Here’s a quick overview of both the boys and girls brackets as released Friday by the CIF Southern Section office. How many state champions will be in this field? There were four boys and four girls teams from last season that did just that.
For the Cal-Hi Sports’ projected CIFSS boys bb pairings posted on Thursday, CLICK HERE.
As far as the CIF state and regional basketball playoffs are concerned, the CIF Southern Section open divisions for boys and girls are becoming a breeding ground for eventual champions.
Last year was the first for the 16-team brackets in the state’s largest CIF section and there were four state champs from each gender.
Among the boys teams, Mater Dei of Santa Ana won the CIFSS Open Division title and then won the CIF Open Division state crown. The other three state champions who came back after losing in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs were St. John Bosco of Bellflower (D2), Chaminade of West Hills (D3) and Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (D4).
Among the girls, Windward of Los Angeles won the CIFSS Open Division title but lost in the CIF Open Division playoffs to eventual champion Long Beach Poly. The other three state champions who came back after losing in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs were Canyon Springs of Moreno Valley (D1), Chaminade of West Hills (D2) and Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (D4).
In this year’s CIFSS Open Division boys playoffs, it might shock some that four-time defending CIF state champion Mater Dei of Santa Ana was not the top seed, but the Monarchs are No. 2 and it matters little since they’d potentially play No. 1 seed Bishop Montgomery on a neutral court in the final on March 7 at the Honda Center. We know at Cal-Hi Sports (as does just about everybody else) that Mater Dei should be the No. 1 ranked team in the section until somebody within the section beats the Monarchs on the court.
First round boys matchups (home team listed first):
No. 1 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) vs. No. 16 J.W. North (Riverside)
No. 8 Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) vs. No. 9 Cathedral (Los Angeles)
No. 5 Damien (La Verne) vs. No. 12 Lutheran (Orange)
No. 4 Centennial (Corona) vs. No. 13 Alemany (Mission Hills)
No. 3 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) vs. No. 14 St. John Bosco (Bellflower)
No. 6 Etiwanda vs. No. 11 Cantwell Sacred Heart (Montebello)
No. 7 Long Beach Poly vs. No. 10 Chino Hills
No. 2 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) vs. No. 15 Price (Los Angeles)
In this year’s CIFSS Open Division girls playoffs, there are a couple of teams we wouldn’t have put in – St. Anthony of Long Beach and J.W. North of Riverside for sure – and it looks like Oaks Christian of Westlake Village is too low at No. 14, but in the big picture it’s hard to see that the semifinals won’t be Mater Dei vs. Alemany/Sierra Canyon along with Long Beach Poly vs. Chaminade. Those four teams would then move on to the SoCal Open Division with the rest bouncing back to CIF state divisions (where some of them like last year will end up in state finals).
First-round girls matchups (home team listed first):
No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) vs. No. 16 J.W. North (Riverside)
No. 8 Centennial (Corona) vs. No. 9 Brea Olinda (Brea)
No. 5 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) vs. No. 4 Alemany (Mission Hills)
No. 3 Chaminade (West Hills) vs. No. 14 Oaks Christian (Westlake Village)
No. 6 Ventura vs. No. 11 Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley)
No. 7 Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) vs. No. 10 Mark Keppel (Alhambra)
No. 2 Long Beach Poly vs. No. 15 Cajon (San Bernardino)