The Archbishop Mitty boys basketball team will get an opportunity to defend its Northern California Open Division championship.
Two days after repeating as Central Coast Section Open champions, the Monarchs were seeded No. 3 on Sunday in the six-team NorCal Open Division when the California Interscholastic Federation unveiled its regional brackets.
Mitty will play at home Friday night against North Coast Section Division III runner-up and sixth-seeded El Cerrito, with the winner advancing to play at No. 2 seed Capital Christian of Sacramento on March 18.
Bishop O'Dowd is the Open's top seed. It will play No. 4 Newark Memorial or No. 5 Modesto Christian in its first game.
"We're honored and excited to be in the Open because it means you're regarded as one of the top teams around, and you get to play the best competition," Mitty coach Tim Kennedy said. "You always like to put your best foot forward and see how you do against the best competition."
Serra, the CCS Open Division runner-up, was seeded fourth in Division II. The Padres received an opening-round bye and will play at home Saturday against Montgomery of Santa Rosa or Del Oro of Loomis.
On the girls side, CCS Open Division champion St. Ignatius and runner-up Sacred Heart Cathedral made the NorCal Open Division. The remaining teams that participated in the CCS Open were dropped to their enrollment division for NorCals, including Mitty, the top seed in Division II. Wilcox (Division I) and Presentation (Division II) each received No. 3 seeds.
Three CCS boys teams were among the top four seeds in Division III -- No. 1 SHC, No. 3 Archbishop Riordan and No. 4 Burlingame. Half Moon Bay is the No. 3 seed in Division IV.
As they did last season with 6-foot-8 senior Aaron Gordon leading the way, the Mitty boys seem to be peaking at the right time. The Monarchs have a veteran cast, led by seniors Matt McAndrews, Connor Peterson and JP Rindfleisch, and a blossoming star in Ben Kone, a 6-8 sophomore transfer from Salesian.
"He's a beast," Peterson said of Kone, who had 26 points and 16 rebounds on Friday against Serra. "He's really developed."
El Cerrito lost to Bishop O'Dowd 89-69 on Saturday, but the score was much closer in the opening half.
"It was a two-point game at halftime and seven points all the way to the fourth quarter," Kennedy said. "El Cerrito ran into a lot of foul trouble."