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South County teams 'hoop' it up in CIF playoffs Phillip Brents | Sat, Mar 12 2011 06:10 PM

This is that time of year that I annually do not look forward to — writing the season-ending obituaries of South County basketball teams. It’s no secret that the San Diego Section playoffs have not exactly been kind to local teams in recent years.

Yes, there is that warm and fuzzy feeling every now and then. The last time a Metro Conference team experienced it was in 2009 when the Mater Dei Catholic girls team captured the Division IV state title. Bonita Vista captured a runner-up finish behind Poway in the 2008 Division I girls finals. In 2007, the Eastlake girls won their fourth CIF title in school history.

And then there was that magical moment in 1999 when Bonita Vista and Southwest played for the Division I  boys championship.

And while a Metro team does slip into a division title game every now and then, the general rule has been mass elimination in the opening round of the playoffs.

Eight Metro teams advanced to first round games in Tuesday’s opening round of the girls hoops playoffs. Only two teams won.

Nine Metro teams took the court in Wednesday’s opening round of the boys basketball playoffs. Four are still around for Saturday’s quarterfinals.

But this year could be different.

•The Mater Dei Catholic girls team received the No. 3 seed in the Division IV playoffs and will host Coronado in Friday’s quarterfinals.

•The Otay Ranch boys squad received the No. 4 seed in the Division I playoffs and defeated visiting Granite Hills to advance to the quarterfinals against El Camino.

• South Bay League champion Montgomery was awarded the No. 5 seed in the Division III girls playoffs and defeated its opening round opponent to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.
Here’s a rundown on what’s happened so far:

Girls playoffs
A total of nine Metro Conference girls basketball teams qualified for this year’s section playoffs. Add in the smaller schools and the South County’s complement of playoff qualifiers increased to 12 teams.

Four teams from the Mesa League got in: league champion Mater Dei Catholic (No. 3 seed in the Division IV), league runner-up Eastlake (No. 8 seed in Division I), third place finisher Bonita Vista (No. 8 seed in the Division II playoffs) and sixth- place finisher Hilltop (No. 16 seed in Division II).

Five teams from the South Bay League qualified: league champion Montgomery (No. 5 seed in Division III), league runner-up Sweetwater (No. 10 seed in Division I), third place finisher Olympian (No. 8 seed in Division III), fourth place finisher Castle Park (No. 13 seed in Division III) and fifth place finisher Southwest (No. 14 seed in Division III).

Ocean View Christian Academy (fifth seed), Lutheran (seventh seed) and San Diego Academy (16th seed) all advanced to first-round games in Division V.

Montgomery defeated Sweetwater, 30-27, in a showdown Feb. 17 for the league title.
Ocean View Christian Academy and Lutheran topped this year’s Citrus-South League standings. The Patriots finished 10-0 in league play while the Knights finished 8-2. Foothills Christian finished in third place with a 6-4 league record, followed by Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy in fourth place with a 4-6 league record.

Eleven of those 12 playoff qualifiers tipped off post-season play Tuesday. Only four (two of the nine Metro teams) won games to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.

•Montgomery (20-9) will play at fourth-seeded Cathedral Catholic (16-12) after topping visiting Brawley, 42-26, in Tuesday’s opening round. Tiffany Torregano led the Aztecs with 14 points while teammates Rachael Tibbets and Nisha Pineda added 13 and 10 points respectively.

•Olympian (19-6) will play at top-seeded Our Lady of Peace (25-4) after defeating visiting Canyon Crest Academy, 50-41, in Tuesday’s first round. Gabrielle Robledo paced the Eagles with 10 points.

 •Ocean View Christian Academy (21-2) will play at fourth-seeded Tri-City Christian (23-4) after eliminated Maranatha Christian, 39-18, in Tuesday’s opening round. Sabrina Johnson keyed the Patriots with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

•Lutheran (18-8) is set to take on second-seeded Christian Life (18-8) after stopping Julian, 49-26, in Tuesday’s first round. Brianna Hughes poured in 22 points while teammate Maritza Ruiz contributed 13 points.

Meanwhile, Mater Dei Catholic, which received a first-round bye after recording a perfect 10-0 Mesa League season, will host sixth-seeded Coronado (20-6).
All games tip off at 7 p.m.

Semifinal round games are scheduled Tuesday, March 1. The section finals are spread over two days next weekend (March 4-5) at USD.

Boys playoffs
Twelve South County teams advanced to the boys basketball playoffs, including nine Metro squads.

Mesa League champion Otay Ranch (23-4) received the No. 4 seed in the Division I bracket while league runner-up Eastlake (17-8) was seeded ninth in the same field. South Bay League co-champion San Ysidro (20-8) was seeded 11th in Division I.

In the Division II bracket, Hilltop (19-8) was seeded sixth while Bonita Vista (7-19) was seeded 13th.

South Bay League co-champion Southwest (18-9) was seeded seventh in the Division III bracket while Olympian (13-15) was seeded 14th  and Mar Vista (11-16) seeded 15th in the same field.

Mater Dei Catholic (15-11) received the No. 6 seed in the Division IV playoffs.

Division V qualifiers included Chula Vista Calvary Christian (ninth seed, 15-12), San Diego Academy (12th seed, 16-7) and Ocean View Christian Academy (16th seed, 8-10).
Quarterfinals are Saturday, semifinals are Wednesday, March 2, and finals are March 4-5 at USD.

Otay Ranch is coming off an undefeated showing in the Mesa League and is clearly the South County’s showcase boys team after winning both ends of duels against Eastlake and Hilltop.
Just how far scoring wizard Alex Perez and his supporting cast can take the Mustangs will be interesting in a divisional playoff field featuring such North County heavyweights as top-seeded La Costa Canyon (24-4), second-seeded Torrey Pines (23-5) and third-seeded Rancho Buena Vista (25-3).

For those who have followed prep hoops for a while, north-south match-ups haven’t favored local squads, so it’s time obviously to root for the underdog again.

in Wednesday’s openers, Hilltop (66-47 over visiting Kearny), San Ysidro (68-62 winners at Grossmont) and Otay Ranch (58-42 over visiting Granite Hills) all posted wins.

Hilltop opened up a 7-0 lead, recovered from a 16-15 deficit midway through the second quarter and overpowered the Komets with a 39-28 scoring advantage in the second half.

Carlos Perez led the Lancers with 23 points while Gabe Jimenez (14 points), Mark McGuire (10 points) and Chris Shaw (10 points) also scored in double figures. Shaw opened second-half scoring with a three-point bomb to get Hilltop rolling.

The Lancers controlled the boards throughout the game, with Perez finishing with 11 rebounds.
Otay Ranch got 35 points from Alex Perez in its win over Granite Hills (17-12) while Javion Watson poured in 24 points and Eddie Martin collected 20 points for San Ysidro in its win over Grossmont (18-10).

Travis Gardner scored 24 points and Aaron Baltazar had 17 points in Eastlake’s 69-62 loss at Vista while Bryce Scheckel had 20 points and 20 rebounds in CV Calvary Christian’s 49-47 overtime upset of Escondido Adventist.

Southwest went down 41-38 to visiting La Jolla despite 12 points each from Alex Villegas and Lamar Weston and 11 points from Marcus Gladden.

Cobrin Humphrey had 12 points in Olympian’s first-round Division III setback to third-seeded Mt. Miguel (21-7).

Travis Waller had 17 points in Bonita Vista’s Division II loss to Westview while Zach Balich had 14 points in Ocean View Christian’s Division V loss to top-seeded Horizon Christian.



Metro Conference Basketball Standings
Mesa League
Boys Standings

        League Overall
School        W-L    W-L
Otay Ranch    10-0    23-4
Eastlake         7-3    17-8
Hilltop          6-4    19-8
Mater Dei         3-6    15-10
Chula Vista     3-7    12-14
Bonita Vista     0-9     7-19
Missing: Feb. 17, BV vs. MDC result

Girls Standings
        League Overall
School        W-L    W-L
Mater Dei        10-0    18-8
Eastlake         8-2    19-8
Bonita Vista     6-4    12-12
Otay Ranch     4-6    11-15
Chula Vista     2-8    9-18
Hilltop         0-10    7-15


South Bay League
Boys Standings

        League Overall
School        W-L    W-L
San Ysidro    9-3    20-8
Southwest    9-3    18-9
Sweetwater    8-4    13-11
Olympian        6-6    13-15
Castle Park    5-7    11-17
Mar Vista        4-8    11-16
Montgomery    1-11    5-21

Girls Standings
        League Overall
School        W-L    W-L
Montgomery    11-1    19-9
Sweetwater    10-2    18-6
Olympian         9-3    18-6
Castle Park     6-6    8-9
Southwest     3-9    9-15
Mar Vista         3-9    3-22
San Ysidro    0-12    0-18



San Diego Section Divisional Playoffs
Girls Basketball
Division I

First round
Tuesday, Feb. 22
(9) San Pasqual 54, (8) Eastlake 46
(7) Torrey Pines 75, (10) Sweetwater 58

Division II
First round
Tuesday, Feb. 22
(9) Ramona 45, (8) Bonita Vista 41
(1) Mt. Carmel 64, (16) Hilltop 23

Division III
First round
Tuesday, Feb. 22
(8) Olympian 50, (9) Canyon Crest Academy 41
(5) Montgomery 42, (12) Brawley 36
(4) Cathedral Catholic 63, (13) Castle Park 35
(3) Mission Bay 87, (14) Southwest 19

Quarterfinals
Friday, Feb. 25
(8) Olympian (19-6) at (1) Our Lady of Peace (25-4)
(5) Montgomery (20-9) at (4) Cathedral Catholic (16-12)

Semifinals
Tuesday, March 1
Olympian-Our Lady of Peace winner vs. Montgomery-Cathedral Catholic winner
Championship: Saturday, March 5, 1 p.m. at USD

Division IV
Quarterfinals
Friday, Feb. 25
(6) Coronado (20-6) at (3) Mater Dei Catholic (18-8)

Semifinals: Tuesday, March 1
Championship: Saturday, March 5, 9:30 a.m. at USD

Division V
First round
Tuesday, Feb. 22
Ocean View Christian Academy 39, Maranatha Christian 18
Lutheran 49, Julian 26
(1) Horizon Christian 88, (16) San Diego Academy 12

Quarterfinals
Friday, Feb. 25
(5) Ocean View Christian Academy (21-2) at (4) Tri-City Christian (23-4)
(10) Lutheran (18-8) at (2) Christian Life (18-8)

Semifinals: Tuesday, March 1
Championship: Friday, March 4, 2 p.m. at USD



Boys Basketball
Division I

First round
Wednesday, Feb. 22
(4) Otay Ranch 58, (13) Granite Hills 42
(11) San Ysidro 68, (6) Grossmont 62
(8) Vista 69, (9) Eastlake 62

Quarterfinals
Saturday, Feb. 26
(5) El Camino (24-6) at (4) Otay Ranch (24-4)
(11) San Ysidro (21-8) at (3) Rancho Buena Vista (25-3)

Semifinals: Wednesday, March 2
Championship: Saturday, March 5, 8:05 p.m. at USD

Division II
First round
Wednesday, Feb. 22
(6) Hilltop 66, (11) Kearny 47
(4) Westview 72, (13) Bonita Vista 55

Quarterfinals
Saturday, Feb. 26
(6) Hilltop (20-8) at (3) Helix (27-6)

Semifinals: Wednesday, March 2
Championship: Friday, March 4, 8:05 p.m. at USD

Division III
First round
Wednesday, Feb. 23
(3) Mt. Miguel 57, (14) Olympian 40
(10) La Jolla 41, (7) Southwest 38
(2) Mission Bay 79, (15) Mar Vista 36
 
Division IV
First round
Wednesday, Feb. 22
(6) Mater Dei defeated (11) Calipatria

Quarterfinals
Saturday, Feb. 26
(6) Mater Dei (16-11) at (3) Bishops’s (12-14)

Semifinals: Wednesday, March 2
Championship: Saturday, March 5, 11:15 a.m. at USD

Division V
First round
Wednesday, Feb. 23
(9) Chula Vista Calvary Christian Academy 49, (8) Escondido Adventist 47 (OT)
(1) Horizon Christian 81, (16) Ocean View Christian Academy 39
(5) Maranatha Christian 68, (12) San Diego Academy 33

Quarterfinals
Saturday, Feb. 26
(9) Chula Vista Calvary Christian (16-12) at (1) Horizon Christian (15-11)

Semifinals: Wednesday, March 2
Championship: Friday, March 4, 4 p.m. at USD

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