Riordan Makes CCS Title Game!

CIF Open Madness is here. Putting the top ranked California Interscholastic Federation's (CIF) top teams in one group in the regional playoffs is a dream, both for scouts and fans alike. Spending time up in San Francisco, I shot to state-ranked Archbishop Riordan for a CIF Central Coast Section open division pool play game against Serra (San Mateo, Calif.). The game did not disappoint, both in terms of actual basketball play and atmosphere itself.

It was a heavily contested contest from the start, with Riordan and Serra tied 28-28 at halftime after a physical first half with no shortage of fouls called that totally changed the complexion of the game. With neither team shooting the ball exceptionally well from the perimeter, the game reverted back to an old school style of play with the bulk of the points being scored via paint touches. Ultimately, Archbishop Riordan’s combination of size and athleticism proved to be too much for Serra, as it pulled away with a 65-49 victory to win pool "A" and move on to face West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) rival Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) Friday at Santa Clara University.

For Riordan, the catalyst was undoubtedly 6-foot-5 2025 Jasir Rencher. The junior played all three perimeter spots at times, alternating roles between playmaker and scoring threat. The combination of versatility on both ends, athleticism, and ability to create for himself/others make him one of the most special players that NorCal has to offer. Even though he only finished with 10 points, the impact that Rencher had on the game goes far beyond the box score. Holding over 20 D-1 offers at the moment, the Team Lillard guard has had PAC-12 schools such as USC, Washington, and Cal in for looks.

Though it was my first time seeing him, 6-foot-4 2026 Andrew Hilman certainly showed a ton of promise for Riordan. The lanky combo guard was able to defend all three perimeter spots, shot the ball well from the perimeter, and was tough to stop with his right hand drives going downhill. The package of athletic takes to the rack and outstanding on ball defense definitely stamp Hilman as a serious prospect, and college coaches have noticed as well with nearly a dozen D-1 programs already putting scholarships on the table.

While his outside shot wasn’t falling, you could see the immense upside that 6-foot-8 2024 Zion Sensley will bring to the table next year for top-25 ranked St. Mary’s in the WCC. Nationally known since he entered high school, Sensley started off at Riordan before transferring to Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.), a non-CIF program that plays other academy-type programs, then returning for his final campaign at Riordan. The son of former Hawaii All-WAC forward Julian Sensley changed the game on both ends with his length and athleticism, ultimately finishing with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Zion is one of those players who is simply scratching the surface as to how good he could ultimately become.

Despite walking away with a loss, 6-foot-4 2024 Andrew Pettis was the most gifted natural scorer of the group, dropping 21 points for Serra. The lefty combo guard was elite at creating separation with his change of speed, ultilized a number of half spins, and got to the lane at will. The Team Lillard guard showed potential as a shooter and also finished with creativity at the rack with both hands, as he kept Serra in the game throughout the first three quarters with the way that he took over the game. Heading to Fordham next year, Pettis will have the ability to make his impact felt from day one with his high IQ and ability to play both spots in the backcourt.

Archbishop Riordan will face WCAl rival Archbishop Mitty at 8:00 PM PT at Santa Clara University in the CIF Central Coast Section Finals. The winner will get a home game in the first round of the NorCal open regional. The loser will likely hit the road for the regional.

If FAB 50 No. 35 Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) captures the CIF North Coast Section open division title on Friday night at Contra Costa College over De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), it will earn the No. 1 seed in the NorCal open regional.


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