Orange Lutheran taking out frustrations over 12-seed on Open Division

When the CIF Southern Section Open Division pairings were released and Orange Lutheran received a 12-seed, the Lancers "took it personal." 

They’re now taking it out on the division. The last standing double-digit seed remaining in the Open Division is one of its final four. 

Orange Lutheran’s biggest challenge yet is on the horizon in the form of top seed Bishop Montgomery on Saturday night at Hope International University.

The winner advances to next week’s finals at Honda Center.

The Lancers were of the mindset that one way or another they would meet up with Bishop Montgomery.

The Knights and the Lancers would have been in Division 4AA if there was not an Open Division. Heading into the final week of the regular season, they were No. 1 and No. 2 in the Division 4AA poll and would’ve been headed for a collision course for that divisional final.

"What about a great, ironic twist to this," Orange Lutheran head coach Chris Nordstrom said following his team’s semifinal win over Corona Centennial. "(Bishop Montgomery is) in our division, naturally. So, it would be a CIF title game (if this were Division 4AA) … It’d be really cool to play Bishop Montgomery just because of that. I’m saying that until I see them on film and they’re really good. It’s a great opportunity." 

Nordstrom’s Lancers aren’t bad, either. Despite the 12-seed they received from the selection committee, Orange Lutheran has pressed on believing this is where they are supposed to be. 

"This is fun," Orange Lutheran forward Keisean Lucier-South said. "This is who we are."

Additionally, having what would’ve been a potential divisional finals matchup as a semifinal in the Open Division once again speaks to the depth the Open holds.

You can call the Lancers Cinderellas. In the same breath, you can call them the surprise of the Open Division. But for Corona Centennial head coach Josh Giles, there isn’t much of a shock in the Lancers being semifinal-bound.

"In the Open Division every game’s a CIF Championship game," Giles said. "Not sure where we were in the state — No. 1 or No. 2 — but they’re No. 9. So, it’s not like you’re playing some chump here. Every team is very, very good."