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VISAA basketball: Catholic boys put 30-game winning streak on the line in semifinals

Boys

Division I semifinals — Friday at Virginia State University’s Multi-Purpose Center: Paul VI vs. Blue Ridge, 7:15 p.m.; Catholic vs. St. Anne’s-Belfield, 9 p.m. Championship at VSU: Saturday, 5 p.m.

757 buzz: Catholic (34-2) has won an area-best 30 games in a row. The Crusaders were the TCIS regular-season and tournament champions. Junior guards Brayden Thorne (17.3 points per game) and Josiah Rickards (16.5 ppg, 6.3 rebounds per game, 4.5 steals per game, 3.8 assists per game) have led the Crusaders during the postseason. Senior guard CJ McPherson leads Catholic in scoring for the season at 13.6 points.

Division II semifinals — Friday at VSU: Highland vs. Steward, 3:45 p.m.; Miller vs. Hargrave Military, 5:30 p.m. Championship at VSU: Saturday, 3 p.m.

Division III semifinals — Friday at VSU: Fairfax Christian vs. Eastern Mennonite, noon; Carmel School vs. Life Christian, 1:45 p.m. Championship at VSU: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Division IV semifinals — Friday at VSU: Banner Christian vs. New Covenant, 9 a.m.; Carlisle vs. Hampton Christian Academy, 10:30 a.m. Championship at VSU: Saturday, 11 a.m.

757 buzz: Hampton Christian Academy (22-11) has won 16 of its past 17 games. Senior guard Chris Cyrus leads the Warriors with 19.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and five steals per game this season. Sean O’Conner, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, is averaging 16 points and five rebounds.

Girls

Division I semifinals — Friday at Benedictine: Catholic vs. Paul VI, noon; St. Anne’s-Belfield vs. Bishop Ireton, 1:45 p.m. Championship at Benedictine: Saturday, 1 p.m.

757 buzz: Catholic has had a terrific season, finishing No. 2 in the 757Teamz rankings, led by Cate Carlson (19.2 ppg), Jemma Eleby (16.5 ppg) and Jorah Eppley (14.1 ppg). It would, however, be a major, major upset for the No. 4-seeded Crusaders to beat talented top seed Paul IV (21-10), the defending champion.

Division II semifinals — Friday at Benedictine: Virginia Academy vs. Norfolk Christian, 9 a.m.; Miller vs. Steward, 10:30 a.m. Championship at Benedictine: Saturday, 11 a.m.

757 buzz: No. 5 seed Norfolk Christian (21-8) advanced to the semifinals by rallying from an 18-point deficit to beat Seton 56-54 in a quarterfinal in Manassas. The Ambassadors face a steep challenge in No. 1 Virginia Academy (23-8) of Northern Virginia, but possess firepower in Justice Brown-Jones (15.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Abuna Ruop (12.9 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 4.6 blocks per game).

Division III semifinals — Friday at Benedictine: Walsingham Academy vs. Brunswick Academy, 7:15 p.m.; Roanoke Catholic vs. St. Margaret’s, 9 p.m. Championship at Benedictine: Saturday, 5 p.m.

757 buzz: No. 1 seed Walsingham (13-10) looks to reach the state championship game for a second consecutive season after advancing to the semis with a 53-42 win over North Cross. To get past No. 4 Brunswick Academy (21-4), the Trojans will rely heavily on super eighth-grader Keira Kilkenny, who is averaging 20.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.6 steals.

Division IV semifinals — Friday at Benedictine: Carlisle vs. Grove Christian, 3:45 p.m.; Christ Chapel vs. Chelsea Academy, 5:30 p.m. Championship at Benedictine: Saturday, 3 p.m.