Marshall, Renaissance Academy and Maranatha all fall from the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, while La Canada lives to play another day.
Above: Marshall’s David Morris (5) is rejected driving to the basket during the Eagles’ CIF-SS Division V-AA semifinal playoff basketball againt Pacific Hills at Muir High School. (SGVN/Staff Photo Keith Birmingham/SXsports)
Some thoughts: La Verne Lutheran showed great poise after falling behind late in the fourth quarter. Getting Maranatha’s top scorers Daniel Dingle and Anthony Morton to foul out was also huge. My prediction for the Division V-AA finals between La Verne Lutheran and Pacific Hills: Pacific Hills is the defending champion and boasts the division’s returning Player of the Year in Derick Flowers. I didn’t see anything to change my opinion that Pacific Hills is the best team in Division V. I pick Pacific Hills by double digits.
Renaissance Academy’s loss to West Hills in the Division III-A semifinals doesn’t shock me too much. West Valley is a fairly good-sized school with talented athletes. My question now is if Renaissance Academy, with its record and the fact it moves down in divisions, will make the state tournament like Price did last season after losing to La Canada in the Division III-AA semifinals.
Marshall showed that it was a talented team by taking Pacific Hills, a team it had beaten once, to the limit.
Finally, La Canada continues to defy the odds and advanced to the Division III-AA semifinals with a win over Santa Clara. Now the Spartans must defy the biggest odds of them all when they face defending champion Campbell Hall on the road at a neutral site on Tuesday.
CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS
La Canada 65, Santa Clara 59
West Valley 62, Renaissance Academy 56
La Verne Lutheran 39, Maranatha 37
Pacific Hills 43, Marshall 41