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Foothill League finales: The winter crescendo

Foothill titles and playoff spots are up for grabs today on the last day of the league matchups

Posted: February 12, 2014 10:58 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 10:58 p.m.

Valencia and Canyon girls basketball could end up splitting a league title for the second year in a row.

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Somehow, after five drama-filled chaotic weeks, we have arrived at the conclusion of another Foothill League winter season.

And naturally, there’s still plenty of drama and chaos in store with lots left to be decided in today’s league soccer and basketball finales.

Two league champions have been crowned already with Hart claiming both the boys basketball and boys soccer titles outright on Tuesday.

The girls championships are still up for grabs, and so are plenty of playoff spots in all four sports.

All this adds up to a plethora of important matchups coming up today in the Foothill League’s winter crescendo.

Girls Soccer

In terms of league championships, no contest means more today than the girls soccer game between Canyon and Hart at Hart High starting at 3:15 p.m.

Hart (13-5-4 overall, 6-0-3 Foothill League) sits in first place with 21 points while Canyon (14-5-4, 6-1-2) trails with 20 points.

The winner of this game takes home the title.

If the game ends in a draw, Hart wins league with the possibility of a split title with Valencia (17-3-2, 6-2-1).

“Coming into league, we felt like we could compete and it was just a question of where we could end up in that top three,” said Canyon head coach Derek Rusk.

Canyon hasn’t lost a game since Jan. 21 against Valencia and Hart has yet to lose a league contest, so something will have to give today.

“They’ve got a great team and there’s a lot of talented players on that team but we have just as many on ours,” Rusk said of Hart.

Girls Basketball

The last remaining Foothill championship up in the air is in girls basketball, where the race is down to Valencia (18-8, 8-1) and Canyon (24-4, 8-1).

If Canyon holds up at home against Hart and Valencia wins its home game against West Ranch, the two teams will split the league title for the second year in a row.

That would also be Canyon’s fifth in a row.

Behind the top two teams, Hart and West Ranch are also fighting for the final automatic playoff berth.

Boys Basketball

Playoff seeding is what today will be all about in boys basketball.

West Ranch (13-12, 6-3) at Valencia (19-7, 6-3) boys basketball, which is a battle for second place in league.

Though both teams are already virtual locks for the playoffs, a second-place finish could make for a more favorable placement in the CIF brackets next week.

“It’s way important,” said Valencia head coach Rocket Collins on today’s game. “What we talked about (after Tuesday’s game) is it’s for second place. It’s for seeding in the playoffs. To try and get further. To get some momentum.”

Hart will go for a perfect 10-0 bid through league play against Canyon, which appears as a likely candidate for an at-large playoff spot despite its fourth-place standing.

Boys Soccer

Those same two teams will face off at the same school a few hours earlier in a matchup with similar implications.

Valencia (11-4-4, 4-3-2) and West Ranch (7-8-3, 4-3-2) are tied for second and fighting for sole possession of the No. 2 spot.

Saugus (9-10-3, 2-4-3) maintains an outside chance at snagging an at-large playoff bid.

Postseason brackets will be released on Sunday for boys and girls basketball and Monday for boys and girls soccer.

A lot need to be decided in the meantime.

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