The regular season is over and the playoffs begin
this week. How our Top 10 CIF-SS squads ended the
season and a look ahead to the playoffs.
1. Mater Dei (25-2): The first round of the Division I-AA CIF-SS tournament didn’t pose much of a problem for Mater Dei, which defeated Temecula Chaparral 79-34 behind Xavier Johnson and Katin Reinhardt’s 17 points apiece. The Monarchs face senior forward Ryan Wright’s Palmdale squad on Feb. 21 before a quarterfinal showdown with either Foothill or Rancho Cucamonga.
2. Long Beach Poly (24-1): Roschon Prince recorded 21 points and nine rebounds in an easy 73-35 win in the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs. Long Beach Poly takes on Palmdale Knight in the second round, with a possible game against big-time senior scorer Marvelle Harris and Rialto Eisenhower in the quarterfinals.
3. Etiwanda (27-1): Even without temporarily injured sophomore point guard Jordan McLaughlin, Etiwanda was able to cruise past San Clemente 68-39. Up next is a road game at Gahr with a potential matchup with a well-coached Santa Monica team in the quarterfinals.
4. Alemany (25-4): Coach Trey Meeks’ squad knocked off Artesia in the first round and followed up by smacking Azusa 90-45 behind senior Marqueze Coleman’s 17 points. Alemany faces 11th-seeded Bishop Amat in the quarterfinals, and a win would mean a game against either Corona del Mar or Santa Margarita in the semifinals.
5. Gardena Serra (26-2): The first and second rounds were no problem for Serra, which won by a combined 100 points against Salesian and Workman. The quarterfinal shouldn’t be so easy, as Harvard-Westlake is led by Top 100 prospect Zena Edosomwan. And if Serra won there, the semifinals would also be challenging, as Windward and Price are both threats to win the Division 4AA title.
6. Loyola (22-4): Senior shooter Jacob Hazzard had 15 points as Loyola escaped Trabuco Hills in the first round 66-52. Loyola travels to face a solid Long Beach Jordan team in the second round and would face the winner of Quartz Hill-Upland in the quarterfinals.
7. Bishop Montgomery (23-4): After breezing past Templeton in the first round, Bishop Montgomery squeezed past Morningside 55-54. And it will only get tougher from here, as the Torrance squad faces Crespi in the quarterfinals. If Montgomery can escape junior point guard London Perrantes and Co., there would be a semifinals matchup with either La Verne Lutheran or Oaks Christian.
8. La Verne Lutheran (21-6): The Trojans defeated Marshall and Big Bear in the first two rounds. But with junior Arizona commitment Eric Cooper Jr. suffering from a broken finger, even more pressure will be on fellow future Wildcat Grant Jerrett to carry the reins against Oaks Christian in the quarterfinals. Should Lutheran advance, there would be another tough matchup with either Crespi or Bishop Montgomery.
9. Pacific Hills (25-4): The competition gets a bit tougher after Pacific Hills cruised past Nipomo and Costa Mesa in the first and second rounds. Up next is a quarterfinal matchup with St. Bonaventure, with Aaron Holiday’s Campbell Hall a potential matchup in the semifinals.
10. Price (21-7): It’s never easy to defeat a school three times in one season, but that’s what Price is going to attempt to do against Nick Stover’s Windward team on Feb. 21. Should Price advance, its semifinal opponent would be either Serra or Harvard-Westlake, meaning Skylar Spencer, Chance Murray and Co. are going to have to bring their “A” game from here on out.