The boys basketball team at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay is still in the hunt for its first North Coast Section title — as well as its first trip to the Northern California tournament.
The second-seeded Wolves advanced to the NCS Division 6 semifinals with a 55-48 win over No. 7 seed St. Bernard’s Academy of Eureka in the quarterfinals Feb. 16 at Kezar Pavilion.
With the victory, the Wolves will take a 19-5 record into a semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 20 against No. 3 seed Point Arena High (16-5). Game time is 7 p.m. at International High School in San Francisco. The winner will advance to the NCS Division 6 title game and also earn a guaranteed spot in the NorCal tournament, according to JCHS director of athletics Sean Moler.
“This is where the team got last year,” said Moler, referring to the team’s loss to Redding High in the semifinals a year ago. “We have an incredible amount of talent. Most of these kids have been playing together their whole lives, since elementary school.”
The bracket for the California Scholastic Federation’s NorCal Division 6 tournament will be announced Sunday, Feb. 24, with the three-round playoffs beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27. Division 6 is for schools with enrollments below 200 students, according to the CIF website.
Against St. Bernard’s, JCHS shot out of the gate with a strong first half and led by as many as 15 points. Turnovers by JCHS in the second half helped St. Bernard’s pull to within three points with 90 seconds left in the game, but the Wolves hung tough to seal the victory. JCHS co-captain Toby Holm finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Moze Thurmgreene scored 15.
JCHS opened the NCS playoffs last week with a 65-19 pounding of Calistoga High. The Wolves’ semifinal opponent, Point Arena, beat Fremont Christian by forfeit in its opener, then slipped past Rincon Valley Christian 57-56 in the quarterfinals.