Good teams in tough leagues face blocked path to boys basketball playoffs – Orange County Register


Some good Orange County boys’ basketball teams won’t make it to the CIF South Section playoffs that begin next week.

The CIF-SS limits the number of guaranteed playoff entries for each league. Four-team leagues get two guaranteed entries, five- and six-team leagues get three guaranteed entries, and seven-team leagues get four guaranteed entries.

Orange County has several five- and six-team men’s basketball leagues and a seven-team league (Pacific Coast League).

A team that did not finish high enough in their league to earn a guaranteed spot can still make the playoffs as an overall team if they have an overall record of .500 or better. General teams are selected if all 32 spots in a group are not filled by automatic qualifiers.

The CIF Southern Section will release its 10 playoff divisional brackets on Tuesday, February 8 at noon. There could be good Orange County teams not included in these brackets.

JSerra or Orange Lutheran, or both, won’t finish high enough in the Trinity League standings to earn a guaranteed Division One spot. They were tied for fourth in the six-team league that starts this week.

With at least seven Division 1 teams drawn into the Open Division, that leaves 38 teams classified as Division 1 men’s basketball teams vying for places in the 32-team bracket – and if fewer than 32 teams automatically qualify , there could be an at-large berth for JSerra (14-8 this week) or Orange Lutheran (15-8), or both. Orange Lutheran is No. 4 in Orange County’s top 25 and JSerra is No. 11, so it would be an eyebrow if such high-quality teams aren’t in the playoffs when lesser teams in lower leagues enter. in the playoffs in other divisions.

Other good teams in similar situations to JSerra and Orange Lutheran are County No. 17 Villa Park (15-7) and No. 18 El Dorado (19-7). They will finish too low in the final Crestview League standings to secure guaranteed playoff berths, so the general path is the path to the playoffs for them.

No. 20 Newport Harbor (15-10) and No. 22 Dana Hills (15-8) would also need wide berths to make the playoffs.

Playoff dates for Divisions 1-5A: wild card round, February 9; other rounds on February 11, 15, 18 and 22; finals on 25 and 26 February at the sites of the local teams.

Open Division playoff dates: February 11, 15 and 18, with the final February 25 or 26 at the home team site.

REMARKS

• A semi-educated guess that eight teams will be in the Open Division (in alphabetical order): Centennial of Corona, Damien, Etiwanda, Harvard-Westlake, Mater Dei, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, Riverside Poly and Sierra Canyon. This could mean that Crean Lutheran would be the top-seeded team in Division 1 and Santa Margarita could be among the top four seeds in Division 1.

• One of the biggest games this week could be Los Alamitos at Edison on Thursday. This could decide the championship of the Surf League, one of the top leagues in Orange County.

• JSerra coach Keith Wilkinson, after the Lions’ 70-69 win over Marina in the 9am game at the Nike Extravaganza on Saturday at Mater Dei, gave this assessment of his team which was led by Rob’s 27 points Diaz: “We’re trying to figure it out now. We started the year playing great and then we kind of had a slump. We want to play our best basketball in February.

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