State Tournament Roundup: Mission, Marshall, University girls fall in first round

Mission senior forward Miles Prescott slips between two Center defenders for a layup on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Mission senior forward Miles Prescott slips between two Center defenders for a layup on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Boys Basketball: Center 88, Mission 76

The Mission High School boys basketball team found much of its success this season outrunning opponents, but the Bears encountered a team that could more than keep up in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Division III state playoffs.

Twelfth-seeded Center High School of Antelope consistently beat the Mission full-court pressure defense with ease to score easy buckets, shot just over 62 percent from the floor and scored a staggering 58 points in the paint to take down the fifth-seeded Bears on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion.

The Bears (23-11) got a team-high 17 points from junior point guard Antoine Porter, 16 from senior forward Miles Prescott and 15 from senior forward Gione Edwards, but were outscored in every quarter by the Cougars (22-8), who got a game-high 24 points from senior forward Christopher Smith.

“Given the choice between 2 and 20 feet, I’ll take 2 every time,” Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya said of Center’s performance in the paint. “Our defense has been a problem all year and we can certainly score, but when you play another team that can score, you gotta stop them.”

– Jeremy Balan

Boys Basketball: Cardinal Newman 53, Marshall 51

Marshall head coach Dezebee Miles knew it in his heart, but it was nice to hear from someone new.

His seven-strong Phoenix squad played an inspiring brand of basketball, even in a season-ending defeat — a very painful one.

Marshall (15-15) led most of the way, but couldn’t make shots down the stretch to drop its first-ever state playoff game on the road in Santa Rosa.

Mizell Parker had 15 points and Aumen Holliday 13 for the Phoenix. A 3-pointer by Parker at the buzzer just missed, according to Miles.

“It was hands down a great season,” Miles said. “It really couldn’t have gone any better. We would have loved to win tonight, but when all [is] said and done the boys performed at a phenomenal level – tonight and every night.”

“I had a lot of parents from Cardinal Newman come up afterward and gave us a lot of compliments,” Miles added. “They were very generous. It made the bus ride home a lot better.”

It didn’t help that Marshall was in foul trouble most of the night or that Holliday fouled out with 5:39 remaining.

A short bench got much shorter.

“The thing is we were ahead most of the game,” Miles said. “They just made some big shots down the stretch and we didn’t. I have no complaints though. The boys gave it their best shot.”

– Mitch Stephens

Girls Basketball: Ripon Christian 50, University 41

The seventh-seeded Knights (22-7) led by eight points after the first quarter and by 15 at the half, and the Red Devils (26-6) could not cut the lead below six points in the second half.

University standout senior center Amelia King ended her high school career with a game-high 18 points and freshman guard Katie Lo added 13 points in the losing effort.

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30 Comments on "State Tournament Roundup: Mission, Marshall, University girls fall in first round"

  1. sfpatriot | March 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM |

    Congrats to Mission, Marshall and University, anytime you can make it into the NorCal’s you’ve had a great season! Be Proud!

    Nice to see Mitch Stephens as a guest contributer to this site –Thanks Mitch.

  2. WCAL Alum | March 8, 2012 at 8:59 AM |

    There is a saying that glory can be found in defeat. That description can be said about the 2012 Marshall team.

  3. marshall played a good game.(watch highlights of the game)@!videoid=9bf4e83d-b819-416d-883f-bd3898602470

    • I just saw this video of the Marshall game, and I really think the refs don’t like Marshall for some reason because I saw 2 “and 1’s” in the video and the defender of Marshall didn’t even touch the Cardinal Newman scorer. The same thing happened in the AAA championship game. Marshall should’ve won this game when they had a 8 pt lead. That last 3 at the buzzer by Mizelle Parker looked 1 millimeter short. Great season by Marshall; I think they got shafted in the AAA championship game too.

  4. The Norcal seedings are a joke. If the seedings were legitimate, all of the lower seeds in D3 boys wouldn’t have won all the games. Center shouldn’t have been a 12 seed, they look more like a 6 or 7 seed. Mission should’ve been a 10 seed. SHC girls is a 3 seed, but they will have a tough time vs Miramonte who only lost 1 game all year. If SHC is really a 3 seed, they should play a team that doesn’t have a spectacular record like Miramonte, rather a team with about 8 or 9 losses. Washington lost by 27 to the #4 seed, and I can’t see SHC beating Wash by that many. Lowell a # 2 seed is kind of comical.

    • Lowell only beat WASH by 12, yet the #4 seed beat Wash by 27. How is Lowell seeded higher than the #4 seed El Dorado?

  5. JustSayin | March 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM |

    @JJ – finally found someone that makes sense, just like CCS, Norcal seeding is frustrating.

  6. JustSayin & JJ: Is your frustration mostly the 3 through 12 seeding? 1 & 2 is a 95% lock in the final every year. Why put energy into a topic that really doesnt matter?

    JJ you saw George’s SD31 mixtape? Impressed? Im not which is no surprise.

  7. Last year in CCS, a 4 seed won the D1 boys basketball championship. I hope I’m wrong, but do you really think Lowell will make the Nor-Cal finals since they are a 2 seed? How do they get a 2 seed when their most impressive win was against a .500 SHC team? I think the CIF just pick names out of a hat and place the seeds that way. International was a 8 seed and they blasted the 9 seed by 50. You’d think a 8 vs a 9 seed would be a close game. Then all the road teams in D3 boys won? That’s not supposed to happen if the seedings were legit.

    And yea, I saw the SD31 mix tape…it looked like the same mixtape as the sophomore one, but they just added a couple more 3’s from this season. I think they can make me look good on a mixtape also, cause all they do is show the good shots I made, but no one sees the 10 misses before I made that shot.

  8. @jj the refs were making some right calls at the first half. but after some calls were very questioning. from a different point of perspective it looked like they fouled marshalls buzzer beater and if they made that call. marshalls parker wouldve sunked those free throws putting the team in ot, they wouldve had a better chance.

  9. JJ – well, the understanding (and I could be wrong) is that section champs are usually in the top 5 or so. Yes, some of the AAA squads may have been worse than some of the other section’s runner up’s but it is the system in place. It’s an odd system as the NorCal seems to have 12 teams playing in the tournament while the SoCal runs a 16 team tourney. NorCal should just go with 16, have the NCS go back to the top 2 making the tourney. The sections should then argue for at large berths for the rest of the teams. There are sections with quality teams that belong in the State tournament.

    Plus, it should just be ranked 1 to 16 based on strength, even if section teams meet early. It’s a silly rule which really throws brackets way out of whack.

    • Don L. – It should be that way that sedction champs should be ranked high, but the Washington Boys team last year was ranked 11th out of 11 teams in the norcal tournament. Probably beacuse they do not have a history in the norcal tournament as they have not been in it since they were state runner-up in 1982.

      Plus, dont section champions usually host, washington had to travel last year. but yes it seems like there is a lot that goes into seeding that make you scratch your head.

      • AAA,

        Yeah, Washington is a good point. They were section champs and traveled to the South Bay to play (I went to the game as I was working down there that day).

        Back when Lowell won their first AAA title (2002?) over Burton, they were 1 game over or below 500 overall and had the unfortunate situation of playing OAL runner up McClymonds (had a 6’8″ kid or something that was being recruited by UCONN). Mack had been upset in the OAL finals.

        But Lowell got to HOST the game at Kezar. So, sometimes I’m not sure how the seeding and hosting priorities go.

  10. I think last year’s WASH team was better than this year’s Mission team ( based on overall and league records), yet Mission got a better seed (6 seed), and Washington (like you said) got a 11 seed and had to travel. Inconsistency is what can describe the seeding process. I think a CIF official watches 1 game all season, and if they look impressive, they get a high seed. If they look average, then they get a bad seed. Honestly, that’s how I think they pick the seedings.

    • Last year’s Wash team at least played a little defense.

      I want my $9 back from that Mission norcal game. What a dud of a game. Those kids must’ve been happy to just win the city, which is the wrong mindset to have entering the state tourney.

      How long before an AAA team makes a state title game? 10 years?

      • You didn’t stay to watch the doubleheader with University and Ripon Christian? The SanFranPreps article insinuated that it was a great game. I would’ve went to the game, but I went to the Warriors game which was also a waste of money as they lost by 18. I only watched Mission live one game this whole season, but I knew they didn’t play D when I saw the bonus videos from YAF George. I saw little guards drive right by the Mission bigmen and make easy layups. The bigmen are about 6-4; I’m sure they could’ve blocked the shot if they tried, but I guess they save their energy for offense. and, I doubt an AAA team will get to the title game anytime soon, becuase the “top prospects” will most likely go to Riordan, SHC, or SI as they have better facilities and perhaps better coaching too.

      • SF Alum,

        I’ve thought about that recently. I think it will be a while before an AAA school gets to the title game:

        1. Talent is diluted between AAA, SF WCAL, and SF BCL teams.
        2. AAA is also a bit diluted with 12 schools. In the past, before Wallenberg, ISA and others joined, players from schools with no teams could play with their district schools. If I remember correctly, prior to Wallenberg joining the AAA in 1989, there were only 8 schools and they played a double round robin.

        I do agree with JJ to a certain extent that coaching is a factor. However, I’m semi-split on this. The “top prospects” who go to the privates also tend to have been coached pretty well by CYO or some other club teams.

        The AAA does get some athletic / talented basketball players. Some of the kids are pretty good coming in, but some are raw. Using SF CYO as an example, the SI / SHC / Riordan’s will get the CYO’s top players who usually pretty well coached (especially if they went to schools with established programs).

        The AAA will get the raw athletes who can run up and down but may not know the fundamentals of basketball. That is typical of CYO’s lower divisions where one or two athletes can dominate. But they don’t know when to pass or when to shoot.

        A good coach may be able to teach these raw kids the fundamentals, but these players are already behind the kids who learned them when they were younger. So it’s not 100% a coaching issue in the AAA. They have good athletes but not always good basketball players.

        I don’t see it changing anytime soon. However, I do think the AAA has improved in the past few years. I think there was some major dry spells. At least teams are fairly competitive outside of the AAA and can hang. They might not always win, but at least it won’t be a 25 point blowout.

        • I think it’s going to take 2 division 1 quality players on the same team.

          How many D1 players have come out of the AAA recently? Probably less than 1 per year. So you’re going to need a couple of really good players show up at a public school in the same year, or maybe transfer from a private.

          With the economy weakening there are a lot more kids in public elementary and middle schools that used to go to privates, so that may help.

          • That’s true but Mission has had quite a few players transfer over from private school the last couple of years and I think they have only won one game in the norcal tournament the past three seasons.

      • I don’t forsee a AAA team winning a state title anytime soon. The number #1 reason being that the top young talent is being identified early on and recruited to the private schools. You simply can’t win without the talent. It is important to not forget that the sf privates still represent the City and consist mainly of city kids.

        • Yeah winning a state title will be extra tough that’s why I just said get to state.

          I know city kids go to private schools too but I would just like to see an AAA team get there.

          Maybe a great coach will pop up somewhere in the AAA. I don’t think it’s that far off. Marshall could make noise next year in d4 with a bench, a great summer, and Salesian getting upset.

  11. Sorry I meant to say “When Lowell won their first AAA title in 50+ years”

  12. marshall will be favored next year and will win city and make it past the first round state. ask me how i know. well they will be returning 4 of their starters and they will probably have a full bench. ask me how i know , the kids @marshall havent seen them go to city and states, when they saw this it boosted their morale and wanted to play next year.

    • They had a fantastic year this year. Fun to watch and a couple of really good players. My only bone to pick was shot selection from the guards.

      • yes, they really did and they are hgoping for another one next year, and yea they were making some bad decision with the ball.

  13. merkinworld | March 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM |

    The Santa Press Democrat has a decent article and some nice photos of the Marshall/CN game.

  14. Doc Holliday | May 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM |

    Well Jeremy Balan i got a response, first I did not know you were the one making the selections but oh well. Let me give some history of my self I am a San Francisco native, attended John O’Connell, in 1978 received a scholarship to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. received my BA dgreee.i currently own a team in
    t he San Francisco Summer Pro League since 1998 I trained and mentored 1000’s of youths to get D 1 Scholarships opportunity’s. every year to date, our season begins june 14th a @ Kesar 8pm. From AAU -College i have coached as well. And Coached Magic Johnson All Star Team with 4 NBA players Several Mac Donald All Americans as my players, So when you ask if I am blind all i can say is no are you. My son has recived 27 letters from schools so far from 18 D-1 and 9 D-2 in basetball the rest are not worth mentioning Now i ask what are you looking at.

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