2013-14: Great Matchups in Open Final 4

There will be basketball almost every night this week in the San Diego Section.

Girls begin quarterfinals play in Divisions II, III, and IV tonight and  Tuesday night.  Boys tip Tuesday night in II, III, and IV.

Open semifinals are Tuesday and Wednesday and finals  Saturday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus.

D-V teams will play championship games Thursday evening at Sage Hill High in Carlsbad.

A look at this week’s Boys’ games:

OPEN—Two terrific semifinals matches and a potentially great final, if St. Augustine and El Camino pass their tests.

El Camino won its 20th in  a row and is 27-3 after a  105-68 romp over Lincoln (13-14), which trailed only 28-24 after one quarter.

The second-seed Warriors take on tough La Costa Canyon (25-5) Wednesday at El Camino. St. Augustine (27-2) will meet Torrey Pines (26-4) at University City High.

Ray Johnson ‘s Wildcats, coming strong after the January eligibility  of Army-Navy transfer Devin Watson, have averaged 80.2 points a game during their streak.

The Oceanside club has not lost since dropping a 77-71 decision to Sweetwater Dec. 21 and hold two February decisions over La Costa Canyon, 74-70 and 78-70.

Beating the same team three times in a row in the same season is El Camino’s test.  Cathedral could not pull off the trifecta a year ago against St. Augustine.

Prediction:  El Camino 64, La Costa Canyon 61.

1 seed St.Augustine topped Torrey Pines, 60-55, in the West Hills Tournament in December.

The Saints led Vista, 20-4, after one quarter and 44-18 at the half in a 70-29, quarterfinals victory.

Saints coach Mike Haupt called off the horses early in the third quarter, but not before Trey Kell bombed the Panthers (7-21) into submission with 27 points.

Torrey Pines trailed Hoover (18-11) by six points after three quarters and caught the Cardinals at 53, forcing an overtime, before prevailing, 68-59.

Look for Torrey Pines to rely on tough defense, slow it down on offense and try to prevent a St. Augustine jail break.

Prediction:  St. Augustine 57, Torrey Pines 52.

DIVISION I

Escondido (21-8) and (16-12) Morse, 9 and 12 seeds, respectively, have been flies in this division’s ointment.  The Cougars ushered out top seed Eastlake in the quarterfinals, 49-46.

Morse advanced with wins over 5 Cathedral and 4 Poway.

The championship may be decided Tuesday night when 2 seed Mission Bay (15-8) takes on 3 San Marcos (20-8).

Prediction:  Morse 54, Escondido 50.
                         San Marcos 60, Mission Bay 52.

DIVISION II

1 Mater Dei (26-2) and 2 Francis Parker (24-4)are on a collision course to meet in the final.

Parker faces a test against Steele Canyon (22-6), but Mater Dei appears to be a lock against Mt. Carmel (10-20).

Prediction:  Mater Dei 77, Mt. Carmel 59.
                         Francis Parker 61, Steele Canyon 55.

DIVISION III

Top seed Sweetwater has raced past 27 consecutive opponents  with speed and a pressure defense.

The Red Devils are at a size disavantage against Foothills Christian (20-8), which features 6-foot, 8-inch T.J. Leaf, who scored 35 points in an 85-64, quarterfinals win over Ramona.

If Foothill can get past Sweetwater’s backcourt press the Knights’ could pull off the victory.

Calvin Christian (23-4), the 3 seed, and  2 Kearny (22-2) meet in the other semifinal Tuesday night.

Prediction:  Sweetwater 66, Foothills Christian 62.
                         Calvin Christian 53, Kearny 48.

DIVISION IV

No. 5 El Centro Central (19-9) visits top seed Orange Glen (24-5) and No. 6 El Cajon Valley (19-10) is at 2 Tri-City Christian (20-8).

Prediction:  Orange Glen 65, El Centro Central 50.
                         El Cajon Valley 58, Tri-City Christian 49.              

DIVISION V

No. 3 Health Sciences (17-6) of East San Diego (City Heights) meets top seed Escondido Adventist (20-6) in the championship.

Both teams have won 12 games in a row.

The Health Sciences Surgeons recovered from a three-game sojourn into higher classifications, losing to Olympian, Sweetwater, and Monte Vista in blowouts.

Health Sciences has improved from an 0-2 first season in 2009-10 and three successive wipeout seasons that followed–4-10, 3-9, and 3-14.

Escondido Adventist’s Hawks went out of its division twice and was beaten by Tri-City Christian and Orange Glen.

Prediction:  Health Sciences 50, Escondido Adventist 43. 

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