Elite Eight preview

(1S) San Diego (31-2) vs  (4N) Santa Rosa (25-4)

San Diego and Santa Rosa will be a battle of two teams on long winning streaks in the first game at the Elite Eight on Friday afternoon. The Knights come into the contest with the second longest winning streak in the state and San Diego was the top seed entering the post season from Southern California. Meanwhile, Santa Rosa has the second longest winning streak in Northern California as the Bearcubs were the fourth seed and went undefeated in Big 8 Conference action.

San Diego: The Knights come into the game on a 24 game winning streak and come into the Elite Eight as possible favorites to win the championship. The Pacific Coast South Conference champions went undefeated in conference action and have not lost a game since November 19th when the Knights suffered a 77-75 against Citrus at the Citrus Tournament. In the post season, San Diego picked up wins against Long Beach and followed that up with a win at home against Ventura last Saturday to advance to the Elite Eight. It will be the first meeting for the Knights playing against a team from Northern California this season facing the Big 8 Conference champion Bearcubs.

Key Players: (So) Wonder Smith 15.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists,  (So) Robert McCoy 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, (So) Robert Taylor 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, (Fr) Ethan Esposito 9.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, (Fr) Joseph Riley 8.1 points, (So) Darius Lee 7.1 points 3.5 rebounds, (So) Luis Salgado 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds.

Team Info: San Diego has scored over 90 points 17 times this season and the Knights average 89.7 points per contest this season which is 4th best in the state. San Diego gets to the line a lot as the Knights attempt 25 a game and rebound the ball very well through out the season. The Knights have athletic and versatile wings and solid guard play led by Wonder Smith who can shoot the cover off the ball. Robert McCoy may be the most athletic wing in the state and the Knights two losses this season are by a combined point total of three points. The Knights play pressure defense and have a high rate of committing fouls as San Diego commits 21 fouls per contest.

Signal The Lights Take: The Knights will have a tough first game and I am interested to see how the Knights play if the game is close during crunch time as San Diego has a 7-2 record when the games are decided by five points are less. San Diego has only played in four games decided by five points or less since December. The Knights will be one of the favorites but Santa Rosa wont be an easy game with the way that they shoot the basketball, the Knights will be looking to repeat as champs coming into the Elite Eight.


Santa Rosa: The Bearcubs come into the match up against San Diego on a 21 game winning streak. Santa Rosa went undefeated in Big 8 Conference action and the Bearcubs have not lost a game since December 9th when Santa Rosa lost to De Anza at the Foothill Tournament. In the post season, Santa Rosa picked up a victory against Las Positas and followed that up with a home win against Foothill last Saturday to advance to the Elite Eight. Santa Rosa did face off against one team from Southern California earlier this season as the Bearcubs slipped past Mt. San Antonio 74-70 at the San Francisco Tournament on November 5th.

Key Players: (Fr) Skylar Chavez 20.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, (So) Beau Keeve 11.1 points, 3.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds, (So) Jordan Graves 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, (So) Sadik Sufi 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, (so) Cetrick Yenay 8.3 points, 2.1 assists. 

Team Info: Santa Rosa averages 79.9 points per contest this season and the Bearcubs have a high level ability to shoot the ball from downtown. The Bearcubs are 3rd in the state in three point shots made and 2nd in three point field goal percentage this season. Santa Rosa takes care of the basketball as the Bearcubs only turn the ball over 9.2 times per contest. One area where Santa Rosa has struggled at this season is rebounding as the Bearcubs are 63rd in the state in rebounding margin. On the defensive side of the ball, Santa Rosa guards the three point line very well as they are 9th in the state in opponents three point field goal percentage.

Signal The Lights Take: Santa Rosa will look to knock off the defending state champs and if the three ball is falling, the Bearcubs can and will beat anyone they step on the court with. If Santa Rosa can take care of the ball, shoot the ball well and rebound the Bearcubs will be a force in the Elite Eight. Just like San Diego, the Bearcubs are on a big time winning streak and Santa Rosa is 6-2 in games decided by five points or less. Santa Rosa will have to rebound the ball this weekend to be in games as we expect a solid game between two great programs.


 (3N) Yuba (25-5) vs  (2S) Cerritos (26-5)

Yuba and Cerritos will battle in the second game on Friday at 3pm. The 49ers come into the game as they were seeded 3rd in the Northern California post season and were Bay Valley Conference champions in the regular season. Cerritos comes into the Elite Eight as the 5th seed from Southern California and were regular season champions of the South Coast North Conference winning the conference while losing one game.

Yuba: The Bay Valley Conference champions come into the match up winners of 25 games this season. The 49ers have not lost a game since December 29th as Yuba finished 15-1 in conference action. Yuba is on a 16 game winning streak and are 3-0 since the new year in games decided by 5 points or less. Yuba is 1-2 against teams from Southern California as the 49ers picked up a win against Cuesta but suffered losses against Copper Mountain and Allan Hancock. Yuba cruised in their two post season games as the 49ers beat Ohlone and Sequoias at home to advance into the Elite Eight.

Key Players: (Fr) Elisja Duplechan 18.4 points, 5.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds, (So) Jeryn Lucas 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, (Fr) Isaiah Bates 10.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, (So) Josh Dhatt 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, Jayshon Lewis 9.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, (Fr) Clayton Stultz 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds. 

Team Info: Yuba averages 81.9 points per contest this season and the 49ers are 10th in the state in field goal percentage this season. The 49ers rebound the ball very well as they are 19th in the state in rebounding margin this season. At the defensive end, the 49ers are great at creating turnovers as Yuba averages 10.2 steals per game and give up 70.0 points per game this season.

Signal The Light Take: Yuba has three players that average in double figures this season and it will be a very intriguing match up against Cerritos. Elishja Duplechan has played solid all season for the 49ers and Jeron Lucas can flat out shoot the rock. Yuba will look to create turnovers and keep Cerritos front court under control in the match up between two great basketball teams.


Cerritos: The Falcons come into the game against Yuba winners of 26 games this season. Cerritos is 14-2 since January and the Falcons are 3-1 in games decided by five points or less in the new year. The Falcons are 3-1 against teams from Northern California this season. The winners of the South Coast South Conference picked up wins against Riverside and Santiago Canyon to advance to the Elite Eight.

Key Players: (So) Demetrius Thomas 17.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, (So) Keshaun Mack 12.9 points, 4.2 rebounds (So) Jason Carter 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds (So) Jonathan Guzman 9.1 points, 6.1 rebounds (So) Riley Hamilton 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds. 

Team Info: Cerritos averages 81.0 points per contest this season as the Falcons have played solid basketball all season long. Cerritos is 11th in the state in field goal percentage as the Falcons are shooting 47.4% from the floor this season. One place where the Falcons have struggled this season is shooting the three ball as the Falcons shoot 34% from downtown which is 51st in the state. Cerritos is one of the better rebounding teams in the state as the Falcons have a great front court and are 15th in the state in rebounding margin. The Falcons allow teams to shoot 39% from the floor which is 6th best in the state.

Signal The Light Take: Cerritos put on a solid performance against Santiago Canyon last week to advance to the final eight, but the key will be outside shooting with the Falcons. Cerritos will look to control the glass and take care of the ball when they step out on the court against Yuba in Elite Eight action tomorrow.


 (3S) Orange Coast (22-7) vs (2N) Fresno (27-4)

The Orange Coast and Fresno game will be a very intriguing match up as both teams will look and get up and down the court with lots of pressure and effort at both ends. Orange Coast won the Orange Empire Conference and Fresno won the Central Valley Conference. The Pirates were the sixth seed in Southern California and Fresno was the second seed in Northern California.

Orange Coast: The Pirates have had one heck of a season as Orange Coast is no longer a surprise this season. Orange Coast won the Orange Empire Conference and the Pirates won 22 games and the team from Costa Mesa are on a 13 game winning streak going into the match up against Fresno. After losing to Irvine Valley in their first conference match up, the Pirates have not looked back and have been the cardiac kids this season. Orange Coast is 8-0 in games decided by five points or less since Januay.

Key Player: (Fr) Joshaua Davis 18.0 points, 9.2 rebounds (So) Lloyd Wright 16.3 points, 3.8 rebounds (So) Kupaa Harrison 15.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists. (Fr) Rachaun Echols 6.3 points.

Team Info: The Pirates are no longer the team that is a surprise. Orange Coast averages 75.1 points per game this season. Orange Coast is 93rd in the state in three point field goal percentage (27%) and 86th in free throw shooting this season. At the defensive end, Orange Coast creates turnovers as the Pirates are 6th in the state as they force 10.4 per contest. The Pirates defend the threee point line fairly well as they hold opponents to 31% from behind the arc.

Signal The Light Take: Orange Coast will look to create turnovers and get easy buckets at the offensive end. The Pirates do not shoot the ball well and struggle at the free throw line when you see the numbers. If the Pirates can take care of the ball and handle the Rams pressure and make some shots they have a solid shot at winning the game, but if they don’t make shots it will be tough for Joshua Davis to get going.


Fresno: The Rams come into the game winners of seven straight games and winners of 27 games this season. The Central Valley Conference champions can put points on the board as the Rams went over the century mark 12 times this season. In back to back games in conference, Fresno put up 140 points on the road. The Rams made 19 or more three pointers six times this season.

Key Players: (So) Tyus Millhollin 13.5 points, 2.9 assists (So) Jess Spivey 10.6 points, 2.8 rebounds (So) Tommy Nuno 9.7 points, 5.6 assist, 4.8 rebounds, (So) Fred Lavender 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds (So) Georgie Dancer 9.6 points (Fr) Drew Cobb 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds. 

Team Info: Fresno has one of the deeper teams at the Elite Eight. The Rams averaged 93.7 points per contest and shot 50% rom the floor this season which was 3rd best in the state. Fresno can stretch the floor as the Rams shot 38% from downtown and if the game is on the line Fresno can bring it home as they were 16th in the state in free throw shooting. Fresno can rebound with the best of them as the Rams are 7th in the state in rebounding margin. On the defensive end, Fresno gives up 72.5 points per game but the Rams force 10.5 steals per game this season.

Signal The Light Take: Fresno will look to play at a high tempo but expect to see a lot of point on the board. The Rams will shoot a lot of threes and if you don’t stop penetration it will be a long night if you are constantly helping off of straight line drives. The Rams will look to create turnovers as well but we expect a high scoring match up betweeen these two teams that have had successful seasons.


(4S) Allan Hancock (23-9) vs (1N) San Francisco (30-1)

Allan Hancock will look to play the spoiler role tomorrow as the Bulldogs will look to knock off San Francisco at the Elite Eight. Hancock finished in 2nd place in the Western State North Conference and have been road warriors in the post season picking up two huge wins to advance to the Elite Eight. Meanwhile, San Francisco comes into this weekend as one of the favorites to win the state championship as the Rams have lost one game all season  long.

Allan Hancock: The Bulldogs come into the Elite Eight winning 23 games this season. Hancock is 13-3 since January and the Bulldogs finished in second place in Western State North Conference action. In the post season, the 10th seeded Bulldogs knocked off Fullerton on the road and followed that up with a huge road win against San Bernardino to advance to the Elite Eight.

Key Players: (So) Shane Carney 17.3 points, 5.3 assists (Fr) Glenn Jordan 10.7 points, 4.3 assists (So) Devin Davis 11.2 points, 7.2 rebounds (Fr*) Spirit Ricks 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds

Team Info: The Bulldogs average 76.5 points per contest and have shot 45% from the floor this season. Hancock shoots 37% from downtown but where the Bulldogs excel is on the glass as Hancock is 7th in offensive rebounding, and 11th in the state in rebounding margin per contest. On the defensive end Hancock gives up 71.4 points per game and the Bulldogs guard the three point line very well as teams shoot 31% from downtown against them.

Signal The Light Take: The Bulldogs will come into the contest as the underdogs and it will be a challenge to knock off the Rams. Shane Carney will have to be big for the Bulldogs and controlling the tempo will be a must for Hancock. The Bulldogs were 6-4 against teams from Northern California and will have their hands full tomorrow against San Francisco.


San Francisco: The Rams come into the game on a 26 game winning streak. San Francisco has not lost a game since losing to Sequoias 80-63 on November 17th. The Coast North champions went undefeated in conference play and have look invincible all season long. San Francisco has scored 90 or more points 17 times this season and picked up wins against West Hills and Cabrillo to get to the Elite Eight.

Key Players: (So) Terrell Brown 15.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists (So) Edddie Stansberry 12.6 points, 4.1 rebounds (So) Eddy Ionescu 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds (So) Michael Steadman 9.4 points, 5.5 rebounds (So) Dexter Hood 9.1 points (So) Lewis Hayes 9.2 points, 6.0 rebounds (So) Michael Wright 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds (So) Curtis Witt 9.0 points 

Team Info: San Francisco has been rolling since their November loss against Sequoias. The Rams average 91.7 points per contest and do so many things well at the offensive end. San Francisco is in the top 10 in field goals made, field goal percentage, three pointers made, percentage and in rebounding margin, total rebounds this season. The Rams are 9th in steals, 7th in defensive rebounding and give up 64.4 points per contest on the defensive end and hold opponents to 38% shooting from the floor.

Signal The Light Take: The Rams will be a handful this weekend as San Francisco has depth at every position. San Francisco can score the ball, rebound, shoot it, and create turnovers at the defensive end. San Francisco will look to push the tempo and use thier depth against Allan Hancock. San Francisco appears to be the favorite as the Rams are very talented.