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Top Four Still Top Four in HS Nationals School Bracket

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Top Four Still Top Four in HS Nationals School Bracket

Gonzaga wing Patrick McMahon makes a move. Alex Goff photo.

The top four seeds all won in the Boys HS National Championships quarterfinals, setting up a massive semifinal day on Friday.

St. Ignatius vs Xavier

Ranked #1 most of the season and seeded #1 in this tournament, St. Ignatius put out a less-experienced side against Xavier on Day One. As expected, Xavier battled hard and tried to dominate possession. The SIHS defense was very strong, but they misfired a little on attack, especially on lineouts.

Eventually sa nifty stab-through grubber from flyhalf Bobby Voth set up perfectly for wing Jack Dulik and a try.

Still, St. Ignatius didn't use the wind especially well, but did settle down to take a 19-0 lead. Xavier exploited a two-on-one out wide to score. Ignatius ran in a couple of more experienced subs and those players jolted the energy and confidence level and Ignatius ran away with it 36-5.

It wasn't a perfect showing from Ignatius by any means, but it was certainly enough. Front-rowers Tommy Wasinski and Nate DesRosiers led a storng defensive effort.

St. Thomas Aquinas vs Jesuit of Sacramento

In this, the best game of the Single-School Division, St. Thomas Aquinas handled a big, powerful Jesuit team by doing the little things right. They adjusted to Jesuit being really quick over the ball by getting the clearout man in faster. They made their tackles and made them low.

They didn't get flashy or pull away from their game plan, and with props Aaron Goodwin and Sean Brough leading the way in tight, and No. 8 Brock Kluempers and inside center Payton Ptasnik getting go-forward, Jesuits attack was sparked by fullback Roanin Krieger, who countered well and was always dangerous with the ball.

Aquinas held off Jesuit 17-12.

It was a hugely impressive showing from Aquinas as they justified their seeding and their ranking.

Herriman vs Staples

Staples had some players coming out of a bout with the flu, and they battled Herriman on sheer adrenalin. That was enough for a while and Staples took a lead into the second half.

But slowly Herriman started to figure out their issues, realized they couldn't fix past mistakes with new mistakes, and saw flyhalf Sake Tukuafu make some brilliant players to open up the game.Scrumhalf Eli McQueen had an impressive game and scored a try and Manaia Brown at hooker also scored and led from the front.

It was a tough game for Herriman, but they pulled it out 36-19.

Gonzaga vs Greenwich

One of the few matchups that we've seen earlier this season, Gonzaga scored two early tries and then saw Greenwich put together a nice sequence to make it 12-5. 

But after that Gonzaga, led by Emmett Cook at fullback, who helped nullify Greenwich's kicking game with his counterattacking skills, and with Luke Wood leading the way in the pack Gonzaga emerged big winners 57-5.

Gonzaga plays Herriman at 5:15PM Friday while St. Ignatius takes on St. Thomas Aquinas at 5PM.

In the consolation bracket, it's Xavier vs Jesuit Sacramento at 3:30PM and Staples vs Greenwich at 5:30PM.