CIF Boys NorCal Division IV Preview: Riordan may be tops in a balanced division
Favorite: Archbishop Riordan
Top players: Cardinal Newman 6-6 SR Corey Hammell, Cardinal Newman 6-1 SR Kenny Love, Riordan 6-3 JR Chiefy Ugbaja, Riordan 5-11 JR Frankie Ferrari, Riordan 6-1 JR Bobby Arenas, Riordan 5-9 SR Geru Mabrey, Marin Catholic 6-2 SR Nick Calcaterra, Marin Catholic 6-2 SR Patrick Conroy, Soquel 5-10 SR Cody Valcarcel, Soquel 5-8 SR Tucker Wiget, Summerville 6-6 SR Jesse Roberson, Summerville 6-3 SR Logen Foster, Menlo 6-0 JR Bobby Roth, St. Mary’s 6-5 SR Jeremy Dennis, Arcata 6-3 SR Latrell Wilson, Corning 6-6 JR Michael Shoemaker, Orland 6-0 SR Jud Sailsbery, Riverbank 6-1 JR Rolaun Dunham, Half Moon Bay 5-8 JR Corey Cilia, Liberty Ranch 6-2 SR Michael Meserole
#2 Riordan (18-11) is a favorite over Cardinal Newman because the Crusaders, after welcoming several transfers, have played well against tough competition since those transfers began playing at the start of the new year. The Crusaders also played Mitty tough in three of four meetings and the toughness of Chiefy Ugbaja and Bobby Arenas help give them an identity.
#1 Cardinal Newman (29-3) had a 19-game winning streak and played Salesian close for a half before a 65-34 loss in the NCS title game. Corey Hammell is extremely consistent and has been a double-double force. Kenny Love is one of the more underrated point guards.
#3 Marin Catholic (23-8) has an opportunity to make it out of the first round for the first time since 2005, when they were NorCal runners-up. Nick Calcaterra and Patrick Conroy are very steady, and Conroy recently had a 29-point game against a good Drake team. Their opening round game against #14 Riverbank (24-4) won’t be easy.
#4 Soquel (22-7) is not to be taken lightly after an impressive performance in the CCS Open playoffs. The Knights nearly beat Mitty and had a five-point fourth quarter lead against the Monarchs. Soquel went on to beat Palo Alto and Piedmont Hills to take the consolation final. Guards Cody Valcarcel (12.2ppg) and Tucker Wiget are the primary scorers, but 6-4 senior Scott Akrop is an underrated role player.
#5 Summerville (25-3) has won 17 games in a row and 12 of those wins have been by double-figures.
CCS champion #6 Menlo (20-7) versus #11 St. Mary’s (19-12) will be an interesting first-round matchup. The Knights have won 16 in a row, while St. Mary’s has one of the top players in Jeremy Dennis and have played a tough schedule.
#9 Arcata (24-7) has to win at #8 Corning (27-2), who is 12-0 at home. If the Tigers do so, they could be a tough quarterfinal opponent for Cardinal Newman.
#10 Half Moon Bay (22-7) has a first-round game at #7 Liberty Ranch (22-9), who features the state’s 15th leading scorer Michael Meserole (25.4ppg). Meserole has nine 30+ point games this season, and once scored 40 in a loss to Cosumnes Oaks.
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