As March approaches, March Madness is just over the horizon as well as the CIF State Championships. California is largely heralded as the most difficult State to win a high school title in, as not only do you have to endure a city championship full of talent, but you must win out during the regional and state championship as well. For example, in order to even compete in the State title, you need to go through your respective city championship and place high enough to be even considered a spot in one of the six State tournament brackets.
This season, Los Altos and Bishop Montgomery, the respective high schools of Beavers commits Jarod Lucas and Gianni Hunt, have secured spots in the CIF SS city championships. Los Altos plays Crossroads High School in the opening round of Division 1. Crossroads is the former high school of UCLA’s Shareef O’Neal and future high schooler Bronny James is set to play there next year as a freshman. Jarod Lucas recently made national headlines for not only dropping 52 points in his final league game, but more importantly surpassing Casey Jacobsen as the CIF-Southern Section all time leader in points. Jarod stands at 3,285 points currently, and looks to extend his historical lead. Lucas is averaging an eye-popping, absurd points per game, as he currently is unstoppable. At the top of their bracket lies Harvard-Westlake, led by five-star Johnny Juzang, who is entertaining offers from the blue bloods. At the other side of enormous Division 1 bracket is Chino Hills, who won the CIF-State Division 1 crown last season.
Bishop Montgomery plays in the Open Division, reserved annually for the top teams in the Section regardless of size. This year, CIF-Southern Section is implementing a Pool Play for Open Division, as the eight man bracket will be divided into two and each team will play each other once. The winners of each bracket will meet for the CIF-SS Final. In Bishop Montgomery’s bracket, they are pitted against Rancho Christian, Rancho Verde, and Etiwanda. Bishop Montgomery has the tall task of being the first team to play Rancho Christian from Temecula, the top team in the State. Rancho Christian beat the infamous Sierra Canyon, in a battle of juggernauts last Saturday, as the winner received the top seed in the playoffs. Rancho has the talents of the Mobley Brothers, who will be suiting up for their father at USC in the future. The elder Mobley, Isaiah, was recently announced as a McDonald’s All American, whereas Evan is a top three prospect in the class of 2020. Rancho also has the talents of 2020 hairs, who recently committed to Gonzaga. Bishop Montgomery won the 2017 Open State Division Title, led by current Beaver Ethan Thompson. Bishop Montgomery is the home of both Stevie Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson, as it is where they carved out their careers as ESPN 100 prospects in their respective classes. Bishop Montgomery takes on Rancho Christian at Chapparal High School Saturday at 7 PM. Cheer on our future Beavs as they take on Southern California’s best talents this Friday!