Home » CCS basketball playoffs 2024: Monday’s top storylines, surprises, game recaps

CCS basketball playoffs 2024: Monday’s top storylines, surprises, game recaps


Pinewood has reached the Central Coast Section Open Division girls basketball final an unprecedented nine consecutive times. Not even Archbishop Mitty has done that.

But the Panthers’ path to 10 in a row has never been more daunting.

Seeded fourth, Pinewood will have to win at top-seeded Mitty on Wednesday night to capture Pool A and advance to the final Friday at Santa Clara University.

Mitty is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country. It has blown out all comers since facing elite national competition during the holiday tournament season.

The Monarchs are a heavy favorite on Wednesday, even if UConn-bound Morgan Cheli continues to sit out because of an undisclosed injury.

But let’s make one thing clear. Pinewood is never intimidated to play Mitty. The Los Altos Hills school led by longtime coach Doc Scheppler has beaten an undefeated, national No. 1 Mitty before. In triple overtime, for the NorCal Open Division championship, six years ago.

Pinewood also knocked off Mitty for the CCS Open crown during the spring pandemic season in 2021.

Mitty has won the past two games between the teams, both for the CCS Open title.

Pinewood had hoped for another shot at Mitty in the final. But as the No. 4 seed, the Panthers ended up in the same pool as Mitty. Asked Wednesday about playing the Monarchs again, Scheppler said in a text, “One game before we wanted but we’re up for the challenge.”


Whereas Pool A has unfolded predictably, Pool B on the girls side has turned upside down.

On Monday, No. 6 St. Ignatius beat No. 2 Sacred Heart Cathedral 61-46 and No. 7 Los Gatos upset No. 3 Priory 44-40.

With the final round set for Wednesday, St. Ignatius is 2-0, SHC and Los Gatos are each 1-1 and Priory is 0-2.

SI will advance to the final with a victory at home over Los Gatos on Wednesday. If SI loses, it would still move on if SHC beats Priory. (SI wins a three-way tiebreaker between itself, Los Gatos and SHC).

If Los Gatos and Priory win, Los Gatos would win a two-way tiebreaker with SI because of the head-to-head result.


Open Division boys

No. 1 Archbishop Riordan 62, No. 5 Sacred Heart Prep 45: Behind 17 points from Zion Sensley and 13 from Andrew Young, Riordan improved to 2-0 in Pool A with a victory on the road over Sacred Heart Prep. TJ OBrien had 18 points for SHP. The game was played at SHP as Riordan served out the final game of a penalty for its part in a fight against Inderkum-Sacramento during a NorCal regional last season. Riordan will be back at home on Wednesday to play Serra for a spot in Friday’s final.

No. 2 Archbishop Mitty 73, No. 6 Branham 56: Mitty is one step closer to playing for its sixth CCS Open Division title after turning back visiting Branham in the second round of pool play on Monday. Gavin Ripp scored 19 points and Nathan d’Abreu Noronha added 18 to lead the Monarchs. Mitty also got 11 points each from Tyler Jones and Caeden Hutcherson. The Monarchs (20-6) and third-seeded St. Ignatius are 2-0 in Pool B. They will meet on Wednesday at Mitty for a spot in the final on Friday at Santa Clara University. Branham fell to 0-2 in pool play. On Monday, the Bruins got 21 points from Dasan Poston and 11 from Ben Lim. Branham (22-4) will close out pool play on Wednesday at home against Half Moon Bay before moving on to NorCals next week.

Open Division girls

No. 1 Archbishop Mitty 86, No. 5 Archbishop Riordan 28: Another game, another massive blowout for powerhouse Mitty, which is a victory on Wednesday over South Bay rival Pinewood from playing for the Open Division championship on Friday at Santa Clara University. Mitty was again without injured UConn-bound star Morgan Cheli. Once again, the Monarchs had no trouble on the court. McKenna Woliczko scored 23 points, Elana Weisman had 13 points and Belle Bramer finished with 10 points as Mitty improved to 26-0. Ashanti Dias scored 12 points for Riordan, which fell to 15-10 overall and 0-2 in Pool A. The Crusaders play host to St. Francis on Wednesday in the final round of pool play.