A friend of the Monterey Trail boys' basketball program will be on the players' minds Wednesday when the Mustangs open the Sac-Joaquin Section's Division I playoffs against West High School.
The school is mourning the loss of Sheerti Kumar, a senior at M.T. who was the team's manager the past two seasons along with being a varsity tennis player and an AVID student.
"Our hearts are heavy but we will play on," Mustangs' head coach Ken Manfredi texted Monday evening.
There have been no details released on the cause of Kumar's death.
The boys' playoffs all tip off around the Section that night with Monterey Trail the fourth seed in D-I and West the 13th seed.
Franklin, the third seed in Division I, will host #14 Chavez. No. 11 Pleasant Grove will travel to #6 Merced. The second round games will all be played on Friday night.
In division II boys Cosumnes Oaks, who earned a six-seed, will host #11 Antelope.
Girls' action opens around the Section Tuesday night.
No. 13 seed Sheldon, who won its "play-in" game last Friday by defeating Bella Vista, 62-35, will travel to #4 Nevada Union. Ninth-seed Monterey Trail will travel to #8 River City while sixth-seeded Pleasant Grove will host #11 Lincoln of Stockton.
In Division II girls, Elk Grove, the ninth seed, will travel to #8 Antelope. Seventh-seeded Cosumnes Oaks will host Gregori.
The second round of girls' games will be played Thursday night.