3rd seeded Gavilan (27-2) will host 6th seeded Santa Rosa (22-7) on Saturday night for a place in the Elite Eight. The Rams have won 27 games this season and needed a huge second half to slip past 14th seeded American River 78-69 over the weekend in the second round of the Northern California Regionals. Gavilan was down 14 at the half on their home court but outscored American River 48-25 to pick up the victory and advance to the sweet sixteen. Deion Ellis had a huge game as the versatile sophomore scored 29 points and added 10 rebounds in the win for the Rams. Xander Bowers added 15 points and 6 rebounds and guard Ibn Zaid aded 15 points but struggled from downtown making 2 of 12 from behind the three point line. Gavilan only shot 3 of 19 from downtown but picked up the tempo, make solid second half adjustments and picked up the home victory.
Meanwhile, Santa Rosa (22-7) comes into the contest as the 6th seed. The Bearcubs picked up an 88-75 victory over 11th seeded Las Positas to advance to the sweet 16. Santa Rosa finished in second place in the Big 8 Conference but played a solid game in the 2nd round to move into the next round. Sophomore sensation Skylar Chavez scored 27 points but the wing also dished out 8 assists to lead the Bearcubs against Las Positas. Atmar Mundu made four three pointers had 20 points, and Damian Wallace played a solid all around game as the guard had 18 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in the victory.
It will be a solid match up between the two teams as both teams have been solid all season. Lets take a deeper look into the two teams.
Gavilan (27-2): The Rams have four players that average in double figures and Gavilan is led in scoring by sophomore Ibn Zaid. The guard is averaging 13.6 points per contest and has shot 36% from downtown this season. Sophomore DJ Burgess has played well as the guard has averaged 12.1 points this season for the Rams. Xander Bowers (11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds), Deion Ellis (10.6 points and 5.2 rebounds) and intangible man himself Daylon Potts (9.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists) are all players that affect the game in so many ways. Mrad Abrha (7.3 points) and Patrick Fisher (7.7 points and 5.5 assists) are two others that will look to contribute against Santa Rosa in the sweet 16 game. Gavilan averages 80.7 points and give up 63.3 points per contest which is 4th best in the state. The Rams also share the ball on a high level as Gavilan leads the state in assists per game averaging 22.8 per game. Gavilan is 4th in the state in rebounding margin per game as the Rams average 13.5 rebounds more than their opponents. At the defensive end, the Rams will turn you over as Gavilan averages 10 steals per game and is 2nd in the state in block shots and hold opponents to shooting 30% from downtown.
Santa Rosa (22-7): The Bearcubs are led in scoring by Skylar Chavez as the sophomore is averaging 27.8 points per contest. Chavez is arguably the best scorer in the state as the wing has posted nine 30 point games and scored 40 or more points three times this season. The wing has had a great sophomore season and shoots 53% from the field, 87% from the line, 40% from downtown and averages 6.8 rebounds per contest for the Bearcubs. Sophomore Ryan Perez is another option on the offensive end of the floor as the sophomore averaged 14.4 points per contest and the guard has shot 39% from downtown and made 102 triples this season. Damien Wallace (7.8 points, 6.3 assists, and 6.0 rebounds) is a versatile and all around guard that does the intangibles for the Bearcubs. Nick Cole (8.2 points) and Atmar Mundu (8.0 points) are two other players that could provide a scoring punch to Santa Rosa and will need to play solid. The Bearcubs average 80.1 points per contest while they give up 73.0 points per contest this season. Santa Rosa is 3rd in the state in three pointers made per game (11.1 per game) and 8th in the state in three point field goal percentage (38%). Santa Rosa does a really good job at taking care of the ball as the Bearcubs average 10 turnovers per game, and share the ball at a high level averaging 20.4 per contest. An area of concern has to be the glass as the Bearcubs are 59th in the state in rebounding margin and only average 31.3 rebounds per contest.