(12) Riverside (16-10) @ (5) Cerritos (24-5)
12th seeded Riverside will travel to 5th seeded Cerritos for a meeting to advance to the sweet 16. It will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. It will be the first time this season the Falcons face off against a team from the Orange Empire Conference. Meanwhile Riverside faced two South Coast South opponents and knocked off both of them earlier this season in non conference action. This should be a very intriguing first round match up between two very well coached teams.
Cerritos: The Falcons come into the game losing their last game of the regular season against Long Beach. The South Coast South Conference champions are 12-2 since January and will look to pick up a win over a solid opponent from the Orange Empire Conference. Two players average in double figures for the Falcons led by sophomore sensation Demetrius Thomas. The standout averaged 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this past season. Thomas was named Player of the Year in the conference this past season. Keshaun Mack has been solid for the Falcons this season as the sophomore is averaging 12.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. Riley Hamilton (8.0 points), Cody Wilkes (7.9 points), Jason Carter (9.7 points) and Jonathan Guzman (8.9 points) all provide depth to the Falcons. Cerritos averages 80.7 points per game and the Falcons give up 66.8 points per contest.
Strengths: scoring, shoot a high field goal percentage, making free throws, take care of the ball, block shots, opponents shoot a low percentage from the field and from the three point line.
Weaknesses: don’t get to line a lot,
Riverside: The Tigers will come into the post season winning four of their last five games. Riverside finished in 3rd place with a 7-5 record in the Orange Empire Conference. Riverside has four players that average in double figures led by sophomore point guard Brae Ivey. The standout averaged 18.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists this past season for the Tigers. Andre Wilson has been solid as the shooter is averaging 16.4 points per game this season. Jordan Robinson (14.5 points and 9.2 rebounds) and Kane Daniels (10.7 points and 5.9 rebounds) have played well for the Tigers. Riverside averages 74.0 points per game while giving up 71.2 points per contest.
Strengths: shoot a high percentage, shoot a high percentage from three point line, defensive rebounding, solid at defensive end.
Weaknesses: opponents shoot a decent clip from the three point line, don’t force a lot of turnovers.
(11) Mt. San Jacinto (14-15) @ (6) Orange Coast (20-7)
11th seeded Mt. San Jacinto comes into the post season with a losing record but picked up the 11th seed and will travel and face 6th seeded Orange Coast later tonight. The Eagles come into the match up playing one of the toughest schedules in the state and have played solid this season despite their record. This season Mt. San Jacinto was 2-2 against teams within the Orange Empire Conference. As far Orange Coast the Orange Empire Conference champions have been playing well all season and will look to make a sweet sixteen appearance with a home win. The Pirates were 1-2 against teams within the Pacific Coast North Conference and this will be the first meeting between both teams this season.
Orange Coast: The Orange Coast Conference champions come into the game on an eleven game winning streak. The Pirates are coming off a surprise season for most as Orange Coast picked up 20 wins after a slow start in non conference action. Joshua Davis has been a solid player this season as the Co Player of the Year averaged 17.7 points and 9.0 rebounds this season for the Pirates. Kupaa Harrison averaged 15.3 points and 7.6 rebounds and was named Co player of the year along with Davis. Llyod Wright had a standout season for the Pirates as the sophomore averaged 15.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest. Jumoke Walker was named Defensive player of the year and makes things happen for this team. Orange Coast averaged 74.6 points per game while giving up 72.2 per contest this season.
Strengths: offensive rebounding, force turnovers, guard the three point line extremely well and force low shooting percentages.
Weaknesses: three point shooting, free throws, defensive rebounding, turnovers, high foul rate.
Mt. San Jacinto: The Eagles come into the contest after finishing in a three way tie for 2nd place in the Pacific North Conference. The Eagles won three of their last four games to make their case for the post season after playing one of the toughest non conference schedules in the state. The Eagles are led by Davon Sanders as the sophomore is the only player averaging in double figures this season. Sanders is averaging 17.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest this season. David Thompson (9.7 points and 3.2 rebounds), A.J. Walton (9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds), and C.J. Hyder (8.7 points and 3.0 rebounds) are three other players that have been consistent for the Eagles this season from a scoring standpoint. Mt. San Jacinto averages 74.3 points per contest while giving up 73.9 points per contest this season.
Strengths: get to the line, rebounding (both sides of the ball), guard the three point line and force opponents into shooting a low percentage from the floor.
Weaknesses: shooting percentage, three point shooting, free throw shooting, turnovers.
(10) Allan Hancock (21-9) @ (7) Fullerton (20-7)
In another intriguing match up in the first round, 7th seeded Fullerton will take on 10th seeded Allan Hancock tonight in Orange Empire terrirotry. It will be the first meeting between the two teams as both teams got over the 20 win mark this past season.
Fullerton: The Hornets come into the game winning five of their last six games and finished in 2nd place in the Orange Empire Conference. Fullerton picked up 20 wins this season after finishing last season with a loss in the state championship game. Jason Richardson leads the way for the Hornets as the sophomore guard is averaging 18.4 points, 4.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game this season. Khalil Stevenson is the only other Hornet averaging in double digits as the sophomore averaged 10.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest. Ronne Readus (9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds), Vaj Rice (9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds) and Akil Reese (8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds) have played well for the Hornets this season. Fullerton scores 73.2 points per game and the Hornets give up 64.4 points per contest.
Strengths: shoot a high percentage from the floor, high percentage from three point line, get to the line, defensive rebounding, hold opponents to shooting a low percentage from downtown and the floor.
Weakneesses: forcing turnovers, offensive rebounding.
Allan Hancock: The Bulldogs come into the game winning eight of their last nine games but finished 2nd place in the Western State North Conference. Hancock was 0-1 against teams from the Orange Empire this past season. Four players average in double figures for the Bulldogs led by sophomore standout Shane Carney. The sophomore point guard averaged 16.9 points and 5.3 assists this past season for the Bulldogs. Spirit Ricks (10.6 points and 7.1 rebounds), Devin Davis (10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds) and Glenn Jordan (10.3 points and 4.4 assists) all averaged in double figures. Hancock averages 76.2 points per game and the Bulldogs give up 71.0 points per game.
Strengths: three point shooting, rebounding (offensive and defensive), hold opponents to low field goal percentage, teams shoot low percentage from three point line.
Weaknesses: free throws, turnovers.
(9) Ventura (21-8) @ (8) Copper Mountain (20-9)
9th seeded Ventura will face off against 8th seeded Copper Mountain in second round action. It will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. Copper Mountain will be the home team in the contest after finishing 3rd place in the Orange Empire Conference. Meanwhile, 9th seeded Ventura won the Western State North Conference championship and had a solid season as the Pirates won 21 games.
Copper Mountain: The Fighting Cacti come into the game on a two game winning streak. Copper Mountain has a sensational season after the first year program made its mark in one of the deepest conferences in the state. Sophomore Murshid Randle leads the team in scoring as the standout is averaging 14.9 points per contest this season. Ronald Bell has been great this season for Copper Mountain as the sophomore averages 12.3 points and a team high 9.6 rebounds this season. Jaleel Simmons (9.7 points and 4.3 assists), Tre’von Bentley (9.6 points and 5. rebounds), Jailen Moore (9.6 points) have all played solid this season for the Fighting Cacti. Copper Mountain averages 81.2 points and the Fighting Cacti give up 73.9 points per game this season.
Strengths: scoring, shoot a high percentage, get to the line, rebounding (offensive and defensive), rim protection, athleticism.
Weaknesses: free throws.
Ventura: The Pirates come into the game winning nine of their last ten games. Ventura won the Western State North Conference championship. Three players averaged in double figures led by sophomore Jacob Alonzo. The guard had a sensational sophomore season averaging 16.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.6 rebounds and shot 46% from downtown. Isiah Reyes averaged 15.9 points and 4.1 assists in his second season for the Pirates. John Williams is averaging 11.9 points and 5.1 rebounds for Ventura this season. Malcolm Ruff (8.6 points)and Darrell Handy-Johnson (7.6 points) will look to contribute for the Pirates. Ventura averages 81.3 points per game while th Pirates give up 75.1 points per game.
Strengths: scoring, shoot a high percentage, three point shooting, get to line, rebounding, offensive rebounding, force turnovers.
Weaknesses: turnovers, opponents shoot a high percentage, defensive rebounding.