Three boys’ and two girls’ Catholicrnhigh school basketball teams will play this weekend for CIF-Southern Sectionrnchampionships, topped by the Open Division boys’ title game Friday nightrnfeaturing Mater Dei against Sierra Canyon.
Trinity League champ Mater Dei hasn’trnlost since Jan. 15, at the Spalding Hoopball Classic in Springfield, Mass., tornMontverde Academy of Florida, and has won 11 games straight. Sierra Canyon,rnrated 19th nationally by Maxpreps, features Cassius Stanley, the No.rn2-rated shooting guard in the U.S., and the sons of four former NBA playersrnincluding Scotty Pippen (son of Chicago Bulls’ Hall-of-Famer Scottie).
A look at each game, in chronologicalrnorder:
—March 2, 6 p.m., Boys’ D-3A: BishoprnAmat (26-5) vs. Notre Dame/Riverside (27-3), at Azusa Pacific University. Thernthird-ranked Lancers of La Puente — whose lone CIF-SS title came in 2002 — edgedrnBuena, 54-53, to gain the final against the No. 1-ranked Titans, winners of 20rnstraight and unbeaten (14-0) in the Ambassador League. Bishop Amat has won 18rnof its last 20, losing only to Camino Real League champ St. Anthony.
—March 2, 8:30 p.m., Boys’ Open: MaterrnDei (22-6) vs. Sierra Canyon (23-3), at Cal State Long Beach. The third-seededrnMonarchs of Santa Ana — with 22 CIF-SS titles to their credit under coach GaryrnMcKnight — earned their way to the Open Division title game with a 76-66rnsemifinal win over second-seeded Etiwanda. Fifth-seeded Sierra Canyon ofrnChatsworth upset previously unbeaten Bishop Montgomery in a 77-74 overtimernthriller.
—March 3, 10 a.m., Girls’ D-5AA: St.rnPius X-St. Matthias Academy (14-13) vs. Grace Brethren (22-3), at Godinez HS,rnSanta Ana. The Warriors of Downey, the surprise of the tournament, upsetrnAnaheim 39-37 in the semis, and have rebounded from three three-game losingrnstreaks to win their last five straight as they seek their first CIFrnchampionship against Grace Brethren of Simi Valley, winners of the FrontierrnLeague.
—March 3, 6 p.m., Girls’ D-1: Chaminadern(21-7) vs. West Torrance (26-4), at Azusa Pacific University. The Eagles ofrnWest Hills — who edged Alemany 48-44 to gain the final — were ranked No. 1 atrnseason’s end (West Torrance was sixth) and have enjoyed recent success underrncoach Kelli DiMuro, winning CIF 3A titles in 2013 and Open Division titles inrn2015 and 2016, as well as state titles in 2014 (D-II) and 2016 (Open).
—Marchrn3, 6 p.m., Boys’ D-4AA: St. Bonaventure (22-6) vs. Hillcrest (29-3), at GodinezrnHS. The Tri-Valley League champion Seraphs of Ventura were ranked tenth at thernend of the season and have won 19 of their last 20, beating Segerstrom 63-58 inrnthe semis. Hillcrest of Riverside, ranked No. 1 in 4AA, has won 15 straight andrnwas unbeaten in winning the River Valley League.