SANTA CLARA -- Once Serra High got Michael Smith in foul trouble, the game was as good as over.
Smith, El Camino's standout frontcourt player, picked up his fourth foul in the first minute of the fourth quarter with the game tied. El Camino coach Archie Junio was forced to move Smith off his defensive assignment on Serra standout Henry Caruso. And once that happened, the Princeton-bound Caruso went off.
Caruso scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as Serra (24-4) came from behind for a 74-66 victory in the Central Coast Section Open Division quarterfinals Friday.
"Once (Smith) got his third foul, we went inside to Henry to try to get him his fourth foul," Serra coach Chuck Rapp said. "And once he got his fourth foul, we kept going inside and were able to get some mismatches on the block."
El Camino, the No. 7 seed in the inaugural Open Division playoffs, led for most of the first three quarters. No. 2 Serra finally drew even at the end of the third quarter.
"We came out flat," Rapp said. "We had a week off, and playing at 5:30 is different. But that's no excuse. You only get one mulligan, one get out of jail card, and this was it. In the second half, we started getting some 50-50 balls."
The Colts were up 37-30 at halftime behind 13 points from Smith and 10 from point guard Elijah White. Smith finished with 27, White with 19. The 5-foot-8 White's ability to penetrate helped him get to the free-throw line, where he went 12 of 14.
"Those two are hard covers," Rapp said. "They are very skillful guys. They are hard to keep in front of you."
Serra point guard Andre Miller's main responsibility was on defense, shadowing White, but Miller still scored 11 points. Shooting guard Jacqui Biggins gave the Padres a big boost with 23 points.
Serra went 27 of 33 at the foul line, El Camino 16 of 20.
Sacred Heart Cathedral 51, Piedmont Hills 37: The Fighting Irish blew open the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Pirates 22-6 to build a 40-22 advantage at halftime.
SHC (17-10), which will play Serra in the Open Division semifinals Wednesday at Independence, came out hot, hitting four 3-pointers in the game's opening minutes.
Piedmont Hills (22-6), led by Walter Bateast's nine first-quarter points, responded to make it 18-16 at the end of the quarter.
But the second quarter was all Irish, as they carved up the 1-3-1 zone Piedmont Hills tried to use, hitting shots from outside and then moving the ball inside when Piedmont Hills tried to extend on shooters.
"We handled their zone pretty well in the second quarter," SHC coach Darrell Barbour said. "When we move the ball and share the ball, we're pretty good."
Neither team did much in the second half. SHC scored only 11 second-half points but was never threatened as the Pirates scored only 15.
Sophomore David Parsons led SHC with 13 points, all in the first half. Bateast led all scorers with 17 points.
For more on high school sports, see the After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Contact Glenn Reeves at 650-348-4345 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/GReeves23.