By Mark Tennis
Contributing: Harold Abend
For the first-ever CIF Southern California Open Division, our choices of which girls teams we think will be in the bracket will be:
La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 18-11
CIF San Diego Section Division IV champion, Division IV state champion from last season, ranked on the bubble overall in the state.
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 28-1
CIF Southern Section Division I-AA semifinalist, Division I state champion from last three seasons, ranked No. 2 overall in the state.
Narbonne (Harbor City) 23-8
CIF L.A. City Section Division I champion, ranked on the bubble overall in the state.
Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 27-3
CIF Central Section Division II champion for three of last four years, ranked No. 16 overall in the state.
Santiago (Corona) 29-2
CIF Southern Section Division I-AA champion, ranked No. 4 overall in the state.
Troy (Fullerton) 25-4
CIF Southern Section Division I-AA semifinalist, ranked No. 8 overall in the state, owns head-to-head win over Long Beach Poly. Note: CIFSS Division I-AA runner-up Etiwanda is not eligible to be taken up to the open division and is not expected to request being in the bracket.
Windward (Los Angeles) 30-0
CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA champion, Division IV state champion from 2011, ranked No. 1 overall in the state. Note: With both Stockdale of Bakersfield and Hanford (eligible for open division) losing in the CIF Central Section D1 playoffs to Clovis West of Fresno (not eligible and won’t ask to be moved up), there does not seem to be a viable eighth seed. Windward (or Santiago of Corona) would therefore seem poised to get first-round bye.
What we hope happens
That the prep careers of Ridgeview four-year phenom Erica McCall and La Jolla Country Day four-year phenom Kelsey Plum do not end in a big loss in an open division game.
Although Ridgeview has been ranked higher in recent weeks, La Jolla Country Day is more likely to be in the open division due to being a 2012 state champion in Division IV and due to its almost hard-to-believe tough schedule.
Both seem like they’ll be taken up, mostly because of the limit of just four from the Southern Section. If there was no limit, you can easily see that all eight open division girls teams from the south this season would be from the CIFSS and most from one division.
Projected top seeds in the other SoCal girls divisions
Etiwanda (28-3) in Division I.
Lynwood (27-3) in Division II.
Chaminade of West Hills (24-5) in Division III.
Serra of Gardena (25-7) in Division IV.
Horizon of San Diego (25-7) in Division V.
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