The young Berkeley High girls basketball team showed its poise in a 68-62 overtime win over visiting McClatchy-Sacramento on March 15 in a California Interscholastic Federation Division I Northern regional quarterfinal game.
Without senior star Desire Finnie, who had fouled out early in the extra session, No. 4 Berkeley outscored fifth-seeded McClatchy 11-5 in overtime to advance to the semifinals on March 18 against No. 1 Deer Valley. Berkeley beat Deer Valley 63-61 to move on to the Division I Northern regional championship game on March 22 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The start time is 2 p.m.
On March 15, Finnie scored the final 10 points for her team in regulation to give Berkeley a 57-55 lead with the clock winding down. But dominant McClatchy forward Destiney Lee (23 points) scored a bullish bucket down low with just a few seconds left in the fourth quarter to send it to overtime.
After Finnie (21 points) fouled out early in the extra period, Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman took over, hitting 9 of 10 free throws to help Berkeley (23-8) close out the victory. Welch-Coleman, a speedy junior guard, finished with a game-high 27 points.
"We expect that out of her," Draper said of Welch-Coleman. "This is the first time that the young ones ever had to finish a game without Desire on the floor. So, they grew up a little bit."
The Yellowjackets beat Skyline 64-40 in the first round on March 12 behind 24 points from Finnie and 16 from Welch-Coleman.
St. Mary's 48, Sacramento 32: Lockdown defense and double-doubles from McDonald's All-Americans Gabby Green and Mikayla Cowling keyed host St. Mary's to a win in the first round of the CIF Open Division Northern regional playoffs on March 14.
The Panthers held the Dragons to just 17 points through three quarters to advance to the semifinals for a second straight year. St. Mary's faced rival Salesian for the fifth time this season on March 18 and fell 61-42. The Panthers ended their season with a 27-8 record.
On March 14, Cowling had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Green finished with 11 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
St. Mary's (27-7) threatened to run past Sacramento (23-9) early, leading 16-5 after a quarter. But the Panthers' offense struggled after their strong start, settling for jump shots with Sacramento's 6-foot-4 post Ayanna Edwards defending the paint.
"We have to not rush shots and make them play defense," said Green, who said she's not bothered at all by a shoulder injury that recently kept her out of action for several weeks.
St. Mary's led 34-17 entering the fourth quarter when Aliceah Hernandez led Sacramento on a 7-0 run, getting within 34-24 with 5:05 to play.
The Panthers responded with Green's old-fashioned three-point play, then made eight straight free throws to put the game away.
But the story was the Panthers' defense, which held a Sacramento team with four Division I-bound starters and four straight Sac-Joaquin Section championships to just 32 points.
St. Mary's coach Nate Fripp said his team has been focusing primarily on defense for the past three weeks.
"We're starting to get into it," Fripp said. "Every team has to have an identity and we think we should just be a defensive team."
Ma'Ane Mosley added 14 points and eight rebounds for St. Mary's.
-- Stephanie Hammon
Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 67, El Cerrito 58: Throughout last week, El Cerrito coach Michael Booker told his players to watch out for Archbishop Mitty point guard Matt McAndrews.
"He is the key to what they do," Booker said.
For the first 12 minutes, the players responded to their coach's scouting report as they built a 10-point lead. But after that, it was all McAndrews and Mitty as the Monarchs advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Open Division Northern regional playoffs with the win on March 14.
McAndrews led Mitty with 32 points. Ben Kone, a 6-foot-8 sophomore transfer from Salesian, added 14 points and 18 rebounds.
Sayeed Pridgett had 23 points for El Cerrito (28-5), which ended its season with consecutive losses after it fell to Bishop O'Dowd in the North Coast Section Division III title game on March 8.
"They're a good team," Booker said of Mitty. "They're the defending champions. They don't get rattled. I think we got rattled towards the end of the second quarter, and it mushroomed from there. We could just never recover once they had the lead."
El Cerrito got off to a good start, clamping down defensively on Mitty's best perimeter shooters while opening a 25-15 lead midway through the second quarter.
But momentum quickly swung as Peterson drilled a 3-pointer and McAndrews scored on back-to-back possessions. Mitty closed the half on a 17-4 run to take a 32-29 lead into the locker room.
El Cerrito was still within four points at 37-33 midway through the third quarter, but another Mitty surge essentially put away the game.
-- Darren Sabedra