NCS basketball quarterfinal previews: Girls

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Note: The quarterfinal winners will qualify for the NorCal playoffs.

FRIDAY’S GAMES
Division II
No. 4 Alameda (20-8) at No. 5 Montgomery (23-6), 6:30 p.m.
About Alameda: Khyra Conerly, a 5-9 combo guard, has signed with Northern Arizona. Conerly had 12 points in a first-round win over Concord and guard Ce Ce Nguyen came off the bench to score 15. Conerly was the Alameda Contra Coast League MVP … the Hornets have won seven straight … Alameda beat Casa Grande, 74-59, on Dec. 10. Montgomery beat Casa Grande, 48-39, on Jan. 18. Casa Grande is the No. 9 seed in Division II.
About Montgomery: The Vikings have won 14 straight, their longest streak since winning 19 in a row during the 2006-07 season … Montgomery has eight straight 20-win seasons and has won at least one NCS playoff game in five of the past six years … coach Steve Bell said junior guard Natalie Newkirk (9.7 points) is questionable with a strained left knee. Newkirk did not play in a 70-47 first-round win over Hayward … junior forward Anandi Jimenez, the North Bay League MVP, is averaging 14.4 points and 9.1 rebounds a game, both team-highs … junior guard Sarah Fitzgerald scored 16 points, 10 above her season average, in the win against Hayward.

No. 7 Windsor (16-11) at No. 2 Northgate (23-3), 7:30 p.m.
About Windsor: The Jaguars are led by a trio of first-team all-SCL senior guards — Cynthia Arata (17.2 points a game), Jenna Reed (12.7) and Haley Palmer (10.0) … Windsor coach Joe Passalacqua says his team matches up well with Northgate. The teams are similar in size and the Broncos employ an aggressive press, “One of our strengths is our ability to handle the press,” Passalacqua said. “That could play to our strength if they keep doing that to us.” … Windsor starts four seniors and one junior … the Jaguars’ 50-40 first-round win over Clayton Valley was its first NCS playoff win in four years.
About Northgate: The Broncos have lost to Carondelet in the Division II finals the past two years . . . Northgate has a record of 117-23 the past five seasons … senior point guard Courtney Hamilton is averaging 14.1 points a game and junior shooting guard Kayla Galanter (13.2) has made 47 percent of her 3-pointers (64 of 136) … the Broncos don’t have a regular starter over 5-8 … four players are averaging over 9 points a game … Northgate beat Petaluma, 54-53, on a last-second shot on Dec. 8. Petaluma is the No. 11 seed in Division II.

No. 9 Casa Grande (20-9) at No. 1 Carondelet (21-5), 6:30 p.m.
About Casa Grande: The Gauchos went 8-17 last year and their resurgence has been headlined by two sophomores: forward Gretchen Harrigan and guard Stephanie Sack, both two-year starters. Harrigan is averaging 18.1 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Sack is averaging 10.3 points … senior forward Julia Cratty (6.8 points) has scored in double figures in three straight games.
About Carondelet: The Cougars have won six of the past seven NCS Division II titles and reached the state championship game last year. Carondelt returns four starters from last year’s team … 6-foot-2 junior forward Erica Payne is regarded as one of the top 25 prospects in the nation in the Class of 2011 … senior shooting guard Ricki Radanovich has signed with Santa Clara.

No. 11 Petaluma (15-13) at No. 3 Dublin (20-6), 7:30 p.m.
About Petaluma: The Trojans went on an 11-0 run to erase a four-point fourth-quarter deficit Tuesday in a 52-45 first-round upset of No. 6 Eureka. Senior forward Naomi Singleton hit three straight 3-pointers during the momentum-shifting run . . . senior forward Brittnie Bond led the Trojans with 14 points against Eureka and Singleton had 13 . . . senior forward Jordy Baddeley leads Petaluma with 7.6 points a game and senior guard Holly Bacon averages 7.5 . . . junior guard Lindsey Stoll (7.4) is questionable with the flu.
About Dublin: Five of the Gaels’ loss have come against Dougherty Valley (No. 2 seed in Div. III), Miramonte (No. 3 seed in Div. III) and St. Mary’s of Stockton, ranked No. 1 in the state . . . Dublin has had four straight 20-win seasons . . . the Gaels are led by senior forward Chereese Thomas, but could be without two other standout post players in Catherine Kruschke and Alexous Robinson, who have battled injuries this season. Their status for the game is uncertain.

Division III
No. 3 Miramonte (20-6) at No. 6 Analy (20-6), 6:30 p.m.
About Miramonte: The Matadors have won four Division III titles since 2002 . . . 6-3 center Stephanie Golden has signed with Gonzaga . . . senior point guard Liza Katz is a first-team Diablo Foothill League selection . . . Miramonte has a 160-38 record the past six years.
About Analy: Senior guard Jen Tsurumoto, the Sonoma County League MVP, is averaging 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.8 steals a game . . . senior center Shelby Paolino (6.7 points) leads the Tigers with 10.3 rebounds a game and senior guard Katie Lowry (10.3) has made 36 percent of her 3-pointers (29 of 81) . . . Analy lost to Doughtery Valley, 53-52, in the first round last year.