Jurupa Hills coach Scott Cartzdafner said he was “more than positive” his team would see Citrus Valley in the CIF-SS Division 5 championship game in three weeks.
He said that after his team lost to defending Division 6 champ Citrus Valley 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh to give Citrus Valley the Mountain Valley League title on Thursday. That was two days after Jurupa Hills knocked off Citrus Valley 3-2 on a walk-off two-run homer.
Citrus Valley is ranked No. 1 in the division and a favorite to get back to the CIF-SS title game. But what about Jurupa Hills? The Spartans were ranked fifth entering this week.
A year ago, Citrus Valley won its final 21 games en route to the CIF title. In the final 20 of those games, 2 of the 3 closest games were 3-2 and 4-1 wins over Jurupa Hills. The 4-1 win came in the CIF semifinals. Jurupa Hills might’ve been the second-best team in the division last year, but because the Spartans tied for 2nd in league and went into the playoffs as the No. 3 team, they could end up on the same side of the bracket as Citrus Valley, hence meet in the semifinals.
This year, since Jurupa HIlls is the No. 2 team in the league, the Spartans will be on the opposite half of the bracket from No. 1 Citrus Valley. So they could meet in the finals. But will they?