Bear River girls draw first round Regional 'bye'

Placer, Del Oro, Colfax girls, Colfax boys all hit the road Wednesday
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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Probably the most plesantly surprised high school girls basketball coach in Northern California Sunday afternoon was Bear River's Jeff Bickmore.

"A bye?", asked Bickmore when informed that his Bear River Lady Bruins grabbed a No. 4 seed in the 12-team CIF Northern California Div. IV Regional tournament and will not have to play until next Saturday's second round - at home nonetheless.

"I'm really surprised that we ended up in the number four spot but we'll take it," said Bickmore whose Lady Bruins were the only team among five area squads headed to the regionals that won't have to travel.

"I was kind of looking forward to playing Wednesday but we are a little dinged up after the loss to Bradshaw. This may help us out," said the Bear River coach.

Bickmore's squad dropped a 50-40 decision to Bradshaw Christian in Saturday's CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

"We needed to shoot the ball better to win that game," said Bickmore. "Bradshaw looks like they have three players that will go on and play Div. I. You need to score to beat a team like that."

The Lady Bruins will now and try and regroup and start preparation for Saturday's 7 p.m. home game against the winner of Wednesday's first round test between No. 5 Menlo (20-9) and No. 12 Moreau Catholic of Hayward (21-7).

While the Lady Bruins will get a chance to play at home, the Del Oro, Placer and Colfax girls, along with the Colfax boys, will all have to pack their bags and open regional play on the road.

In girls Div. II, Del Oro (19-11) heads to San Jose. The No. 10 seeded Lady Eagles will play at Presentation, the No. 7 seed despite a record of only 13-15.

Placer's girls, the No. 12 seed in Div. III, will motor to Moraga to take on Campolindo. Placer (25-5) will be meeting a Cougars team that is 23-5 on the season. The Placer-Campolindo winner will then meet the winner of Wednesday's game between Christian Brothers and Paradise on Saturday at the home of the higher remaining seed.

Also, in girls Div. IV, Colfax earned a No.10 seed and will play in Kentfield against Marin Catholic, the No. 7 seed. Colfax is 20-9 on the season while Marin Catholic is 21-9.

Probably the foothills area team receiving the toughest draw was the Colfax boys squad.

Despite a record of 24-6, the Falcons were seeded No. 13 in Div. IV and will make the longest trip of any local team when they head to the Santa Cruz area to visit No. 4 Soquel (22-7).

Soquel took perhaps the most unusual route to reach the regionals as the Knights opted to play in the Central Coast Section's "Open Division" tournament which guaranteed them a spot in the Div. IV regionals.

However, in the "Open Division" CCS tournament, Soquel, which rained in 25 three-point baskets in their three tourney games, took No. 1 seed and nationally rated Mitty to the final buzzer before falling, 59-57. Soquel went on to defeat Div. I teams Palo Alto and Piedmont Hills to win the consolation bracket.   

CIF Northern California Regionals

First Round Games - Wed. March 6, 7 p.m.

Girls Div. II

Del Oro (19-11) at Presentation, San Jose, (13-15)

Girls Div. III

Placer (25-5) at Campolindo, Moraga, (23-5)

Girls Div. IV

Colfax (20-9) at Marin Catholic, Kentfield, (21-9)

Bear River, (26-4), Bye

Boys Div. IV

Colfax (24-6) at Soquel (22-7)