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Brackets released for boys section hoops playoffs

Rocklin D-II No. 1 seed, DO No. 2 in D-III
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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The boys high school basketball playoff brackets released by the Sac-Joaquin Section Sunday afternoon were pretty much as expected for local teams. Rocklin, off of a dominating run through the Sierra Foothill League season, enters the Division II field as the favorite to win a section title, and to contend for a state title. The No. 1-seeded Thunder will open their quest against No. 16 Valley Wednesday night in Rocklin. The winner of that first round game will face the survivor of the contest between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Oak Ridge in Friday night’s second round. Pleasant Grove is the other high seed in the Rocklin half of the draw, as the Eagles are ranked No. 4. Woodcreek and Granite Bay will both travel for first round games Wednesday, and the two Roseville-area rivals sit in the same four-team grouping meaning that wins by both in the first round would set up a head-to-head matchup Friday night. The Timberwolves, seeded No. 11 will visit No. 6 Yuba City in the opener, while the No. 14 Grizzlies are at No. 3 Bella Vista, a team that beat Granite Bay twice in the preseason portion of the schedule. The other highly seeded team in the D-II bracket is No. 2 Fairfield, one of only two teams to knock off Rocklin this season. The Division III field is also set, with Sacramento as its No. 1 seed. Two losses in the final week dropped Del Oro just one spot to the No. 2 position, and the Golden Eagles will host No. 15 El Camino Wednesday night to open the tourney. Those two Eagles teams have seen each other before, as a very different El Camino team knocked Del Oro out in last year’s semifinals, and Del Oro won an overtime game in the Common Good Classic in January. Whitney is the No. 5 seed in D-III, and the Wildcats will host No. 12 Center Wednesday with hopes of a Friday night second-round game that would likely be at the home of No. 4 Sierra (Manteca). The Lincoln boys also earned a first-round home game as the No. 8 seed in the field, and the Zebras will host No. 9 River City Wednesday night, with the winner likely visiting top-seeded Sacramento on Friday. A loss to top-seeded Bradshaw Christian last week dropped Valley Christian Academy to the No. 11 slot, where the Lions will visit New Life Christian (Olivehurst) Wednesday night. The winner is likely to face No. 3 Forest Lake Christian in Auburn on Friday. The boys tourney opens at the sites of the higher seeded teams with first round games at 7 p.m. Wednesday and the second round Friday at 7 p.m. Division II play continues the following week with the section semifinals Wednesday at UOP in Stockton and the finals Saturday afternoon at Arco Arena. The D-III boys semifinals will be played the following Wednesday at Galt High School, with the finals Friday night at Arco. The D-V boys semifinals are the following Tuesday night at Galt High School with the section finals Friday at Arco. Visit this site during the week for tournament previews, game results and analysis. Wednesday playoff schedule for local boys teams (all games tip at 7 p.m.): Division II No. 16 Valley at No.1 Rocklin No. 14 Granite Bay at No. 3 Bella Vista (Fair Oaks) No. 11 Woodcreek at No. 6 Yuba City Division III No. 15 El Camino at No. 2 Del Oro No. 12 Center at No. 5 Whitney No. 9 River City at No. 8 Lincoln Division V No. 11 Valley Christian at No. 6 New Life Christian (Olivehurst)