Foothill’s Josiah Hutt leads the second-seeded Cougars into the Northern Section Division III title game against No. 1 Pleasant Valley at 7:45 p.m. Saturday at Shasta College. For a primer of who to watch for in each of the 10 section final games, read our Players to Watch. (Photo by Mike Daly / Shasta County Sports)
Championship weekend is here and it’s a hoops heaven for basketball lovers with 10 games spread out over two days, starting Friday at Butte College with Divisions IV and V and wrapping up Saturday at Shasta College with Divisions III, V, and VII.
Here’s a primer to get you up to date with players to watch in the Northern Section basketball finals. All playoff coverage is brought to you by Redding Rancheria.
Division III boys
7:45 p.m. Saturday at Shasta College
No. 1 Pleasant Valley
Treyson Keating, 6-5, C, Sr.
The son of the coach is a big body and dominating presence on each ends of the floor. Keating, the player, leads the Vikings in scoring at 12.5 points per night, but also has stats across the board with nearly nine boards and a handful of assists, steals and blocks per night. Keating, the coach, talked earlier this season about how Treyson knows his role and is a calming influence for PV.
Cody Hamilton, 6-2, F, Sr.
Unlike last year, when Kevin Kremer had light-it-up potential each night, this year’s Vikings are a balanced group — Keating said he’d rather have a bunch of guys contribute than one or two superstars. And Hamilton is one of those solid contributors. He averages nearly 11 per game and, like Treyson Keating has stats across the board.
Keep an eye on: Daniel Montoya and Tyler Otterlei.
No. 2 Foothill
Josiah Hutt, 6-4, F/G, Sr.
The senior leader of the Cougars averages 18 points per game. But more than that, he has the ability to hit from just about anywhere this side of mid-court and has shown a knack for knocking for big shots at key moments — as he did Tuesday in the 55-50 win over Enterprise when he hit a trifecta of treys in the third period.
Bekdoo Lewis, 6-2, F, Jr.
Quiet and unassuming, Lewis’ game is stellar. Long and lanky, he provides a surprisingly strong low-post presence on defense and has an offensive game that is skilled both in the paint and from range. He averages nearly 11 points and 5-plus boards per night. He shoots nearly 60 percent from the field and will dagger you if you leave him open beyond the arc.
Keep an eye on: Luke Lindsey and Chase Rossman.
Division III girls
6 p.m. Saturday at Shasta College
No. 1 Enterprise
Jaydn Matthews, 5-11, F, Sr.
The clubhouse leader for Northern Section MVP is looking to lead the Hornets to their first section title since 2013. The senior is averaging a double-double (23 points, 11 rebounds) this season and is the catalyst that drives the Enterprise machine. Matthews has a rare blend of size and quickness that leads her to pound down low and run the break. Pay too much attention to Matthews and the Hornets’ sharpshooters will make you pay as well.
Abby Shoff, 5-10, F, Fr.
The future for Enterprise basketball — except the future is now for this budding star. Shoff has the size to play down low blocking shots and bodying up on the block, while also having quickness and handles enough to run the break. She’s averaging 9 points and 7 boards per night and is a nice complement to Matthews.
Keep an eye on: Mianna Saechao and Karina Archibald
No. 2 Foothill
Jenna Wallace, 6-0, P, Sr.
Like Matthews, Wallace is the floor general for the Cougars, rarely coming off the court. She’s averaging 15 points per night and is comfortable posting up and bullying her way to a layup or popping a triple from range. This is a “grab your popcorn” game as Matthews and Wallace should be matched up against each other most of the night.
Riley Wallen, 5-6, G, Sr.
Averaging nearly 9 points per night, Wallen has stepped it up in the playoffs, hitting for 13 in a blowout win over Las Plumas and 18 in the semifinal win over PV. Her 3-point shooting has gotten hot at the right time for Stephanie Ahluwalia’s group, as Wallen has hit 7-of-8 from distance in the playoffs. She also does a ton of the little things with 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 assist and 1.2 steals per night.
Keep an eye on: Delanie Henning and Emma Roach
Division IV boys
4:15 p.m. Friday at Butte College
No. 1 West Valley
Sean Proscher, 6-2, F, Jr.
The old saying goes “Shooters shoot” and man can Proscher shoot. The lanky junior with a money-motion hits at 40 percent from distance and may as well be nicknamed “Microwave” because he heats up quickly. Averaging nearly 19 per game, he’s dropped double-digits in all but one game this season for the Eagles. But Proscher isn’t merely a downtown-threat as he shoot better than 50 percent from the field as well.
Tyler Chan, 5-11, F, Sr.
As well as Proscher shoots, Chan actually has more triples (71) than his junior teammate. And that adds up to a matchup nightmare for opponents. Concentrate too much on Proscher and Chan will bury you. Averaging 13 points on the season, Chan is on a tear as of late, scoring nearly 18 per night in his past six games. And because he’s got range and the ability to hit from anywhere, he also has the ability to drop big numbers as he did Feb. 8 against Yreka (25) and Dec. 18 against Willows (31).
Keep an eye on: Lambert Salvatierra and Mike Smith
No. 3 U-Prep
Jordan Miller, 6-5, F, Sr.
The reigning Northern Athletic League MVP averages nearly 11 per night and has stepped up big time after leading scorer Tanner Stephens went down with a broken arm in the back half of league play. He’s averaging 13 points per night since the Panthers lost Stephens and will be looked at to give U-Prep calm in the storm of the title tilt with the Eagles.
Trevor Jones, 6-2, G/F, Jr.
Jones is a spark plug. He can slash, plays lockdown defense and brings instant energy to the Panthers in the absence of Stephens. He’s averaging 9.6 points per game, shoots better than 40 percent from 3-point and leads the team in steals with 63. He’s quiet and unassuming, a deadly combination should the Eagles take him lightly.
Keep an eye on: Kaden Jones and Mark Stephens
Division IV girls
2:30 p.m. Friday at Butte College
No. 1 Willows
Meghan Weinrich, F, Jr.
The Honkers star is only a junior, but plays well beyond her years. She can score from just about anywhere on the floor and is money around the rim. She’s dropped more than 23 points per night (she’s hit for double-digits in every game this season) and gone for 25, 38, 27 and 30 in her past four games.
Marissa Peters, F, Sr.
Peters is second on the team in scoring, rebounding and leads in assist. She’s a perfect 1-2 punch for Carol Martin’s group with Weinrich. Like Matthews at Enterprise, pay too much attention to Weinrich and Peters has the ability to lead the Honkers to a win.
Keep an eye on: Tayler Berens, Hannah Parisio
No. 2 Lassen
Ellie Stewart, 6-2, P, Sr.
Stewart leads the Grizzlies in scoring and helped Lassen lock up a share of the NAL crown with West Valley. The Lassen senior has been a double-double machine in the past month, averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds per game, well above her 16 and 11 season average.
Jamie Larson, 5-10, P, Sr.
Dropping nearly 9 points and 7 boards per game, Larson is a 1-2 punch for the Grizzlies that helped lead them to a 22-6 mark on the season, including a current seven-game win streak.
Keep an eye on: Shelby Anderson and Lainey Nevis
Division V boys
7:45 p.m. Friday at Butte College
No. 1 Mount Shasta
Kaden Ricomini, 6-2, F, Sr.
The uber-talented forward could play, start and compete on just about every team in the Northern Section. A phenomenal athlete, Kaden Ricomini has the game to run the break, pull up and hit from anywhere on the floor or find a teammate in transition. He dropped 26 in the postseason opener for the 23-1 Bears.
Kole Ricomini, 6-1, G, Sr.
The other Ricomini brother is an assassin, a point he proved in last year’s Section Final win over Colusa. He has a deadly shot from range and runs the point to perfection.
Keep an eye on: Jett Snure and Kekai Ferguson
No. 2 Durham
Jace Buck, 6-1, So.
The sophomore big can dominate the paint on both ends of the floor.
Braeden Southam, 6-1, F, Jr.
The Trojans’ main shooter, he led Durham in the semifinals with a 20-point night over Modoc.
Keep an eye on: Eli Medina and Colby Del Carlo
Division V girls
6 p.m. Friday at Butte College
No. 1 Biggs
Megan Collins, 5-5, G, Sr.
Collins hits for nearly 18 per night and has scored in double figures in all but two games for the Wolverines. Shooting better than 50 percent from the field, she’s been lighting it up in the past month.
Emonye Jones, 6-0, C, Sr.
The Biggs’ senior post is nearly averaging a double-double with 11.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per night.
Keep an eye on: Grace Felkins and Ciera Van Quick
No. 7 Trinity
Lauren Harper, Sr.
The Wolves’ senior is leading an eight-man roster on a Cinderella ride as the seven seed. She’s averaging 15 points per night for Jim Bayley (the longtime Hayfork coach) as Trinity has already pulled off upsets of No. 2 Hamilton and No. 6 Modoc.
Aubrey Prunty, Fr.
The freshman is scoring nearly nine points per night as the Wolves continue their magical postseason ride. She finished the regular season scoring double figures in five of her team’s last six games.
Keep an eye on: Julia Norman and Ella Ross
Division VI boys
4:15 p.m. Saturday at Shasta College
No. 1 Redding Christian
Austin Larson, Sr.
It’s been determined that Larson can practically do anything on the court that he wants to. Not only has he led Redding Christian to a 30-0 overall mark, he’s nearing 1,000 points for the seaosn and has over 2,000 for his career. He’s averaging nearly 31 points and 15 rebounds per game and there’s no doubt he’s the best player when he steps on the floor every night. And opponents know that.
Drew Nelson-Crowell, So.
The sophomore is not only an inside presence on defense but he can bang with the best of them in D-VI underneath. He’s easy to find and has a big body to muscle anyone up in the paint. With growing confidence, Nelson-Crowell (14 PPG, 10 RPG) could be the biggest impact player for a championship team not named Larson in the section.
Keep an eye on: Ty Vickery, Jr.
No. 2 American Christian Academy
Matteo Mancasola, Sr.
A familiar name, another Mancasola is in the section championship game after his two older brothers Paolo and Carlos (both played ball at UC Davis) achieved the feat. Can Matteo capture a title like both of them? He’s ACA’s leading scorer, is solid with his pick-and-roll game, can attack and can knock them down with the best of them from deep, said one area coach.
Matthew Edgar, Sr.
It’s tough to reach the section finals without a guy who could do a little bit of everything and add good size and athleticism to boot. in the paint. Edgar is a solid shooter from downtown and feisty on the boards.
Keep an eye on: Shawn Sutton and Max Nelson
Division VI girls
2:30 p.m. Saturday at Shasta College
No. 1 Redding Christian
Sadie Alexander, G, Jr.
The Lions’ point is averaging nearly 14 points per game, while also notching stats across the board in steals, rebounds and assists. She’s the catalyst of the Lions’ attack and a big reason top-seed Redding Christian is 25-3. She can blow past opponents on the drive or pull up with confidence from range.
Sammie Wunner, P, Jr.
The junior, who almost didn’t play this season, has given the Lions a dominant low-post presence who is money from 5 feet and in. She’s averaging nearly 12 points per night and pulls down nearly eight boards per contest. Wunner provides a great inside-out 1-2 punch with Alexander as the Lions look to capture the D-VI crown that eluded them last year.
Keep an eye on: Aleah Matos and Kaylee Jones
No. 2 Etna
Jessica Dean, 5-11, P, Sr.
Dean leads a trio of Lions averaging right around 10 points per night. She’s dropped double-digits in five of Etna’s past six games. The Lions are on an eight-game win streak with their last loss on Jan. 18.
Caliey Rizzardo, 5-10, P, Jr.
The junior is averaging 10.1 and 9 boards per night for the Lions. She has scored 17 and 10 in the past two games.
Keep an eye on: Halliday Hubbard and Cassidy Gilmore
Division VII boys
12:45 p.m. Saturday at Shasta College
No. 1 Butte Valley
Zack Hensley, Sr.
The Bulldogs senior is leading the team in scoring and rebounding, putting down 17.6 per night and windexing 11.7 boards per night as Butte Valley is 17-8 on the season. Hensley has stepped it up in the last four games, averaging 26 per night with a high of 30 against Hayfork.
Levi Robertson, Sr.
A double-double machine over the last month, Robertson averages 15.3 points and 7 rebounds per contest, but has 15.8 and 11.2 over Butte Valley’s past five games.
Keep an eye on: Jacob Field and Austin Martinez
No. 2 McCloud
Zach Dutton, 6-2, F, So.
The 10th-grader is dropping more than 24 points per night and has hit for 32 and 33 in the Loggers past two games. Dutton also pulls down nearly nine rebounds per game.
Mawolin Summers, 5-9, G, Jr.
The junior is second on the Loggers with a 15.7-per-night average. He’s twice gone for 30 or more and hit the 20-point mark seven times this season.
Keep an eye on: David Wolfe and Korbin Woolery
Division VII girls
11 a.m. Saturday at Shasta College
No. 1 Surprise Valley
Sydney Miller, 5-8, Jr.
No stranger to the big stage, the small-town girl dropped 40 last year in the Section Finals. She’s got range and the ability to drive.
Hallie Seely, 5-6, So.
Seely went for 12 points last year in the finals win over Happy Camp. She was 3-for-3 from distance and has helped the Hornets to a 16-4 mark this season.
Keep an eye on: Lila Beach and Santos Ledezma
No. 2 Greenville
Alexis Goodson, 5-10, F, So.
The sophomore is lead the Indians in scoring with 17 points per night while adding 11 rebounds. A rebounds machine, Goodson has grabbed at least 10 boards in every game except six for Greenville.
Ashlynn Bustamante, 5-6, G, Jr.
An ironwoman who, along with Mackenzie Brown, logged more than 26 minutes per night for the Indians. Bustamante averages 12.4 points per night while adding 4.3 assist and an eye-popping 5 steals per contest.
Keep an eye on: Mackenzie Brown and Lacie Banchio.
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