Above: South El Monte’s Reina Gaber hopes to take the Eagles all the way
Today’s Wild-Card games
Charter Oak 6, Arcadia 4
Chino Hills 4, Mission Viejo 2, 10 innings
Schurr 8, Gladstone 3
Rowland 2, Riverside Notre Dame 1
Covina 9, Magnolia 1
Cerritos Valley Christian 6, La Puente 0
Division III locals: Los Altos, Bonita, Glendora, Charter Oak (WC).
Top Seeds: 1. Cajon, 2. Oaks Christian, 3. Crescenta Valley, 4. Ayala
What should happen: Top seeds should do well. This is an extremely tough draw for the best teams in our area. Even if Glendora gets past either Downey or Dana Hills, they would probably get Knight in the second round, a 16-4-1 team that could mean good night for the Tartans. Chances are Los Altos will likely get Sonora, a tough 16-12 team that finished third in the competitive Freeway league. That’s a coin toss. Then there’s Bonita, who will likely get Chino Hills. Tartans coach Reese Mitchell said Chino Hills is the best hitting team in the Sierra, which probably means one-and-done for the Cats.
Prediction: Bonita will not get out of the first round and because of its late season scoring problems, Glendora will probably lose in the second round. If Los Altos gets past round one, I like their chances of reaches the quaterfinals, but that’s as far as they can go.
Division IV locals: Bishop Amat
Top Seeds seeds: 1. Ocean View, 2. El Segundo, 3. Santa Monica, 4. St. Joseph.
What should happen: You would expect the Lancers to make another deep run after reaching the championship last year, but this isn’t the same team and the road appears much tougher.
Prediction: The Lancers lose in game one against Morro Bay, the second place team from the Los Padres league with a 20-4 overall record. They’re probably the best team from the Los Padres, but they finished a game back of St. Joseph.
Division V locals: San Dimas, Azusa, South Hills, Northview, Sierra Vista, West Covina, Gladstone (WC), Rowland (WC), Covina (WC), La Puente (WC).
Division V seeds: 1. Calvary Murrieta, 2. Riverside Christian, 3. Montebello, 4. Village Christian.
What should happen:This is the division where you will likely play “something” Christian. The only team with a realistic chance of doing anything is San Dimas, though it has a tough road having to likely play top-seed Calvary Murrieta in the quarters. The only wild-card team with a chance of moving on is Rowland, which could give Sierra Vista all it can handle in a first-round game, though I will go with the Dons.
\Predictions: San Dimas gets to the quarterfinals and gets knocked out. West Covina will get to the second round and the more I look at the draw, I like Sierra Vista’s chance of reaching the quarters should they get past Rowland. Other than than, everyone else will be one-and-done.
Division VI locals: South El Monte, Arroyo
Division VI seeds: 1. La Salle, 2. Maranatha, 3. Marymount, 4. South El Monte
Thursday’s first round: Arroyo at Baptist Christian; Sacred Heart of Jesus at South El Monte
What should happen: Anything, it’s a wide-open division with no bonafide threats. This isn’t a great year even by La SAlle and Maranatha’s standards, and they’re the top seeds.
Prediction: South El Monte will win the championship. With the exception of Lone Pine (16-6), I don’t see anything stopping the Eagles from marching to the semifinals and probably playing La Salle, who they will beat. Reina Garber is a senior and ready for this, and this team has played tougher competition in local tournaments.