No. 11 Turlock (24-6) vs. No. 6 Castlemont (16-12) at Oakland Tech -- The Bulldogs get a taste of Bay Area, and don't be fooled by the 12 losses. Castlemont's recent acquisition of 6-4 Gary Williams (17 ppg, 7 rpg) -- a transfer from McClymonds just last week -- led to a section title. He teams with 6-4 John Green (18 ppg, 8 rpg) for one of the top frontcourt duos in D-1. ... Turlock's 6-4 Eric Wetzel, joined up front by the 6-5 duo of Alek Carlson and Connor Pearson, will have their hands full tonight.
No. 12 Merced (25-5) vs. No. 5 San Ramon Valley (26-3) at Monte Vista -- The Wolves lost twice to top seed De La Salle, but also beat DLS. The Bears are upset about being the lowest seed, but is that enough to produce the upset? If Reggie Nelson (16 ppg) and Otis Caery (9 ppg) can hit from the perimeter, it could happen. The Wolves are big and burly up front, however, so it could come down to speed vs. size.
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No. 12 Calaveras (23-7) at No. 5 St. Patrick's/St. Vincent's (23-6) -- The Bruins are in a league with the top seeds in this division, St. Mary's (23-9) and Salesian (30-2), so they're battle-tested. The backcourt of Eli Woodford (13 ppg) and Robbie Herndon (15 ppg) will pose problems for Calaveras, though the Redskins adapted quickly to MC's speed in last week's close loss to Modesto Christian.
No. 14 Orland (20-9) at No. 3 Modesto Christian (22-8) -- It's always nice to draw the final seed as a first-round foe, but the Trojans have a star in 6-4 Stephen Batchelder (14 ppg, 14 rpg). Orland doesn't have a bench to match MC, however, and is likely to be gasping for air in the second half as MC rolls out fresh players. It's a good challenge for MC junior Anthony Pratt, who is used to battling taller foes -- he'll be eye-to-eye with Batchelder.
No. 11 Liberty Christian (21-8) at No. 5 Ripon Christian (22-8) -- The Patriots have a four-hour trip ahead of them, then have to defend 6-8 Tyler Goslinga (20 ppg, 11 rpg). Liberty has its own 6-8 center in Will Duffy, but he's not a scoring threat like the active Goslinga. ... If RC wins, it likely is heading to defending NorCal champ St. Joe's on Thursday.
No. 11 Ripon Christian (12-15) at No. 5 Head-Royce (27-5) -- The Jayhawks lost 39-38 to perennial power Branson in the North Coast Section final, and will focus their defense on 5-10 post Kelsey Tillema (14 ppg, 10 rpg). Head-Royce has the edge in quickness and a deeper bench. RC needs to be able to withstand the pressure defense, or this game could get away early.
No. 9 St. Joseph's (23-6) vs. No. 8 Turlock Christian (26-5) at Calvary Baptist -- It's been a memorable season for TC, in its first regional tournament. TC has its hands full, though. The Pilots face D-4 powers St. Mary's of Albany and Piedmont in league -- and that resulted in five of their losses. They also have a 13-point win over D-5 No. 4 seed Branson.