Saturday two local teams continue the quest for a State Basketball Championship.   Those two teams, of course, are the Cardinal Newman Boys and SRJC Women.
I guess I am considered a member of the press (wink wink).
But I look at myself as a fan first and the press thing second and the difference of first and second is a wide margin.
When the league races are going, I have trained myself to stay neutral.  Of sure, deep inside I do have a rooter interest, but I don’t let that get in the way when reporting on an event.
As I have said I went to Cloverdale and my kids have gone and go to Santa Rosa.
Speaking of Santa Rosa, Morgan Bertsch is at it again.   Since her basketball season has ended she has been in two track meets.
Her specialty is the high jump in which she finished sixth in the State Meet last year.
In the first meet this season, she reached 5’ 7”, setting a new school record in the process.  After the meet she commented that she had a goal going into the season to break the school record.
Even though she reached her goal, she decided to continue with her season.
Maybe she changed her goal to re-break the school record in each meet.
She is still on pace for that.
In the second meet on Wednesday, she cleared 5’ 9”, which is the state best so far in this young season.
Last year in state she cleared 5’ 5”.    The winning jump was 5’ 10”.
This is a way of saying that we will be keeping an eye on this along with all the spring sports which are well underway.
Stay tuned.
NOTE:  Wrote the Bertsch update before knowing about the article posted at this website.
But this is the State playoff preview and back to the fan thing:
Good Luck to both Cardinal Newman and the SRJC Women.
This website is based in Sonoma County and when the teams from this area start playing teams from other areas, I have no problem letting the fan come out.
One of my biggest rooting interest is the SRJC Women.   I must admit the rooting has been from afar because I haven’t seen many of the games because of the high school coverage.   But I did see most of these players when they were in high school.
It is amazing what they have done.   They are in the State Final four for the second time in three years.  They are the shining example of a local team.
The reason I saw most of these players in high schoo, is because the roster is filled with local players.  They have twelve players of the roster, eight of them played in the North Bay League or the Sonoma County League.   Three others went to Cloverdale, Kelseyville and Rincon Valley Christian.
While they were in high school, that roster won a combined one North Coast Section Championship.   That was Arianna Hanson, who was on the 2010 championship team at Rincon Valley Christian who went 30-2.
So they are basically a Local All Star team, that had several league championships, but like it is around here in the high school world, not much when it comes to winning Section Champions.
Put them together and they are two wins away from its second state title in the three years.
It isn’t like they have raided one school.  The eleven players are from nine different schools, with two each from Maria Carrillo and Rancho Cotate.
If you looking for one dominant superstar who is leading this team, you looking at the wrong team.  The leading scorer is Whitney Edens, who went to Cloverdale, at 10.3.  That is No. 16 in their LEAGUE.  Not the state, but their league.
Think about that for a second.  Five other teams in the league have at least two players with a higher average than Edens.
Oh by the way, SRJC tied for the league championship.
Among the state’s leading scorer, the state website has a list of the top fifty.    No. 50 is averaging 13.8.   That is over three points higher than Edens.
SRJC is No. 1 in one category.   They have given up an average of 44.1 points a game, which is No. 1 in the STATE.  Not the league, but the state.
They got to this point by being a team and being the best at stopping an opponent.
They will be at Cosumnes River in Sacramento  and meet Mount San Jacinto in the second semi-final game  at 7 pm.
SRJC goes into the game with a 27-6 record and even though they were the No. 1 seed in the North Bracket, go into the final four as an underdog.   The other three teams in the tournament lost a combined five games, including Mt. San Antonio who is 32-0.  The South No. 1 seed plays in Semi-Final game at 3 pm against Fresno who is 30-3.
Mt. San Jacinto will be looking for its 30th win of the season against two losses.    They were the No. 3 seed in the South Bracket and were the only single figure seed on that side of the bracket to make the Semi-Finals.   The other three were seeded No. 10, 11 and 15.
When you are looking for a member of the SRJC team in the list of state leading scorers you have a hard time finding one.   It isn’t so hard finding a player from Mt. San Jacinto.
Tina Fantroy is third in the state averaging 21.7 a game.    Believe it or not, she had a 50 point game in a 76-69 win over Chaffey.   That wasn’t a bad team who went 20-9, came in third place in their league and was ranked 13th in the state.
Fantroy has hit the twenty point mark in five of the last six games and a total of 17 times on the season.
It is time to compare those numbers with SRJC.
No two players on SRJC added together equals as many points per game as Fantroy and as a team they have hit the 20 point mark twice, one by Edens and one by Anandi Jimenez, who went to Montgomery.
Mt. San Jacinto is fifth in the state in scoring averaging 72 points a game.  Santa Rosa is No. 42 at 59.
Mt. San Jacinto is No. 31 in the state in points allowed.
They lost to Fresno back in December and have a 14 game winning streak since losing to San Bernadino 57-44.   San Bernadino finished second it the same league and missed being in the Final Four by one game losing to No. 1 Mt. San Antonio 59-53.
The winners meet for the state championship on Sunday at 3:30.
That will be after the Men Championship Game which starts at 1 pm.   That will be between the two south schools Mt. San Antonio and Chaffey.  Chaffey stunned San Francisco in the second semi-final game 87-85.  San Francisco ends the season 31-1.
About the time that the SRJC Women tip off its game, Cardinal Newman will know whether they will be playing it the state championship game or the season will be over.   They start its Nor Cal Championship game at 4 pm at American Canyon High School when they meet Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco.
Cardinal Newman goes into the game with a 31-3 record.  A win will not only give them a school record in wins, but its fourth Nor Cal Championship.
They meet an Archbishop Riordan team that had the worst record (20-11) in the division percentage wise and the second least wins.
This is the part of the presentation that it is reminded, don’t get fooled by the record.
If that sounds familiar, it should.   It was the same line used when Montgomery was meeting St. Francis and its 12-16 record in the first round of the Division 2 Nor Cal playoffs.
That is not the only common factor.
Archbishop Riordan was in West Catholic league, which is the same league as St. Francis who finished 4-10. Archbishop Riordan finished 7-7.
Mitty, who is in the Open semi-final won the league.  Riordan went 2-0 against St. Francis, winning the two games by a combined seven points.
Against Mitty they lost all three, two of them by single digits.
Riordan was the No. 4 in the Central Coast Open Division in which they lost to Mitty 59-51 in the second round.  They followed that up with a consolation bracket loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral 57-42.  Sacred Heart Cathedral is also still going, meeting Campolindo in the Division 3 championship game which starts at 8 pm at American Canyon High School, which is one game after the Newman game.
Archbishop Riordan has already survived one game.  In the last game they hit a buzzer beater to edge Marin Catholic 49-48.
If that hasn’t convince you not to take the record for granted, Archbishop Riordan has a power ranking higher than Cardinal Newman.



TIME:  4 pm

No. 1 Cardinal Newman (31-3) vs. No. 2 Archbishop Riordan (20-11)

The winner places for the Division 4 State Championship on Saturday March 23rd at noon in Sacramento



GAME 1:  Mt. San Antonio (32-0) vs. Fresno City (30-3)…5 pm

GAME 2:  SRJC (27-6) vs. Mount San Jacinto (29-2)…7 pm

The winners play for the state championship Sunday at 3: 30 pm

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