St. Ignatius, SHC girls placed in Open Division for state playoffs

The St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral girls’ basketball teams have met four times this season, including in Saturday’s Central Coast Section Open Division championship, with SI prevailing 55-36.

However, if the West Catholic Athletic League rivals want to meet a fifth time, they will have to mow down the best competition the state has to offer to do so.

St. Ignatius (26-4) and SHC (21-7) were placed in Northern California’s Open Division of the CIF State Basketball Championships when brackets were released Sunday.

The Open Division is a gathering of the top teams in the state regardless of enrollment size.

St. Ignatius is the No. 5 seed and will host Salesian (Richmond) in the first round on Friday at 7 p.m. Sacred Heart Cathedral is the seventh seed and opens on the road against Carondelet (Concord) at De La Salle High School on Friday at 7 p.m. Carondelet beat SHC 85-60 on Dec. 27.

In Division I, Lowell (22-5), the Academic Athletic Association-San Francisco Section champs, hosts Monte Vista (Danville) on Wednesday in first-round action, while Galileo (18-8) travels to take on Wilcox (Santa Clara) on Wednesday.

North Coast Section champion International (18-10) is the No. 3 seed in Division V and opens tournament play against Weed on Wednesday at home.

On the boys side, seven San Francisco teams are headed to the NorCal tournament, including three WCAL teams.

In Division I, AAA champ Lincoln (24-8) will be tested right away as the Mustangs host perennial power De La Salle (Concord) on Wednesday.

The lone S.F. representative in Division II is St. Ignatius (22-6). The Wildcats are the division’s No. 8 seed and open the tournament Wednesday at home against Washington (Fremont). Should St. Ignatius advance past Washington, top-seeded Folsom is waiting in the next round.

Sacred Heart Cathedral (19-11) earned the No. 1 seed in Division III and has a first-round bye. The Irish meet the winner of the Enterprise (Redding)-Sir Francis Drake (San Anselmo) game Saturday at 6 p.m. SHC is joined by Riordan (19-9) in Division III. The Crusaders also have a first-round bye and wait the winner of the Acalanes (Lafayette)-Christian Brothers (Sacramento) game.

Marshall (17-12), the AAA runner-up, opens Division IV play on the road Wednesday against Half Moon Bay.

The final two S.F. teams reside in Division V with University and Stuart Hall. University (24-7) takes on Woodside Priory on Wednesday at Kezar Pavilion at 6 p.m., while Stuart Hall (23-7) faces off against Mt. Shasta on Wednesday at Lowell High School.

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