Boys BB: Flores CIF pairings reaction

Here’s what our main California boys basketball analyst and managing editor Ronnie Flores thinks about the CIF Open Division pairings (both north & south) that were announced on Sunday:

*Host priority in the CIF state regional playoffs are determined by seed and section championships. This should help give us plenty of rematches in the SoCal Open and in Division I.

Ronnie Flores

Ronnie Flores

*The brackets and pairings will not change our rankings. The surprise level of Fairfax getting the No. 2 seed is not that high, but the Lions did lose head-to-head to No. 4 seed Mater Dei.

*Trying to avoid a Mater Dei-Etiwanda rematch in the regional semifinal makes sense, but shouldn’t trump so many clear head-to-head results. Also, but making Mater Dei the No. 4 seed, it meant Orange Lutheran got seeded lower than it deserved to avoid a Trinity League rematch in the first round.

*Etiwanda did split with Sierra Canyon (Fairfax blew out Sierra Canyon) and Etiwanda lost to Centennial (Fairfax beat Centennial) but we are not just judging those two teams for rankings and pairings analysis, we are analyzing three, and Etiwanda beat Sierra Canyon when it mattered most and beat one of the two teams Fairfax lost to (Mater Dei). Sometimes it is more important when and who you lose to than the number of losses you have as it is in this case.

*There are plenty of factors in judging the merits of Etiwanda vs. Fairfax. However, when you throw Mater Dei in there, it becomes more clear. There’s an argument to seed Fairfax higher than Etiwanda, but it’s clear Fairfax should not be seeded higher than Mater Dei (using head-to-head argument as stronger criteria than section title winner) and clear Mater Dei should not be seeded higher than Etiwanda.

*One team that got hosed more than Mater Dei – Compton as No. 3 in D2 South. The Tarbabes defeated a La Mirada team that beat both No. 1 seed La Costa Canyon & No. 2 Canyon of Anaheim.

*So naturally, La Mirada got hosed as well. The criteria of being a section champ was weighed heavily in that division, based on these brackets.

*Up North, the CCS was not particularly strong this season. But to fill out the bracket its two open division finalists were placed in the open division. The main benefactor, believe it or not, is top seed Bishop O’Dowd. The Dragons didn’t want a bye because they want to get the kinks out in anticipation of a monster state No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in the CIF Open Division state title. They only way it won’t be No. 1 vs. No. 2 is if O’Dowd is upset in the regional.

*El Cerrito has a tough draw to travel to Folsom in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game and even though we have the Bulldogs ranked lower in our state top 20, our prediction of Folsom being the higher seed came to fruition. The winner will likely face O’Dowd.

*No, you can’t assume that Sierra Canyon will roll in SoCal D5. The Trailblazers barely beat Windward in the 2nd round of league play and Price is going to be tough as well. The D5 final at Haas, however, could be ugly. That’ll be the game to plan to take a break.

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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  1. Stan
    Posted March 9, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    So Modesto Christian beats Sheldon by 5 three weeks ago and beats the Sac-joaquin section overall #1 ranked team, Sacramento, for the section Div II title. Then Folsom beats Sheldon by 1 and gets seeded #4 and a home game in the Open division while MC gets seeded #7 and an away game. Something stinks like “we did it for the money”!!! What a travesty, CIF…

    • Ronnie Flores
      Posted March 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Alot of A beat B, B beat C, so A should be seeded higher than C scenarios in the North. Problem is not all of them are section champs like Moreau. Modesto Christian lost to El Cerrito and was going to be on the road. The team that is not Happy is Monte Vista because Modesto Christian should be seeded higher than both CCS teams.

  2. phil60
    Posted March 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Several teams got hosed in the south D2 seeding when the committee made La Costa Canyon the No. 1 seed. This team did not even make it to the San Diego open final and lost to a team that failed to win a Southern Section championship. The D2 is the weakest division of all 6 anyway. There are several teams in D3, D4, D5 ranked ahead of any of them.

    • Ronnie Flores
      Posted March 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      The more you keep looking at it, the D2 South seeding are odd to say the least. Just doesn’t make much sense.

  3. rono1932
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    As usual there seemed to be several screwy seedings in the CIF regionals for both the Boys and the Girls. However, there were 2 teams that were “hosed” the most because they were snubbed entirely for the regionals.
    1st: Horizon Christian in the Girls. Mark Tennis’ article, along with several comments, explained this very well.
    2nd: Great Oak in the Boys, who lost a closer than the score, 61-79, to Village Christian in the SS1AA finals. I haven’t seen anything explaining this faux pas by CIF. Is it because SS had 6 teams from the SS Open, that didn’t make the South Open regional , selected for the South regional D1? (Only 3 of those teams; Centennial, Chino Hills, and LB Poly; fit the criteria for a quaranteed regional playoff spot. Bosco, Redondo, and JW North didn’t get past the 1st round nor win the constellation brackets.)
    Another question is why the NCS D6 and SJS D6 Champs are not given spots in the North D6 regional, especially when that division has 4 empty brackets?
    Obviously, the whole CIF basketball playoff setup is quite imbalanced, especially between the North and South regions. Will CIF ever take a hard look at this?
    Maybe if enough people write their assemblyman or state senator, he/she will get on CIF’s back, and then CIF will “jump” to do something positive. They certainly did when the assemblyman representing Wasco wrote CIF a “scathing” letter concerning the CIF football championships about a year ago.


  4. rono1932
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Oops, I’m guilty of a faux pas too.
    I just saw that there is going to be a CIF North regional playoff this year.



  5. SantaCruzJav
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    One team that got “hosed” is Cathedral in D3. They are the #1 seed but have to play their first game
    on the road at Monrovia High. So much for being a #1 seed. All other higher seeds in that Southern
    Section D3 get to play their games at home; Alemany, Cantwell SH, Damien are all playing at home.
    What good does it do in being the #1 seed if you can’t have the home court advantage throughout
    the playoffs? Last year Cathedral was a high seed team and played Santa Margarita (semi final/quarter final game on their home court. Why is this year different? Seems like the CIF wants more money
    rather than doing the correct thing and rewarding the #1 seed by giving them a home game.

    In the SS Open Division quarter final Cathedral was the “Home team” but had to play Bishop Montgomery on the road (also at Monrovia High). Would have been nice to see how that game
    would have turned out with Cathedral playing in their home gym. Earlier this year Cathedral ‘s first
    game against B.M. was at Cathedral’s home gym and they only lost by 4 points. Home court is a big advantage. That’s why you want to be a #1 – #4 seed.


    • Mark Tennis
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      I am pretty sure that for the regional playoffs the home gym has to be a certain size. I admit I don’t know how many people can watch a game at Cathedral, but I assume it’s not big enough. It’s nothing against Cathedral. There’s a statewide standard here just being followed.

      • SantaCruzJav
        Posted March 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink


        Thanks for the response. I checked over at MaxPreps checking which schools were
        asked to change from their home gyms to another venue for their regional game even though they were the “home team”. Here is what I found:

        In the Open State Division North
        #1 Bishop O’Dowd had to play their to state open div games at Laney College.
        Not at heir home gym. They played #8 seed St Francis in the first round and will play
        #4 Folsom on the road (Laney).

        In the Open Div State South
        Bishop Montgomery played #8 seed St. Augustine on their home gym but will have to
        play #4 Mater Dei at Redondo Beach. Did B.M.’s gym suddenly get smaller over night?

        In Div 1
        #3 seed San Ramon played #6 Pleasant Grove at San Ramon High (home gym).
        Their next game against #7 seed Berkeley is at California High. Another case of gym shrinkage?

        In Div 3
        #1 seed Cathedral vs #9 seed Gahr at Monrovia.
        #1 seed Cathedral vs #4 seed Alemany at Monrovia again.
        No home games (home gym) for the #1 seed in the division.

        #3 seed Cantwell vs #14 Franklin at Cantwell
        #3 seed Cantwell vs #6 Beverley Hills at Whittier this time, not at Cantwell.
        #3 seed Cantwell at #2 Damien.

        Finally an interesting case re: Fairfaxin the L.A. City section:

        In the L.A. city Section playoffs:
        Fairfax played Gardena at home (Fairfax) on 2/21
        Fairfax next played El Camino Real at Royball on 2/28
        Fairfax then played Westchester at Cal State Dominguez on 3/7

        In the State Open South Div:
        Fairfax played Orange Lutheran at Fairfax on 3/13
        Fairfax next played Etiwanda at Fairfax on 3/17.

        The above are the only situations that I could determine that had schools change
        from their home gyms to another “home” (road) site. I checked from Open to Div 4.

        My point is why does a higher seeded team have to play a road game just so the
        CIF can get more revenue? It punishes schools with small gyms. I bet Bishop Montgomery’s coach would rather play Mater Dei on their home floor instead of at Redondo Beach. Cathedral’s coach would rather play on their home floor instead of at Monrovia. Last year Cathedral played three Div 3 State games on their home floor. They lost to Santa
        Magarita in the 3rd round. What’s different this year? Cathedral’s gym is the same
        size as it was last year. To me it seems as a case of the CIF just trying to squeeze more money from these games. They should let the kids play these games where they deserve to be played, on their home gyms. What good is being a higher seed if you can’t play a home game?

        • Mark Tennis
          Posted March 19, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Great comment. Thanks for researching. Agree with all you say. At least in all of these cases the schools and coaches involved know their home games in the regional playoffs will have to be moved beforehand. It’s not a surprise to them.

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