SAN JOSE -- As the Archbishop Mitty boys basketball team went on its run to the state championship game last season, Matt McAndrews had a hard time getting on the court.

But the point guard kept working, and Friday night he put an exclamation point on the final home game of his Mitty career.

The senior scored 32 points as Mitty overcame a 10-point deficit to beat El Cerrito 67-58 in the first round of the Northern California Open Division playoffs.

The defending champion Monarchs (27-4) advance to play at Capital Christian of Sacramento in a semifinal game Tuesday night.

"You see him progressing from last year to this year, I am just so proud of him," Mitty coach Tim Kennedy said of McAndrews. "He had a rough finish to last year, and he's worked so hard to get to where he is right now. He deserves every bit of it. He's just led this team and wouldn't let them lose."

Mitty got off to a slow start as El Cerrito clamped down defensively on the Monarchs' best perimeter shooters while opening a 25-15 lead midway through the second quarter.

But momentum quickly swung as Connor Peterson, who finished with 15 points in his last home game, drilled a 3-pointer and McAndrews hit two free throws and scored on a goaltending call.

Mitty closed the half on a 17-4 run to take a 32-29 lead into the locker room.


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"We were playing a little bit tentative," Kennedy said. "We were getting good looks, and they were getting to the boards quicker than us, all the 50-50 balls, stuff that we talked about. Guys kind of made the adjustment, and Matt really kind of opened things up for us."

El Cerrito was still within 37-33 midway through the third quarter, but another Mitty surge put away the game.

After McAndrews' layup made it 39-33, sophomore big man Ben Kone (14 points, 18 rebounds) stole the ball at midcourt and threw down a monster slam that brought back flashes of the Aaron Gordon era.

Dakari Monroe then stole the ball and drove to the basket. His shot missed, but Peterson rebounded the ball and scored on a reverse layup to give Mitty a 43-33 cushion. The lead eventually widened to 53-39 early in the fourth.

"They're a good team," El Cerrito coach Michael Booker said. "They're the defending champions. They don't get rattled. I think we got rattled toward the end of the second quarter, and it mushroomed from there. We could just never recover once they had the lead."

McAndrews scored 12 points in the final quarter. He finished each half with 16.

"It was one of those games where I was in the zone," McAndrews said. "We were down early, 25-15, and I was really just looking to get our team back in the game."

Booker had told his players to watch out for the crafty Mitty point guard as they prepared for the game. But even with the scouting report, El Cerrito could not slow him down.

"I told them all this week, he is the key to what they do," Booker said. "If we can't stop him, then more than likely we'll lose the game. We couldn't stop him."

McAndrews said all he thought about during the week was winning.

"I wasn't looking forward to having a game like this," he said. "It means a lot. It is really special to me."

Girls

Carondelet 85, Sacred Heart Cathedral 70: A key run in the second quarter gave Carondelet (28-3) the lead to stay against Sacred Heart Cathedral (21-8) in a first-round NorCal Open Division game at De La Salle High in Concord.

A hook inside the key by the Irish's A'shanti Coleman tied the score 20-20 with 5:15 left in the second quarter. But Carondelet went on a 5-0 run and never trailed after that, pushing its lead to double-digits in the fourth quarter.

Gabrielle Vigil paced the Irish with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. Teammate Iimar'i Thomas added 18 points and Coleman had 14 points for the Irish.

Carondelet's Natalie Romeo led all scorers with 28 points.

Salesian 64, St. Ignatius 55: The host and fifth-seeded Wildcats could not keep up with Salesian's Mariya Moore, who finished with 35 points to lift the Pride to a first-round Open Division win.

St. Ignatius (26-5), the Central Coast Section Open Division champion, had a 38-36 lead midway through the third quarter, but Salesian scored nine of the next 11 points.

Staff writer Phil Jensen contributed to this report.