Varsity Times Insider | LA Times | March 18 2016 | Article Link
High school basketball fans can't seem to get enough of watching unbeaten Chino Hills (33-0), ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Gyms have been sold out most of the season when Chino Hills plays, and another sellout is expected for Saturday's Open Division Southern California Regional final between Chino Hills and Torrance Bishop Montgomery (28-2) at 8:30 p.m. at the Pyramid in Long Beach.
Seating capacity is 4,450 and about 1,000 online tickets were sold in less than an hour Wednesday after the CIF decided to require a separate ticket for the game. Chino Hills originally asked for 4,200 tickets to sell to its community. It sold 1,300. An additional 850 tickets were made available online Friday. The game will be shown on Time Warner Cable's Channel 84 along with being streamed live at twccommunity.com.
Five other championships will be decided at the Pyramid in Division I and II boys and girls games beginning at 9 a.m. along with the Open Division girls' final between West Hills Chaminade and Long Beach Poly at 5 p.m. Then the arena will be cleared for the final game.
There also will be six championship games played at Ontario Colony High, in Divisions III, IV and V. The winners advance to the state championship games March 24 and 26 at Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena.
Chino Hills has tied the state record for most 100-point games with 18. Point guard Lonzo Ball, a UCLA signee, was named the Gatorade state player of the year on Thursday. He earlier picked up the Naismith Award as the nation's top high school player.
Bishop Montgomery gave the Huskies one of their toughest games on Jan. 30, losing, 71-67. Ball made just two of 21 shots and will be looking forward to a second chance against the Knights, who have been led by sophomore guard David Singleton and juniors Ethan Thompson and Jordan Schakel.
Veteran Coach Doug Mitchell thinks if his team can improve its rebounding against the Huskies, the Knights will have a chance to pull off the upset. But Chino Hills loves playing in an arena setting, allowing its well-conditioned players to fastbreak, trap and create chaos for opponents.
The Open Division girls' final takes on added significance after the No. 1 team in the nation, Stockton St. Mary's, was upset in the Northern California Regionals. Chaminade defeated Poly in the Southern Section Open Division final.
All 24 teams left in the Southern California Regionals are from the Southern Section and many of the games will be rematches, such as the 11 a.m. Division I boys' Division I final featuring Long Beach Poly and Riverside North.
North won, 61-58, in the Southern Section 1AA section championship game. The 3 p.m. 1A boys' final between Redondo and Encino Crespi is another rematch from the Open Division consolation final won by Crespi, 89-71.