NorCal playoff primer

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Like high school basketball coaches from Woodland Hills to Weed, I was scrambling to track down information after the brackets for the CIF State Basketball Tournament were released tonight.
(By the way, the brackets were supposed to be posted at 5 p.m. on the CIF’s Web site. They arrived at about 5:20 p.m. Now, we’re used to getting our information justlikethis these days. So maybe that’s why I found myself getting abnormally irate as I kept clicking refresh for 20 minutes. “Where are they! They’re supposed to be here now! Right now! They promised!” Refresh. Call CIF office while refreshing. Get more livid when no one answers. Violently refresh etc.)
Anyway, here’s a little bit of this and that on the first-round opponents:

BOYS
Division II
No. 11 Montgomery (23-7) at No. 6 Oakmont (22-7)
* Oakmont is large. The Vikings (yes, the Vikings) have a starting lineup that averages 6-5, headlined by 6-8 senior Tony Gill, who is one of their top outside shooters.
* Oakmont doesn’t have much depth. Montgomery coach Tom Fitchie hopes to get some of their starters in foul trouble and get into their bench.
* These stats are prior to their Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal game: Gill (18.7 points, 10.5 rebounds); 6-6 junior forward J.T. Adenrele (11.4 points, 9 rebounds, 3.8 blocks), 6-3 senior point guard Fred Mobley (11.8 points) and 6-2 senior guard Alex Ford (11.5 points).
* Oakmont isn’t exactly accustomed to postseason pressure. The Vikings have snapped a five-year streak of non-winning seasons. They went 7-19 last year and had a record of 36-92 from 2005-09.
* Sounds like Oakmont’s student section is excited to finally be cheering for a winner. Here’s what Gill told the Sacramento Bee: “Have you seen our rooting section, ‘The O-zone’? We’ve played in a lot of gyms, but ours is by far the loudest.”
* The Vikings were the No. 4 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. They beat top-seeded Fairfield, 56-54, in the semifinals.
* If Montgomery wins, it would play No. 3 Redwood of Larkspur. Redwood won the NCS title as the No. 2 seed. Montgomery was seeded No. 1.

Division III
No. 11 Analy (29-2) at No. 6 Center (26-3)
* Center doesn’t have much depth. The Cougars used six players in a triple-overtime loss to Vista del Lago in the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals. Think about that. Three overtimes — that’s 44 minutes — and one reserve played. OK, keep thinking about it for a few more minutes before moving on …
* Center has four players averaging in double figures: 6-8 senior center Connor Haysbert (14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds); 6-3 senior guard Elliot Herald (14.3, 5.8); 6-2 senior forward Andres Martinez (12.0 points) and 6-7 junior forward Chad Haysbert (10.9, 8.0).
* The Cougars’ starting lineup averages 6-4. In its NCS semifinal loss to Miramonte, Analy’s starting lineup averaged 5-10.
* Center had a 24-2 regular-season record, but was handed a No. 6 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. As you might guess, the Capital Valley Conference, which the Cougars won, had a down year. Only three of the CVC’s eight teams had winning records and only Center and Consumnes Oaks won a playoff game.
* Center hadn’t won a conference title since 1992. The Cougars have tied the school’s 22-year-old record for wins in a season.
* The Cougars are allowing a school-record 48 points a game, breaking the mark of 51.7 set last year.
* Connor Haysbert suffered a sprained left ankle in practice on Feb. 23. He didn’t miss a game due to the injury.
* If Analy wins, it would play No. 3 Enterprise of Redding. Tigers coach Brett Page said Analy played Enterprise during the summer and lost in the final seconds. Page acknowledged that both teams were probably missing some players, but thinks they would be fairly evenly matched.

GIRLS
No. 10 Montgomery (24-7) at No. 7 St. Francis of Sacramento (22-8)
* St. Francis has won seven section titles and has five straight 20-win seasons. They have a 116-38 record in the past five years.
* The Troubadors (I’m so tired of this mascot) were the No. 1 seed in the SJS Section playoffs, but didn’t exactly dominate. They beat No. 8 Valley, 67-63, in overtime in the quarterfinals and lost to No. 3 Vallejo, 67-64, in the finals.
* Montgomery also visited St. Francis in the first round of the NorCal playoffs in 2007. The Vikings won, 49-40.
* If the Vikings win, they would play No. 2 Carondelet, which beat them, 73-31, in the NCS semifinals. Carondelet is without its leading scorer, Ricki Radanovich, a 5-10 senior guard who has signed with Santa Clara. Radanovich suffered two broken bones in her forearm in an 83-41 win over Northgate in the NCS finals.