The Southern Section released the bracket for the Open Division Saturday and the eight-team field is loaded. The first four games are set for this Friday.
Top-ranked Bishop Montgomery is undefeated and will host St. John Bosco, the third-place team from the Trinity League.
Bishop Montgomery features UCLA-bound David Singleton and junior point guard Gianni Hunt. Hunt is back from injury and could be primed for some huge performances. Hunt is well rested and wants to show how good he is. The Knights also feature Boston College-bound Fletcher Tynen and Lynwood transfer Oscar Lopez. No team could beat Bishop Montgomery in the regular season.
St. John Bosco gets the first shot. Matt Dunn's team had some quality wins during the season but comes in limping at 5-4 in its last nine games and lost its best player, Alpha Okoli, arounf Christmas break after it had been discovered his 8-consecutive semester eligibility was up.
Sierra Canyon travels to Rancho Christian in an intriguing quarterfinal. First-year coach Andre Chevalier helped lead the Trailblazers to a sparkling 21-3 record with two overtime losses and a close defeat to Bishop Montgomery, a game Sierra Canyon led for nearly 25-30 minutes.
Sierra Canyon has a plethora of talent. Ohio St. bound Duane Washington is the point guard and has plenty of options to get the ball to. K.J. Martin is one of the southland's most exciting players and junior guard Cassius Stanley is a human highlight-reel.
Don't forget about 6-foot-8 sophomore Terren Frank. A way under-the-radar prospect just getting back from injury.
Rancho Christian counters with the twin towers. Isaiah and Evan Mobley. Both about 6-foot-10. Isaiah a junior and Evan a sophomore. The brothers make it hard for teams to score in the paint. K.J. Redfield is the best guard on a 26-2 team that handed Etiwanda its only loss of the year. This one is shaping up to be a great game.
The game that could produce the most drama is Crespi at Mater Dei. What a matchup this will be. Crespi comes in at 25-2 and was undefeated through rugged Mission League play. Coach Russell White will lean heavily on Arizona bound Brandon Williams and Taj Regans. Williams is finally healthy after missing all of his junior year with a knee injury. Williams has had some huge performances this year, including a 52-point game against Alemany. Regans was superb against Harvard-Westlake in the regular season finale totaling 29 points. Kyle Owens, a top junior forward will be needed to slow down Mater Dei's Cal St. Fullerton bound Michael Wang.
Mater Dei comes in with six losses but is always dangerous. Harvard bound point guard Spencer Freedman is the ultimate floor general and wants nothing more than to end his high school career with a section and state title. Freedman has plenty of help, too. Wang, Harrison Butler and Regan Lundeen are all more than capable of putting the ball in the basket.
This could be the closest game of the four.
Santa Margarita travels to Etiwanda in a 7 vs. 2 matchup. Max Agbokpolo and Jake Kyman will have to wrestle around Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner's solid man-to-man defense.
The Open Division is pretty much the best playoff division in the country. The action kicks off Friday and continues Saturday, Feb. 24 with the semifinals at Cal Baptist's brand new 73-million Events Center.