Next we’ll head to the Inland Division, as I woke up nice and early to drive down to Santiago High School for the unveiling of the bracket. It’s not smart to party in Santa Monica on a Saturday night when you have to be in Corona Sunday morning. Just letting you guys know in case you are tempted to do that in the future.
Riverside La Sierra (6-4) at No. 1 Redlands East Valley (10-0)
Corona Roosevelt (8-2) at Temecula Chaparral (7-3)
Miller (5-5) at Corona Centennial (8-2)
Temecula Great Oak (6-4) at No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (10-0)
Carter (5-5) at No. 3 Norco (9-1)
Murrieta Valley (6-4) at Riverside Arlington (9-1)
Moreno Valley Valley View (5-5) at Redlands (8-2)
Corona Santiago (5-5) at No. 2 Vista Murrieta (10-0)
My initial impression was that for a No. 1 seed, Redlands East Valley wasn’t done any favors. While La Sierra should be a routine win for the Wildcats, despite being the alma mater of former Sun sports writer Dennis Pope, REV very easily could collide with a Chaparral team that has eliminated the Wildcats two of the last three years, including a 20-0 drubbing a year ago. Of course, REV is better and the Pumas lost quite a bit from last year’s team, but seeing the Chaparral uniform has to create some skittish moments for REV fans. Oh yeah, REV might get defending state champion Centennial in the semis as well.
I also feel bad for Miller and Carter, especially Carter. The Lions had a gutty 5-5 season this year, winning in Yucaipa Friday to grab the final seed for the CBL in the playoffs. So as a reward, Carter gets Norco – one of the baddest kids on the block. I see Carter getting a few touchdowns, but losing 55-20 or something like that because it wouldn’t be able to stop Norco. As for Miller, it gets Corona Centennial in the first round. Yeah, that’s going to hurt.
As for a sleeper, when you have a division where the top four seeds have a combined one loss and a No. 5 seed that is the two-time defending division champion and defending state champion, sleepers are hard to come by. If I had to pick one, it would be Arlington, and not because its the alma mater of assistant sports editor Brian Goff. The Lions are red-hot, as they’ve scored 48 or more points the last four games. If they play Norco in the second round, they might have the firepower to hang around for a while. However, Arlington’s first-round game with Murrieta Valley is no cakewalk.