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Merced High boys basketball to face Nevada Union in playoffs

Marcus Knott spent the bulk of his Sunday afternoon on the phone.

As soon as the Sac-Joaquin Section released the playoff brackets, the Merced High boys basketball coach was running down his cell phone battery trying to find any information he could on his first round opponent.

Merced (18-9) earned the No. 5 seed in the Division I playoffs and will open at home against No. 12 Nevada Union (18-9) on Friday.

"As soon as you find out who you're playing, you start contacting people you know trying to get any film or information," Knott said.

"We haven't seen them or even been around them this year"

Merced was one of seven area boys team to earn a playoff berth.

On the other side of the Division I bracket is No. 3 Golden Valley (23-4), which will open against No. 14 Kennedy (14-13).

Like Knott, Hunter will spend the next few days getting to know his opponent.

"The bottom line is we have to play ball," Hunter said. "We're the No. 3 seed and we need to play like a No. 3 seed.

"We have to take care of business. They need to play us. That's the way I look at it."

Livingston (21-6) earned the No. 6 seed in the Division III bracket and will open at home on Wednesday against No. 11 Natomas.

The Division IV playoffs will also begin on Wednesday night with No. 7 Mariposa hosting No. 10 Encina and No. 11 Le Grand traveling to No. 6 Modesto Christian.

No. 13 Stone Ridge Christian travels to No. 4 Victory Christian on Wednesday in the Division V playoffs.

On the girls side, Golden Valley (14-13) worked its way into the playoffs with two wins last week.

No. 14 Golden Valley opens on Thursday night at No. 3 Stockton Lincoln.

The Livingston girls earned the toughest draw of any team.

Luciana Naldi's girls enter the playoffs as the No. 16 seed in the Division III playoffs.

Their reward is a first-round matchup against No. 1 Stockton St. Mary's, which was nationally ranked earlier this season.

No. 4 Hilmar and No. 6 Le Grand both earned first-round home games in the Division IV playoffs.

Hilmar will host No. 13 Vacaville Christian and Le Grand opens against No. 11 Hughson.