlook and projections....

Check for more in Friday's Bee, including a profile of senior post standouts Megan Roberson of Del Campo and Stephanie Geyer of Del Oro, who will play at the next level at the Air Force Academy and West Point....


Top seeds: No. 1 St. Mary's (25-2), No. 2 Oak Ridge (23-3), No. 3 Kennedy (21-5), No. 4 Nevada Union (21-4)

Defending champion: Kennedy

Outlook: St. Mary's of Stockton, elevated to Division I after winning the last two D-II section titles, is the overwhelming favorite. The Rams' only two losses were to a Dillard, a Florida power, and state No. 3 Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland, but they may have suffered a hit when senior point gaurd Onome Jemerigbe rolled an ankle in a win over St. Francis on Monday. No. 3 Kennedy, which beat Oak Ridge in the section final in overtime last season, is the same side of the bracket as the No. 2 Trojans, which could lead to a semifinal matchup Feb. 28 at Pacific. Among the intrigue teams are Nevada Union, trying to return to its D-I glory days; No. 8 Pleasant Grove, with the inside-outside combination of Dejza James and Avonna Lee; and No. 6 Davis, which went 22-4 and won the Delta Valley Conference title.

Early matchups of note: No. 9 McClatchy at Pleasant Grove will be fun to watch as the Lions' underclass bigs Gigi Garcia and Destiney Lee challenge James and 6-foot-1 Aaliyah Pena. No. 4 Nevada Union gets a challenge at home with always dangerous St. Francis, a No. 13 seed.

Projected final:
St. Mary's vs. Oak Ridge.

First round gamesTuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Bear Creek at No. 1 St. Mary's-Stockton
Stagg-Stockton/Bella Vista at No. 2 Oak Ridge
No. 14 Enochs-Modesto at No. 3 Kennedy
No. 13 St. Francis at No. 4 Nevada Union
No. 12 Merced at No. 5 Armijo
No. 11 Napa at No. 6 Davis
No. 10 Lincoln-Stockton at No. 7 Monterey Trail
No. 9 McClatchy at No. 8 Pleasant Grove


Top seeds: No. 1 Sacramento (23-4), No. 2 McNair (24-3), No. 3 Gregori (23-1), No. 4 River City (19-8)

Defending champion: St. Mary's

Outlook: After playing in eight consecutive Division III section finals (winning three times), Sacramento has moved up to D-II - and still is the team to beat. Senior Allie Green and juniors Chaya Durr and 6-foot-4 Ayanna Edwards lead the Dragons. McNair of Stockton has one of the best players in the division in 6-4 Mandy Coleman (17.8 points, 11.6 steals, 5.2 assists and 20 three-pointers). No. 6 Del Oro will get a boost from Brianna Ruiz, who returns after missing most of the season rehabbing from knee surgery. No. 6 Florin is a team to watch with four-year players Daijah Joe-Smith and Deja Conger and 6-2 junior Dalayna Sampton.

Early matchups of note: No. 13 Antelope and senior standout Tyler Ellis could test No. 4 River City in West Sacramento. Despite its 14-12 record, El Camino could give Florin a run.

Projected final: Sacramento vs. McNair

First round games
Tuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Vacaville at No. 1 Sacramento
No. 15 Kimball-Tracy at No. 2 McNair-Stockton
No. 14 Benicia at No. 3 Gregori-Modesto
No. 13 Antelope at No. 4 River City
No. 12 Tracy at No. 5 Del Oro
No. 11 El Camino at No. 6 Florin
No. 10 Del Campo at No. 7 Rocklin
No. 9 Grant at No. 8 Buhach Colony-Atwater


Top seeds: No. 1 Christian Brothers (20-7), No. 2 Vanden (24-3), No. 3 Rio Americano (24-3), No. 4 Placer (23-4)

Defending champion: Sacramento

Outlook: Look for a new champion in a division dominated for nearly a decade by St. Mary's (five titles) and Sacramento (three titles). With experience, depth and talent, Christian Brothers and Vanden look to be a head above the rest of the field. No. 6 Modesto Christian, which reached last season's D-III final after winning three consecutive years in D-IV, is always a team to watch, and No. 3 Rio Americano, after its best regular season in years, could challenge.

Early matchup of note: No. 11 Inderkum at No. 7 Manteca will pit a Tigers team that has won six games in a row and an impact player in Sakara Brewer against a Manteca team led by Cal-bound Courtney Range.

Projected final: Christian Brothers vs. Vanden

First round games
Tuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Natomas at No. 1 Christian Brothers
No. 15 Center at No. 2 Vanden
No. 14 Ceres at No. 3 Rio Americano
No. 13 Rosemont at No. 4 Placer
No. 12 Oakmont at No. 5 Patterson
No. 11 Vista del Lago at No. 6 Modesto Christian
No. 10 Inderkum at No. 7 Manteca
No. 9 Weston Ranch-Stockton at No. 8 River Valley


Top seeds: No. 1 Bear River (23-3), No. 2 Colfax (18-9), No. 3 Bradshaw Christian (23-2), No. 4 Argonaut (27-0)

Defending champion: Calaveras

Outlook: It's a wide-open field with plenty of title candidates, including No. 7 Calaveras. Bear River will try to win its first D-IV section title since winning in 2006 and 2007. Bradshaw Christian, a four-time champion in D-V (2008-2011), has a strong starting five led by senior Ashlee Jones, but not much depth. Haley Shaner leads 2012 section runner-up West Campus, a No. 6 seed. Argonaut, with its unbeaten record but a lack of strong opponents, is the field's intrigue team.
Early matchup of note: No. 11 Encina at West Campus. The Bulldogs have had a strong season - their only two losses in league were to Bradshaw Christian - so they could test the Warriors.

Projected final: Bradshaw Christian vs. Bear River

First round games
Tuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
Mariposa/Hilmar at No. 1 Bear River
San Juan/Los Banos at No. 2 Colfax
No. 14 Union Mine at No. 3 Bradshaw Christian
No. 13 Riverbank at No. 4 Argonaut
No. 12 Bret Harte at No. 5 Ripon
No. 11 Encina at No. 6 West Campus
No. 10 Liberty Ranch at No. 7 Calaveras
No. 9 Dixon at No. 8 Sonora


Top seeds: No. 1 Brookside Christian (23-4), No. 2 Turlock Christian (23-4), No. 3 Capital Christian (18-9), No. 4 Ripon Christian (19-6)

Defending champion: Brookside Christian

Outlook: Brookside Christian, the defending state D-V champs, are the prohibitive favorite. The Knights have played a strong nonleague schedule and are ranked fourth in the section by Maxpreps.com, behind St. Mary's, Oak Ridge and Sacramento. Junior guard Tiara Tucker leads the section in scoring (29.3 points) and set a Northern California and section girls single-game record with 73 points last month. And she's excelled despite the stabbing death of her father in December.

Projected final: Brookside Christian vs. Capital Christian

First round games
Tuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Le Grand at No. 5 Woodland Christian
No. 11 Sacramento Waldorf at No. 6 Elliot Christian
No. 10 Foresthill at No. 7 Big Valley Christian
No. 9 Forest Lake Chr. at No. 8 Central Catholic
First-round bye
No. 1 Brookside Christian-Stockton
No. 2 Turlock Christian
No. 3 Capital Christian
No. 4 Ripon Christian


Top seeds: No. 1 Victory Christian (19-5), No. 2 Valley Christian (14-10), No. 3 New Life Christian (19-3), No. 4 Sacramento Country Day (14-6)
Defending champion: Victory Christian

Outlook: Victory Christian, which won the inaugural D-VI title last year, is led by seniors Molly Huffman, Angela Frentzen and Emily Potts. Valley Christian lost by 10 to Victory Christian during the season but has a top player in sophomore Lily Hagerty (20.2 points). Sacramento Country Day, behind Mary Clare-Bosco (18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds), is a team to watch.

Projected final: Victory Christian vs. Valley Christian

First round games
Tuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Sacramento Adventist at No. 1 Victory Christian
No. 7 Trinity Prep at No. 2 Valley Christian
No. 6 Stockton Christian at No. 3 New Life Christian
No. 5 Lodi Academy at No. 4 Sacramento Country Day

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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