Feb 22, 2013 2:12 AM by Andrew Masuda

Eagles, Knights and Royals look to advance in CIF Friday

The Mission Prep and St. Joseph boys basketball teams will look to clinch spots in the championship games on Friday, while Arroyo Grande will try to move on to the semifinals in its division.

The Mission Prep Royals hit the road trying to snap a couple of streaks with one victory. Seeded third in Division 5AA, Mission plays at La Canada High against second seeded Flintridge Prep. Mission has lost three in a row to the Rebels, including a game earlier this season and in the CIF semifinals in 2011.

"We have a lot of history with our next matchup, a lot of losses, close losses. So we really want to go out and get a big win and then have some even more confidence headed into the finals," said sophomore guard Quinton Adlesh, who scored a team-high 16 points in Mission's quarterfinal win over Saddleback Valley.

The Royals have lost their last two semifinal games, including a 3 point loss a year ago.

"Last year it ended short for us in the semifinals, also in state we lost in the quarterfinals so this year we definitely want to get past that. We want to make it to the championship. We know what it takes. We've got some veterans on this team and everybody is on the same page and wants to get that CIF title," said senior point guard Andy Rowley, who scored 11 points in the quarterfinals.

Flintridge Prep is 22-5 and seeded second in the division. The Rebels have owned the Royals in recent meetings. They beat Mission 61-47 at a tournament back in January. They also knocked Mission out of the CIF semifinals 86-72 in 2011. The Rebels are led by junior guard Robert Cartwright and 6-6 forward Kareem Ismail. The Rebels enter the semifinals on a 15 game winning streak, including two wins over Webb, which Mission beat in the second round. Flintridge beat Santa Clara 77-47 in the quarterfinals behind 26 points from Cartwright and 13 from Ismail. Both players sat out the fourth quarter. Carthwright is averaging 23 points in the playoffs, while Ismail is producing 12 points and 8 rebounds in the postseason.

St. Joseph is playing in its first semifinal since winning the title in 2004. The Knights are 22-7 and seeded #3 in Division 4A. Brentwood out of Los Angeles is the #2 seed and 26-3.

The Knights are coming off a thrilling 62-59 overtime win over Campbell Hall, a team that knocked St. Joseph out of the quarterfinals in 2008 and 2012. Senior Case Bruton led the Knights with 26 points. Curry Parham added 14 and Keith Datu recorded 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Bruton leads the team overall at nearly 22 points per game. Datu averages 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per game.

Brentwood is ranked 32nd in the state by MaxPreps. The Eagles are led by 6-1 junior guard Tra Holder, who's averaging 23 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game. 6-6 Forward Leland King averages 22 points and 14 rebounds. Brentwood beat Campbell Hall by 18 and 5 points in the regular season.

St. Joseph head coach Tom Mott said it would take a team effort to get by Brentwood. "It's been a team all year. And we have some guys that on any given night might lead us in scoring or might lead us in rebounding but it's a collective effort," said Mott.

Arroyo Grande is in the quarterfinals for the fifth time in the last seven years under head coach Ryan Glanville. The 11th seeded Eagles host #3 Canyon out of Anaheim in a Division 2A quarterfinal. The Eagles are attempting to reach the semis for the second year in a row and fourth time under Glanville.

The Eagles are riding a five game winning streak and coming off a 63-45 win over Redlands East Valley in the second round where they overcame a 9 point halftime deficit. Matt Willkomm sparked the comeback with 16 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. Cobe Williams added 17 points and Brennan Rivera logged 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"It feels good because the home crowd will obviously be here and man, we just hope to feed off their energy and keep going," said Willkomm about playing another game in front of their home fans.

Canyon is the #3 seed and 21-9 overall. Five players scored in double figures in the Comanches' 85-59 quarterfinal win over Don Lugo. Senior guard JoJo Ballestero led the way with 23 points, while junior point guard Anthony Ballestero added 17 points and 11 assists. Nick Anderson contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Comanches won a CIF title in 2009.

All three games start at 7pm on Friday.



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