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CIF-SS basketball brackets released

Posted: February 16, 2014 4:01 p.m.
Updated: February 16, 2014 4:01 p.m.
 

The CIF-Southern Section released the boys and girls prep basketball playoff draws on Sunday afternoon, and plenty of Santa Clarita Valley teams are scattered across various postseason brackets.

Seven local boys teams and six girls teams will participate in the 2014 playoffs this week.

Beginning with league champions, the Foothill champion Hart boys team (24-2) earned a No. 3 seed in the CIF-SS Division IIA bracket and will host Beckman of Irvine (8-11) on Friday in the first round.

“Everybody’s good in the playoffs so whoever wins it is going to have to beat some good teams anyway,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly of the No. 3 seed. “So I don’t think it really matters where you are on the bracket.”

On the girls side, co-Foothill champion Canyon (25-4) will host El Toro of Lake Forest (11-15) on Saturday in the CIF-SS Division IA first round.

Canyon has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the last four seasons.

“We’d like to get a little further this year, but we’ll see what happens,” said Canyon head coach Chuck Johns. “This team keeps surprising me this year.”

The fellow Foothill champion Valencia girls (19-8) play at home Saturday against J.W. North of Riverside (18-8) in the Division IAA bracket.

Though the IAA bracket is typically the most competitive in the Southern Section, that may change this year with the introduction of the Open Division.

The Open Division pulls a group of the best teams across all divisions and places them into a separate bracket.

This year, the Open Division took seven teams out of Division IAA, which bumped Valencia up to a No. 8 seed.

“I’m just excited to get going and I’m kind of glad we have a week here to get ready because we have some nagging injuries,” said Valencia head coach Jerry Mike.

There are also two other league champions in boys basketball, Santa Clarita Christian and Albert Einstein Academy.

After winning the Heritage League, the SCCS boys (17-5) earned a third seed and a first-round bye in the Division VA. SCCS won’t have to play until the second round on Friday, when it will host the winner of Tarbut V’Torah (13-7) vs. Redlands Adventist (9-15) in the second round.

The Einstein boys (15-5), winners of the Omega League, also earned a first-round bye in the Division VAA bracket. It will travel to face Saddleback Valley Christian (22-5) on Friday in the second round.

The only local team to earn a No. 1 seed in its bracket was the Trinity Classical Academy boys (13-8), which will test its top seed at home against New Covenant Academy on Wednesday in the first round of the Division VI bracket.

Last year, Trinity reached the finals of the same bracket.

“It will be interesting,” said Trinity head coach John Brooks. “I’m glad. It’s nice that even with our record and such not being what other schools’ records were that the coaches and the people that voted in the polls looked at our strength of schedule.”

Other than Hart, there were three other Foothill League boys basketball teams to make the playoffs.

West Ranch (14-11) plays host to Millikan of Long beach (18-8) on Friday in the Division IAA first round and Valencia (19-8) plays at Quartz Hill (21-6) on Friday in the same bracket.

Rounding out the local boys teams in the postseason, Canyon (21-6) made it in via an at-large bid and will play at Loara of Anaheim (14-13) in the first round of the Division IIAA bracket on Friday.

There were also four Foothill League girls teams to appear in playoff brackets on Sunday.

Hart (13-13) earned a home game against Sultana of Hesperia (12-12) in the Division IIA first round on Saturday.

The only Foothill at-large team to make it was Golden Valley (14-11), which travels to play Rancho Alamitos of Garden Grove (14-4) on Saturday in the same Division IIA bracket.

Golden Valley made the playoffs despite finishing fifth in league.

Meanwhile, fourth-place West Ranch girls were left out of the postseason picture.

West Ranch head coach Allison Moore said she’s unclear as to why her team didn’t make it. She said all the proper paperwork was filed for a potential at-large playoff berth.

“It’s a tough way to end your season when you want you seniors to have a couple more times to play,” Moore said.

West Ranch would have competed in Division IAA.

Outside of the Foothill League, two other local girls teams will be represented this week.

Playing in its inaugural varsity season, Trinity (10-9) will host Arrowhead Christian of Redlands (9-12) on Thursday in the Division VA bracket and the Einstein girls (7-6) play at home against Silver Valley of Yermo (17-4) on Thursday in Division VAA.

All playoff games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise announced. Changes in time and location will be updated as information becomes available later in the week.

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