California high school basketball championship matchups
Friday’s games, at Sacramento Power Balance Pavilion
Division V: Playa del Rey St. Bernard (26-8) vs. Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame (26-8), 1:45 p.m. — St. Bernard has gone from 4-23 last season to playing for a state title under first-year Coach Reggie Morris Jr. Sophomore Brandon Randolph is averaging 18.8 points. Senior Thurman Thomas is averaging 15.8 points. It remains to be seen if the Vikings have enough experience and size to knock off St. Joseph, which is led by 6-foot-10 center Brendan Keane, a Northern Colorado signee.
Division II: Fontana Summit (28-7) vs. San Jose Mitty (31-2), 8 p.m. — Aaron Gordon, a 6-7 sophomore who’s the younger brother of former UCLA player Drew Gordon, leads a Mitty team that cruised to a 67-44 regional final victory over Roseville Woodcreek. Summit is comfortable in its underdog role, having eliminated defending champion San Diego Lincoln last week. What the Skyhawks do best is attack on offense with guards Montigo Alford and Devon Alexander. Their scoring balance makes them a dangerous team because they don’t have to rely on one player to get hot.
— Eric Sondheimer
Division V: St. Bernard (24-14) vs. Los Altos Hills Pinewood (27-5), 3:30 p.m. — Having avenged their loss in the Southern Section 5AA championship game with an impressive 60-45 victory over Oxnard Santa Clara in Saturday’s regional final, the Vikings will again depend on a trio of freshmen to play well. Center LaJahna Drummer is averaging 17.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.3 steals. Guard Chyanne Butler and forward Michelle Curry are other top producers. Pinewood, winner of the Central Coast Section Division V title, is riding a 12-game winning streak. The Panthers are led by Pacific-bound guard Hailie Eackles, who is averaging 23.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals.
Division II: Rialto (33-3) vs. Stockton St. Mary’s (31-2), 6 p.m. — St. Mary’s has won the last two state Division III championships. Ranked third in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, the Rams overcame dismal 22.5% shooting to beat Loomis Del Oro in a regional final. Oregon State-bound guard Ali Gibson had 15 points in that game, and senior forward Kendall Kenyon grabbed 20 rebounds. St. Mary’s has won 26 consecutive games since back-to-back losses to Brea Olinda and Riverdale Baptist of Maryland at the Nike Tournament of Champions. Rialto guard Janae’ Sharpe, who has signed with Cal State Northridge, made last-second jumpers to beat Ventura Buena in both the Southern Section 2AA and Southern California regional finals.
— Steve Galluzzo
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