The Summerville High School boys' basketball team might have the higher seed, but it will be giving up inches and pounds when it tips off at 7:30 tonight against Marysville in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV semifinal at Tokay High School.
The No. 6-seed Bears (22-7), making their first appearance in a Section semifinal since 1997, will have to play a mistake-free game to get past the No. 7-seed Indians (21-10) of the Golden Empire League-West, according to Summerville head coach Marlen Ronten.
"(Marysville) is beatable, but they're a real solid team," Ronten said. "I think the team that wins will make the fewest mistakes. I don't just mean turnovers I mean that in terms of shot selection, passes, everything."
Although the Bears knocked off No. 3-seed Colfax to earn a berth in the semifinal, Ronten thinks Marysville could be an even tougher test.
"They look like they're a really strong team both inside and out, "Ronten said. "That should be a big problem for us, but that's always the way it is for us because we're not real big and physical. But, my team always seems to surprise me.
"We've got to make sure we hit the boards," he added. "(Marysville) was very powerful against Calaveras with putbacks" during its 81-57 first-round victory over the Redskins.
How the Bears handle the pressure of playing at Tokay could go a long way toward determining the outcome. Joe Sanders (17.6 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game) was limited to just eight points against Colfax after picking up three quick fouls in the first quarter and eventually fouling out.
"I've talked with Joe about that, and I think he'll be fine," Ronten said. "He was so excited, talking to the refs, talking to everybody at Colfax. I told him not to say a word to anybody (tonight); to just keep his game-face on and stay focused."