Sports

M-A boys rewarded for standout season with Open Division berth

 

A championship season by the Menlo-Atherton boys has been rewarded with the Bears' first-ever appearance in the Open Division of the Central Coast Section basketball playoffs.

The Bears (25-2), coming off a 45-27 victory over Half Moon Bay in the finals of the Peninsula Athletic League Tournament, received the No. 4 seed for the elite, eight-team Open Division and will take a 17-game win streak against perennial power and No. 5 seed Mitty (13-11) in the opening round Friday at Piedmont Hills High in San Jose at 7:30 p.m.

Also in the bracket is No. 6 Half Moon Bay, which brings an identical 25-2 record into the postseason.

Gunn, despite winning the SCVAL De Anza Division title and navigating the regular season with just two losses, lost out in the numbers game for the Open Division. As a Division II school this season, the Titans were knocked out by fellow D-II teams Serra, Mitty and St. Francis.

While all eight Open Division teams automatically qualify for the NorCal playoffs, the CCS can send only four from the same enrollment group. If the CCS did that, then none of the teams in the Division II bracket would advance.

Thus, Gunn perhaps stands a better chance of winning the D-II title and advancing to NorCals with only one West Catholic Athletic League team (St. Ignatius) playing in Division II.

Sacred Heart Prep, which played in the Open Division last season, is back in Division IV. The Gators open Saturday and could face rival Menlo School, which plays Thursday at home against Terra Nova.

In Division V, top-seeded Pinewood seems like a lock for the section crown with two of the top four seeds -- Priory and Eastside Prep -- being teams that Pinewood beat twice during the West Bay Athletic League season.

2016 CCS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

BOYS

OPEN DIVISION

Friday

No. 6 Half Moon Bay (25-2) vs. No. 3 Bellarmine (16-7) at Santa Clara High, 7:30 p,m.

No. 7 Palma (22-2) vs. No. 2 Serra (20-4) at Santa Clara High, 5:30 p.m.

No. 5 Mitty (13-11) vs. No. 4 Menlo-Atherton (25-2) at Piedmont Hills, 7:30 p.m.

No. 8 Santa Cruz (21-5) vs. No. 1 St. Francis (22-2) at Piedmont Hills, 5:30 p.m.

DIVISION I

Tuesday

Carlmont (9-15) at No. 11 Monta Vista (12-12), 7 p.m.

North Salinas (8-16) at No. 10 Salinas (11-13), 7:30 p.m.

Alvarez (11-13) at No. 12 Silver Creek (9-15), 7 p.m.

Andrew Hill (15-9) at No. 9 Alisal (20-4), 7 p.m.

Thursday

Carlmont-Monta Vista winner at No. 6 Fremont (10-14), 7 p.m.

North Salinas-Salinas winner at No. 7 Evergreen Valley (16-8), 7 p.m.

Alvarez-Silver Creek winner at No. 5 Cupertino (17-7), 7:30 p.m.

Andrew Hill-Alisal winner at No. 8 Sequoia (12-13), 7 p.m.

Byes into Saturday's quarterfinals: No. 1 Piedmont Hills (18-6), No. 2 Oak Grove (15-9), No. 3 Wilcox (16-7), No. 4 Palo Alto (16-8).

DIVISION II

Tuesday

San Mateo (10-14) at No. 11 Pioneer (14-10), 7 p.m.

Lynbrook (9-14) at No. 10 Westmont (16-8), 7 p.m.

Westmoor (9-16) at No. 12 Willow Glen (6-18), 7 p.m.

Woodside (10-10) at No. 9 Los Altos (11-13), 7 p.m.

Thursday

San Mateo-Pioneer winner at No. 6 Mountain View (15-9), 7 p.m.

Lynbrook-Westmont winner at No. 7 Leigh (11-13), 7:30 p.m.

Westmoor-Willow Glen winner at No. 5 Santa Clara (17-7), 7:30 p.m.

Woodside-Los Altos winner at No. 8 Christopher (12-12), 7 p.m.

Byes into Saturday's quarterfinals: No. 1 St. Ignatius (14-10), No. 2 Gunn (17-2), No. 3 Leland (17-7), No. 4 Los Gatos (17-7).

DIVISION III

Tuesday

Del Mar (11-12) vs. No. 11 Jefferson (18-7) at Westmoor, 7 p.m.

Hillsdale (12-12) at No. 10 Mt. Pleasant (17-7), 7 p.m.

Aptos (14-12) at No. 12 Saratoga (10-14), 7 p.m.

South San Francisco (12-13) at No. 9 Capuchino (12-12), 7 p.m.

Thursday

Del Mar-Jefferson winner at No. 6 Valley Christian (10-14), 7 p.m.

Hillsdale-Mt. Pleasant winner at No. 7 Aragon (12-14), 7 p.m.

Aptos-Saratoga winner at No. 5 Gunderson (16-8), 7:30 p.m.

South San Francisco-Capuchino winner at No. 8 Monterey (12-12), 7 p.m.

Byes into Saturday's quarterfinals: No. 1 Burlingame (18-8), No. 2 Sacred Heart Cathedral (9-13), No. 3 Prospect (19-5), No. 4 Riordan (8-16)

DIVISION IV

Tuesday

Oceana (7-15) at No. 12 Seaside (11-12), 7 p.m.

Thursday

No. 11 Harker (12-12) at No. 6 San Lorenzo Valley (19-6), 7 p.m.

No. 10 King City (15-9) at No. 7 North Monterey Co. (16-8), 7:30 p.m.

Oceana-Seaside winner at No. 5 Carmel (20-4), 7 p.m.

No. 9 Terra Nova (11-12) at No. 8 Menlo (10-14), 7 p.m.

Byes into Saturday's quarterfinals: No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (14-10), No. 2 Pacific Grove (20-4), No. 3 Monte Vista Christian (18-6), No. 4 King's Academy (16-8)

DIVISION V

Tuesday

Downtown College Prep (11-9) vs. No. 11 Pacific Collegiate (13-6), TBD

St. Lawrence (11-11) at No. 12 Crystal Springs (7-17), 7 p.m.

Thursday

Downtown College Prep-Pacific Collegiate winner at No. 6 Stevenson (11-13), 7 p.m.

No. 10 Oakwood (11-12) vs. No. 7 Jewish Community (19-4) at Ella Hill Hutch, 7 p.m.

St. Lawrence-Crystal Springs winner at No. 5 Alma Heights (21-5), 7 p.m.

No. 9 Thomas More (18-6) vs. No. 8 Trinity Christian (9-11) at North Monterey County, 5:30 p.m.

Byes into Saturday's quarterfinals: No. 1 Pinewood (16-8), No. 2 St. Francis CCC (19-6), No. 3 Priory (11-8) , No. 4 Eastside College Prep (13-11)

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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