Sacred Heart Prep has had some blowout wins this season against overmatched teams such as Harker and Crystal Springs Uplands from its own West Bay Athletic League.
The Gators certainly didn’t expect another one in the Central Coast Section semifinals, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday in a 90-48 win over Scotts Valley.
Sacred Heart Prep (14-7) will play for the CCS Division IV championship Saturday against a team it knows well, The King’s Academy, in a 7 p.m.start at SHP. TKA (9-4) advanced with a 67-53 win over Menlo School in Thursday’s other semifinal.
SHP, the WBAL’s second-place team, beat third-place TKA twice, 78-55 and 77-66.
“Any time you play a team three times after already beating them twice you’ve got to guard against complacency,’’ SHP coach Tony Martinelli said. “Playing a complete game, playing four quarters is what we’re going to have to do. You’re not going to just show up and win a CCS championship.’’
Aidan Braccia made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 34 points against Scotts Valley. Harrison Carrington scored 22 points. And they did it all in three quarters.
“Aside from the scoring part, Kevin Carney and Jake York did a great job passing the ball,’’ Martinelli said. “Mat Bucher was an energy guy. We don’t have a lot of rim protection, but RJ Stephens did a great job on the boards and with the outlet pass.’’
Scotts Valley (9-6) was the third-place team in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League and advanced to play SHP by defeating San Lorenzo Valley, the SCCAL’s second-place team, 64-54.
“It makes it hard when you’re not able to travel and you’re only able to play other teams in your league,’’ Martinelli said. “Their league was down this year.’’
TKA is led by Noah Short, the WBAL 100-meter champion who is headed to West Point to play football. Short went into Thursday’s game against Menlo averaging 26.8 points per game on the season and scored 31 against the Knights.
“If they’re having success he’s going to be a big part of it,’’ Martinelli said. “The first time we played them he didn’t have his basketball legs, but the second time he was tough to handle.’’