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Prep basketball: CIF Playoff brackets released

Santa Clarita Valley sees seven boys teams, four girls make the postseason

Posted: February 10, 2013 2:55 p.m.
Updated: February 10, 2013 2:55 p.m.

West Ranch guard Ryan Beddeo, right, dribbles by Valencia's Angel Cardenas on Friday night at West Ranch High School.

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Santa Clarita Valley basketball teams are spread out all over the CIF-Southern Section playoff brackets, which were released on Sunday afternoon.

A total of seven local boys teams and four girls teams found out their first-round playoff matchups and locations.

Beginning with the boys teams, five Foothill League squads will compete in the postseason, including West Ranch, Hart and Valencia for the automatic bids and Canyon and Saugus as at-large selections.

The Trinity Classical Academy and Albert Einstein Academy boys teams also made the playoffs.

On the girls side, all four playoff teams come out of the Foothill, including Valencia, Canyon, West Ranch and Saugus.

Though the West Ranch and Saugus girls tied for third place in league, West Ranch technically got in as an autobid after winning a coin flip for third place. Saugus goes in as an at-large.

The first-round matchups for the boys teams are as follows:

Foothill League champion West Ranch (19-6) is the No. 3 seed in the CIF-SS Division IA bracket and it will host Ventura (8-18) on Friday.

West Ranch is looking to build on last year’s run to the quarterfinals in the same division.

“The playoffs are so tough, you want to say you’re not looking ahead but you do need to prepare and you do need to get tapes,” said West Ranch boys head coach Shant Bicakci. “It’s tough not knowing anything. You might get teams where you don’t know anything going in, and that’s tough.”

As the Foothill’s second-place team, Hart (24-2) landed the No. 3 seed in the Division IIIAAA bracket, where it will play at home against North Torrance (14-11) on Wednesday.

League third-place Valencia (16-8) is the 11th seed in Division IA, but will have to travel to face Arroyo Valley High of San Bernardino (18-7) in the first round on Friday.

Coming in as the first Foothill at-large team, Canyon (14-12) will travel to face Division IIAA eighth-seeded Lawndale (18-8) on Friday.

And finally, Saugus (14-13) hits the road on Friday to face Redlands East Valley (19-8), the No. 6 seed in Division IIA.

Canyon and Saugus tied for third place in league and both are unseeded as only the top 16 teams in each bracket were assigned seeds.

Bicakci is cautioning his players not to get caught up in the seeds or records of opponents.

“You’re going to need to win some games on the road and you’re going to need some breaks to go your way and that’s just how it is,” Bicakci said of the playoffs.

After finishing second in the Heritage League, the Trinity boys (8-5) earned the No. 2 seed in Division VI, which gives them a home game against Southwestern Academy (8-6) on Wednesday.

“We’re really young, but I definitely think we can make a run,” said Trinity head coach John Brooks of his team’s playoff hopes.

The location of Trinity’s game has yet to be determined, Brooks said.

Also earning a postseason bid was the SCV’s newest varsity boys team, Albert Einstein (16-4), which won the Omega League and will play at home on Wednesday against Oakwood (10-8), the 10th seed in Division VA.

Onto the girls teams.

The Foothill co-champions, Valencia (20-7) and Canyon (22-4), both get home games in the first round.

Valencia, the No. 8 seed in Division IAA, hosts Pacifica High of Oxnard (14-10) on Saturday. As the No. 6 seed in Division IIAA, Canyon will play host to Channel Islands (21-5) on the same day.

Though Valencia appears to have a favorable seed, it has to navigate an extremely difficult Division IAA bracket, which features seven of the top 10 teams in the CIF State Division I poll.

“It’s a monster,” said Valencia girls head coach Jerry Mike of the division. “There’s just nowhere to hide.”

Canyon appears to have an easier path in its division due to the fact that it could make it to the semifinal round without having to face a top two seed.

Also playing in Division IAA is West Ranch (13-11), which plays a road game on Saturday against 11th-seeded Highland High (19-2).

Lastly, the Division IIA No. 15 seed Saugus girls (14-13) will travel to face Sultana High of Hesperia (14-10) on Saturday.

All playoff games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. unless a different time is later agreed upon by the schools.

The only Foothill League teams to not make the playoffs were the Golden Valley boys and girls teams and the Hart girls team. The Santa Clarita Christian boys and girls teams and the Albert Einstein girls team also missed the playoffs.

Trinity does not field a girls basketball team.

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