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Sierra awarded NorCal home game
Guillermo Nunez and the Sierra boys basketball team are hosting a NorCal game for a second straight season. The Timberwolves greet Shasta from the Northern Section on Wednesday. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

Sierra High’s boys basketball team gets to host a CIF Northern California Regional Championships game for a second year in a row, and if the Timberwolves win they’d stay home for another.

Weston Ranch, meanwhile, travels to San Francisco despite being seeded higher than its opponent. Ripon Christian will take an even longer trip up to Redding, while its girls are off to San Anselmo.

The Manteca area’s remaining four basketball teams joined other state qualifiers in anxiously waiting for the CIF’s unveiling of the brackets. Adding to the intrigue is the addition of the Open Division, which pits the state’s top squads — regardless of division — against one another. Two schools from the region that feature local athletes were selected for the Open.

In Division-III boys, Sierra (27-5), seeded fourth in Northern California, takes on No. 13 Shasta of Redding (15-12). The winner faces No. 5 Sir Francis Drake (24-6) or No. 12 Santa Cruz (19-11).

In the same tournament field, No. 6 Weston Ranch (21-7) squares off with No. 11 Mission (15-14) at Kezar Pavilion. The Bears are San Francisco Section champions

Another San Francisco-based school, Sacred Heart Cathedral (18-11) of the Central Coast Section, is top the top-seeded team. El Cerrito (22-10), which owns wins over both Sierra and Weston Ranch this season, is No. 2

Ripon Christian’s fanbase will be split Wednesday, with the ninth-seeded boys heading north to encounter No. 8 Liberty Christian (23-7) and the No. 11 Lady Knights (20-7) taking on No. 6 San Domenico (24-7) in San Anselmo.

It is the fourth straight NorCal appearance for the RC boys, who can set up a rematch with 2011 state champion St. Joseph Notre Dame (22-11) of Alameda. The Knights fell to the powerhouse Pilots in the second round of the 2011 NorCal tourney.

The Sac-Joaquin Section is well represented in the Open Division, which tips off on Friday.

Modesto Christian’s boys (28-3) are seeded seventh and paired with No. 2 Archbishop Mitty (26-4) of San Jose. MC is coming off last Friday’s 66-54 win over Sierra in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III final. Mantecan Tyras Rattler and Zerrion Payton, formerly of Weston Ranch, play for the Crusaders. No. 4 Sheldon (25-5) of Elk Grove was also selected for the Open.

Three SJS champions were included in NorCal Open Division girls playoffs, two hailing from Stockton. Manteca resident Brijanee Moore and No. 2 St. Mary’s (29-2) welcome No. 7 Miramonte (27-2) of Orinda, while No. 8 Brookside Christian (26-4) gets a tough assignment in Oakland against top-seeded Bishop O’Dowd (26-3). No. 5 Sacramento (27-4) gets St. Mary’s (28-4) of Berkeley.