Bonita can’t have it both ways.
The question is, would the Bearcats prefer an outright Hacienda League championship or to see the same Diamond Ranch team that just put the lone blemish on its league record out of the playoffs?
Following last week’s 34-31 last-second win over Bonita that kept its playoff hopes alive, Diamond Ranch still hasn’t gained control of its own destiny. Provided the Panthers can defeat a 1-8 Walnut team in Thursday’s regular season finale, the rest depends on the outcome of the matchup between two-time defending league champion West Covina and a Rowland Heights Rowland team now tied with Bonita for first place.
A Rowland win awards it a co-league championship with Bonita, if the Bearcats can defeat Diamond Bar, and drops West Covina out of the playoffs. A West Covina victory drops Diamond Ranch out of the postseason and awards Bonita an outright league championship if Diamond Bar doesn’t hand Bonita a second consecutive league loss.
Eisenhower has already locked up a playoff berth but its resurgent season could still end with the ultimate reward, a Citrus Belt League championship. In a three-way tie for first place with Redlands and Redlands East Valley, the Eagles need a victory over Redlands on Thursday and a REV loss to Cajon to secure a league title.
The Baseline League playoff scenario can be very simple or complicated enough to force a con flip to decide the final playoff berth. Etiwanda’s victory over Glendora last week prevented a winner-take-all third-place game between Los Osos and Glendora this week. A Los Osos win keeps it simple. The Grizzlies will make the playoffs for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. If Los Osos loses to Glendora and Etiwanda loses to Upland, all three will be tied for the final playoff spot behind Upland and Rancho Cucamonga.
In the Sierra League, only a Damien upset of defending league champion Covina Charter Oak can create a scenario so messy that all four teams behind Charter Oak and Chino Hills have a chance to claim the final playoff berth. A Damien victory will force a three-way tie between it, West Covina South Hills and the winner of the Claremont-Ayala game. A Damien loss will award the third playoff spot to South Hills no matter the outcome of South Hills’ game against Chino Hills.
The Mountain Valley League is not only simple, but fan-friendly. Jurupa Hills and Citrus Valley, which are tied for third place entering the regular season’s final week, play each other Friday to determine the final playoff spot.
Chino needs a victory over Montclair to lock up its second outright Mt. Baldy League championship in three years. A Montclair victory, however, could land the Cavaliers in the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. But with only three playoff berths available in the league this season, Montclair needs a win and a Chaffey loss to Don Lugo to complete its playoff scenario.
Ontario Christian, the No. 1 team in the CIF-SS East Valley Division, needs a victory over Western Christian to secure its second consecutive Ambassador League championship. A Western Christian upset couple with a loss to Aquinas by third-place Linfield Christian would land Western Christian a playoff spot for the first time in seven years.