FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
In postseason tournaments, the higher seed usually hosts the lower seed. Then why must the No. 7 seed Montgomery boys team travel to Mountain View to face No. 10 St. Francis in Wednesday’s first-round game of the CIF State Division II Basketball Championships?
“Very simple,” tournament director Brian Seymour said from CIF headquarters in Sacramento. “Our rule is that no matter the seeding order, in the first round, a section winner gets the home game over a non-section winner.
“St. Francis won the Central Coast Section tournament last Saturday while Montgomery lost in the semifinals of North Coast Section. So, St. Francis got the home game. If those teams had met in the second round, the game would be at Montgomery.”
St. Francis will bring a 12-16 record into the state tournament, compared to Montgomery’s 23-8 mark. The Lancers were 4-10 in the West Catholic League while the Vikings were 12-2 in the North Bay League.
Montgomery coach Tom Fitchie hasn’t seen St. Francis play, but he knows the caliber of play in the West Catholic.
“You’ve got high-quality teams like Archbishop Riordan, Serra and Sacred Heart Cathedral in there,” he said. “It’s one of the toughest leagues in Northern California. I guarantee you, St. Francis is much better than its record.”
While the Montgomery boys will have a two-hour drive Wednesday, the No. 5 seed Lady Vikings will be hosting No. 12 Pleasant Valley of Chico at 7 p.m.
The Cardinal Newman boys, the third Santa Rosa team invited to the state tournament, is the top seed in Division IV and received an opening-round bye. The Cardinals will be at home Saturday night and play the winner of Wednesday’s Arcata-Corning game.