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7 magnificent story lines for state basketball finals

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  • 7 magnificent story lines for state basketball finals

    7 magnificent story lines for state basketball finals

    Of the more than 400 boys and girls Metro basketball teams, only seven remain.

    Each will play for a state championship this week at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

    The Mission boys are only the second San Francisco public school to reach the state finals and first since 1982 when Washington lost to Carson-Los Angeles 54-53 at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

    To win San Francisco Section’s first state crown, the Bears (34-1) will need to beat a Villa Park (Orange County) team that lost 62-56 to Campolindo-Moraga this season.

    Villa Park was without 6-foot-9 Daelyn Bams in that one and is often led by 6-4 senior guard Myles Franklin, who is headed to Northeastern.

    The Matadors of Miramonte-Orinda have been the queens of public school teams in the region, but Campolindo-Moraga (27-6) — just a couple of miles down the road — has emerged as a state finalist after a NorCal championship-game-record 46 points from Haley Van Dyke in Saturday’s 78-56 win over St. Mary’s-Berkeley.

    The 6-foot junior made 20 of 28 shots and had 20 rebounds in leading the Cougars to their first NorCal title since 1997, when they won their third state crown in a row and fourth overall.

    Mitty (28-2), ranked fourth nationally by MaxPreps, could make that claim with an Open title defeat of Clovis West-Fresno (33-2), which is ranked seventh nationally.

    Mitty is coming off perhaps its most impressive win, a 78-54 drubbing of a very good Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa team.

    “They resembled a college team,” Newman coach Monica Mertle said.

    Eastside Prep-East Palo Alto (22-8) is making its third straight state finals appearance and seeking a second title in a row.

    Coach Donovan Blythe gets it done every season with full-court pressure, fastbreak offense and three-point shooting, this season led by sophomore Zion Gabriel (83 three-pointers).

    Moreau Catholic-Hayward (25-9) has won 100 games over the last four seasons, but each has ended with a bitter defeat.

    Metro Player of the Year candidate Damari Milstead said the Mariners can erase all of them with a win over an Esperanza-Anaheim squad led by 6-8 Stanford-bound point guard Kezie Okpala (30.8 points per game).

    In an 81-77 overtime defeat of host St. Francis, Milstead had 43 points, including nine of his team’s 10 in OT.

    Vincent-Vallejo, coming off a state football championship, seems more than determined to repeat the feat on the hardwood.

    Following a crushing NCS quarterfinal loss to Lick-Wilmerding, the Bruins have won four straight — including payback over Lick — by an average margin of 37 points.

    Late in the second half, the Palma student body resorted to: Let’s play football. … senior writer Mitch Stephens covers high school sports for The San Francisco Chronicle.

    State championship game schedule