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March 13, 2014

NorCal BB Roundup

Fortuna came out fast and executed throughout in a 75-30 win over Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champion Natomas. Nate Ambrosini finished with 31 points. In other action, Lincoln upset De La Salle and Berkeley starts its title defense.

"I think our defense is back to the way we've been playing all season. We knew we were going to have to rebound to get this game and we got all of the 50-50 balls early and we have to duplicate that," Fortuna head coach Joe Rice said.

The long drive didn't faze Fortuna, which rolled past Natomas 75-30 to advance to the NorCal quarterfinals against Half Moon Bay on Saturday. After leading 12-7 going into the second quarter, Fortuna went on an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 23-7 and it didn't look back.

"We're like a family. We handle the road situation because we are used to traveling long distances and we just take it as a challenge," Ambrosini said on the road atmosphere.

Ambrosini, a Chico State signee, finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds. He had a trio of three pointers and a number of finishes inside.

"We told him tonight he was going to have to have one of those performances. We play such as a team, but there are times when our horse has to take over. That's probably the best game he's played in a while," Rice said.

The Huskies got 46 points around the basket in continually getting to the rim with the dribble and off back door cuts. Junior Daniel Teasley had 15 points and senior Justin Claus added 11 points.

Natomas freshman point guard Mehki Williams led the Knighthawks with 14 points. The 2017 prospect has good physical strength and can move defenders to create space. He attacked well though finished 6-for-19 from the field, including 1-for-6 from three point range. After helping Natomas capture the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title, the future is bright for Williams.

Other NorCal highlights:

In the surprise of the night, Lincoln-San Francisco knocked off De La Salle 54-47. De La Salle had won the regular season meeting 70-52. The Mustangs' last NorCal win came in 2008 against Rodriguez (89-87 in overtime) under the late Mike Gragnani. They will travel to Jesuit on Saturday.

David Gunn had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Jerry Karczewski had 18 points as San Ramon Valley narrowly avoided the upset in a 56-55 win over Kennedy-Sacramento. The Wolves host McClymonds on Saturday.

Alec Raven had 18 points and Noah Orlik had a big three pointer down the stretch as Montgomery held off No. 12 seed Del Oro 53-51, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. It is the program's first NorCal win since 2003.

Behind 31 points and 10 rebounds from senior Drew Anderson, Miramonte beat Fairfield 74-70 in overtime. The Matadors were one of three double digit seeds to win in the Division III playoffs. The other winners were Christian Brothers over Acalanes (60-46) and Vanden over Aragon (88-85). Including Drake's 63-62 win over Enterprise, three of the four first round games were decided by four points or less.

Girls Basketball

Berkeley began its NorCal title defense with a 64-40 win over Skyline. Desire Finnie had 24 points and Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman added 16 points. Skyline post Darrien Washington had 16 points in defeat. Berkeley will host McClatchy is one of the top games on Saturday.

27 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocks from Morgan Bertsch paced Santa Rosa in a 67-44 win over Central Coast Section Division I champion North Salinas. It will face Deer Valley on Saturday. The Panthers won the regular season meeting 68-65 in Antioch, but Deer Valley has won 10 in a row.

Monte Vista had a harder time than expected in a 50-43 win over Lowell. The Mustangs trailed after the first three quarters before winning the fourth quarter 18-8. The Mustangs don't have much time to regroup with Oak Ridge waiting on Saturday. The Trojans have made three regional finals since 2009.

Dublin beat Bethel 58-48 behind 21 points and 18 rebounds from junior post JoJuan Carrington. She has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 14 games. The Gaels face off with No. 1 seed Mitty on Saturday.


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