Basketball season is winding down quickly, and the Los Angeles City Section remains well represented in the CIF State Tournament with five teams still alive. Unfortunately, the best case scenario for the Southern Regional Finals is four making it through, as we will have a City-on-City victim on Tuesday evening.
Open Division preview is HERE.
Division I wasn’t very kind to the City Section, as all three sides were eliminated, two of which by the Pasadena Bulldogs. As a result, they will be my adopted side. A date against the Huskies won’t be easy, as Chino Hills held the Bulldogs off 72-56 in the championship game of the Southern Section Div I title.
With five common opponents on the year, both sides defeated George Washington Prep, Damien and Rancho Verde. Pasadena upped Centennial, who Chino Hills split against while both sides lost versus fourth-seeded Rancho Christian.
Coach Tony Brooks relies on his stud guard duo of Bryce Hamilton and Darius Brown II. The former averages well over 20 points a contest, while Brown II had 20 assists in the victory over Taft.
On the flip side, Coach Dennis Latimore has a solid duo of Andre Ball (cousin of the famous Ball’s) and “Big” Onyeka Okongu, surrounded by a perfect set of glue guys.
Prediction: Bryce Hamilton starts out on fire, putting his side on his back to a 75-62 margin of victory.
With a bye week, the Braves struggled to hold off the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits in the regional quarterfinals and will need to shake that rust off as Rancho Christian won their first two matches by 23 and 16-points respectively.
Coming down to common opponents, Rancho Christian has victories over Etiwanda, JSerra Catholic and Santa Margarita, while Bosco lost to Etiwanda, split against JSerra and went 1-2 versus Santa Margarita.
It’s going to be an entertaining battle between the Mobley Brothers going up against Alpha Okoli and Jonathan Salazar, who may be the deciding factor of the contest.
Prediction: Having already beat Rancho Christian twice, Saint John Bosco is able to hold them off for the third time as Salazar has a big game, 69-63.