SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Interscholastic Federation's Sac-Joaquin High School Basketball Section playoffs tip-off on Friday, as the Sheldon boys and St. Mary's girls headline as the Division I's top seeds.
The Sheldon Huskies (21-5) completed their sensational season with a second win over their rival, the Pleasant Grove Eagles (21-5) on Tuesday to win the Delta River League title. The Eagles pick up No. 2 seed in D-I.
Sacramento (21-6), Modesto Christian (24-3), Colfax (22-5), Central Catholic (24-3) and Faith Christian (22-5) are the other top boys seeds in Division II-VI.
Complete Division I-VI Boys Brackets:
Division I Bracket: This bracket seems destined for third matchup between the number one and two teams. (1) Sheldon Huskies have defeated (2) Pleasant Grove in the prior two match-ups in the regular season. The Huskies are looking to make a run to return to the State Championship, where they fell to Mater Dei (Santa Ana). Providing stiff competition would be in the lower half of the bracket with (3) Bella Vista and (6) Lincoln-Stockton.
Division II Bracket: Head coach Derek Swafford leads the Sacramento Dragons to an easy No. 1 seed in Division II. Sac High began the season with two losses to Deer Valley and Dublin, but then quickly turned around the season by winning the next six. The St. Mary's Rams (20-7) earned the second seed over the (3) Antelope Titans (21-6), who went undefeated (10-0) in the Capital League. This bracket could be the most unpredictable with others to watch like (4) Grant, (5) Cosumnes Oaks and (6) Burbank. (10) Laguna Creek (15-12) with junior Malik Pope, one of the nation's top blue chip prospects would likely have finished higher, but he suffered a season-ending injury when he fractured tibia suffered at a pep rally.
Division III Bracket: Yet again, the Modesto Christian Crusaders earn the top seed in Division III and are expected to fly throughout the bracket. The three losses on the season cam against steep competition. A two-point heartbreaker to Redondo Union (Redondo Beach), El Camino Real (Woodland Hills), and California powerhouse Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland). Manteca's Sierra (23-4) comes in as the No 2. seed.
Division IV Bracket: The Colfax Falcons (22-5) are top of the Division IV bracket but the Pioneer Valley champions dropped two games to Lincoln and Foothill in league play. Summerville of Tuolumne could be a lethal threat in the D-IV bracket with a stellar record of 21-3 and are undefeated in 2013.
Division V Bracket
Division VI Bracket
St. Mary's (25-2), Sacramento (23-4), Christian Brothers (20-7), Bear River (23-3), Brookside Christian (23-4) and Victory Christian (19-5) are the Sac-Joaquin Girls Basketball Division I-VI top seeds
Complete Division I-VI Girls Brackets:
Division I Bracket: Once again, the St. Mary's Rams earn the top-seed in Division I, looking to make it back to another State final. Last season, the lady Rams fell to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. As they seem to do each season, they should cruise through the Division I Section playoffs. The only two losses on their season came in a three-point heartbreaker to Ft. Lauderdale's Dillard High in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona, and to Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd last week. (2) Oak Ridge and (3) Kennedy will look to surprise the bracket and upset the Rams quest for the Section title.
Division II Bracket: The Sacramento lady Dragons again are the top-seed in Division II. Once again they went undefeated in the Metro League and have strung together eight straight victories, since suffering a loss to San Jose powerhouse Archbishop Mitty. It is expected that the Dragons will cruise once again to another Section Title.
Division III Bracket: Modesto Christian usually owns the top-seed in D-III, yet this season Christian Brothers holds that honor after a very successful 20-7 season. The Falcons were perfect in the Captial Valley League and have won eight straight following a loss to Oakland Tech. Vanden of Fairfield pick up the second seed and Rio Americano takes the third seed. As for the Crudsaders, after a 19-8 season, they earn the sixth seed and will host (11) Vista del Lago in the opening round.
Division IV Bracket: Grass Valley's Bear River has been one of the pleasant stories in girls basketball this season. They began their great season with a shocking win over Oakland's McClymonds. They suffered three losses to league rival and No. 2 seed Colfax, D-III third seed Rio Americano and Placer. Another meeting with Colfax is predicted in the D-IV bracket.
Division V Bracket: Junior Tiara Tucker leads her Brookside Christian Knights to another top seed in Division V. Her 29.3 points per game is hard to compete with and the Knights are expected to win another Section Title with ease.
Division VI Bracket
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net