Cif basketball o’dowd, mitty headline regional finals card at scu west la college financial aid office

Two weeks after the central coast section filled santa clara university’s leavey center for its open division finals, high school basketball returns to the facility saturday with four regional championship games, headlined by the storied bishop O’dowd boys and national no. 1 archbishop mitty girls.

How about the palo alto boys and pinewood, miramonte and sacred heart cathedral girls, all of which went on the road during the regionals and beat higher-seeded teams to reach this stage?

How about five who have won it all — mitty’s sue phillips and pinewood’s doc scheppler (six state titles apiece) and O’dowd’s lou richie, palo alto’s peter diepenbrock and SHC’s lyryan russell (one apiece)?

• O’dowd is aiming to return to the open state final for the first time since the ivan rabb-led dragons hoisted the premier trophy in 2015, when this team’s seniors were freshmen.Regional final

But to get there, O’dowd will have to get past sac-joaquin section division I runner-up sheldon-sacramento, which is back at SCU one year after losing a heartbreaker to woodcreek-roseville in the open regional final.

“you always talk about leaving your legacy,” O’dowd senior ross williams said after the dragons edged modesto christian 61-58 in a tense, thrilling semifinal at laney college in oakland. “right now, with the seniors at bishop O’dowd, we just want to leave our legacy and that’s all.”

• the mitty girls are two wins from quite a legacy — an undefeated season and the storied program’s first open state title, a championship that slipped through the team’s grasp in a crushing state-final loss to clovis west last season.

But standing in mitty’s way saturday is old rival pinewood, which has played mitty in the CCS open final at SCU in each of the past three seasons, losing all three.Regional final

That includes a 76-62 loss on march 2 when mitty’s ania mcnicholas and hunter hernandez combined for 35 points — 22 above their combined season average.

“that was kind of the plan going in, ‘OK, we’re going to let the prove-it-to-mes prove it,’” scheppler said late tuesday night. “and they did.”

“that one run that was like six empties for us and three threes and three twos for them,” scheppler said. “it was like 22-12, 28-22. We just had a lead. What happened?”

• pinewood reached the final saturday with an upset win tuesday over second-seeded st. Mary’s-stockton, the second time in three years that the panthers have taken down st. Mary’s on the road in a regional semifinal.

One year after losing at SCU in overtime to james logan in the division I regional final, palo alto returns to the division I final, this time against a las lomas team that gave O’dowd a challenge in the north coast section division II final two weekends ago.Home saturday

Palo alto has followed a similar path to the regional final as last season, beating the no. 1 seed in division I (heritage this year) in the quarterfinals on the road.

“it’s quite the accomplishment,” diepenbrock said wednesday. “all it takes is one night, you never know. These guys have been incredibly consistent the last four months. Really it took one pretty amazing shooting performance by mitty to give us the one loss that we’ve had in the last three months.”

Mitty hit 14 shots from beyond the 3-point arc to beat palo alto in the CCS open division semifinals and won two regional games at home before running into the opponent that palo alto will face saturday.

• las lomas (30-3) has had a storybook and historic season, one that began with 15 consecutive victories, reset after back-to-back midseason losses to st.Regional final patrick-st. Vincent and clayton valley charter and picked up steam through the payoffs with win after win, save for the 65-58 loss to O’dowd.

In its 84-70 victory over mitty at home tuesday, the walnut creek school got 25 points apiece from nathan robinson and robert prince as it advanced to its first regional boys basketball final in 30 years.

“this was our last home game, so we obviously wanted to come in and make a statement,” prince told this publication after the game. “we couldn’t come out and lose. Everybody in the city came out, so we just had to put on a show.”

• given their 14-14 record, the sacred heart cathedral girls obviously have not had an entirely smooth ride this season. But the irish are clearly better than the record, as the team showed in february when it trailed mitty by just three points late in the third quarter before losing by 19.Regional final

Led by senior point guard clair steel — she had 32 in a win over top-seeded presentation on tuesday — the fourth-seeded matadors have won three regional games by an average of 24.7 points.

• history-makers: the alameda boys, seeded no. 1 in division II, have thrilled their home fans with three regional playoff wins. They will be back at home saturday night against st. Mary’s-stockton for a norcal title.

• road warriors: fresh off a division II regional semifinal win tuesday at eureka — a 646-mile round trip from their san jose campus — the third-seeded valley christian girls will be back on the road saturday at top seed pleasant valley-chico for the norcal championship. Throw in the upcoming 420-mile round trip, the warriors (yes, that’s their nickname) will have logged 1,066 miles for the week.Home saturday

• division IV is their calling: the woodside priory girls have lived up to their no 1 seed in D-IV, winning three games at home in impressive fashion. They go for the regional title at home saturday against 11th seed bradshaw christian. St. Mary’s-berkeley, seeded 3rd in the boys bracket, will be at home saturday for a norcal final, too, against ninth-seeded stuart hall.