NorCal High School Basketball Outlook


No. 7 Corning (23-6) at No. 2 Modesto Christian (22-8), 7:30 p.m. -- The Cardinals won 10 in a row before losing the Northern Section final on a shot at the buzzer, falling 53-51 to Sutter. Corning scores 62 a game and is led by 6-3 forward Matt Barr (11.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg), and 5-10 guards Tanner McIntyre (10 ppg, 3 assists, 69 treys) and Cameron Merchant (eight ppg, 3 assists, 44 treys). ... MC's size presents problems for Corning, whose top inside player is Barr. He'll have to deal with 6-8 Reeves Nelson (22 ppg, 17 rpg), 6-4 Johnny Hutton (17 ppg, 7 rpg) and 6-4 swingman Marcus Butler (seven ppg). ... Isaiah Burse ran circles around Christian Brothers in Saturday's 92-63 rout in the section final, and is likely to be the quickest point guard Corning has seen. ... MC has won 19 of 20 games and has at least 81 points in seven of its last nine.


No. 7 Central Valley (22-8) at No. 2 Modesto Christian (24-7), 6 p.m. -- The red-hot Crusaders have won 18 of their last 19, with the loss to national power St. Mary's, and won their four section games by an average of 33 points. If 5-11 forward Taryn Garza (13 ppg, eight rpg) shakes a shooting funk, it gives coach Robb Spencer yet another weapon. Garza is tough inside, regardless, getting a record 19 rebounds in Saturday's final. ... Central Valley of Shasta Lake fell 56-45 to Corning in the Northern final. Looking for an indication of how this could go? CV struggled to beat Central Catholic 53-45 in December, so MC's a heavy favorite. ... CV's 5-9 Lala Forrest-Cawker (15 ppg, seven rpg, 22 treys) and 6-1 Breanna Mackie (12 ppg, 16 rpg) will challenge MC's duo of Garza and 5-11 Lauren Lucchesi (10 ppg, seven rpg). ... Keep an eye on the PG battle: MC's 5-8 Brandi Henton (15 ppg, four steals, three assists) vs. 5-4 Jordon Conner (six ppg, four assists).