By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
LOS ALAMITOS — The buzz at Sunday’s CIF-Southern Section pairings draw in Los Alamitos centered around Bishop Amat when the Pac-5 Division playoff pairings were announced, because the Serra League champion Lancers (9-1) drew old friend Mater Dei (6-4), setting up a nostalgic first-round game against the storied Monarchs at Kiefer Stadium on Friday. (To continue reading, click thread)
CIF-Southern Section Playoff Pairings
Millikan (Moore 4) at No. 1 Edison (Sunset 1)
Orange Lutheran (Trinity 2) at Dana Hills (South Coast 2)
Mater Dei (Trinity 3) at Bishop Amat (Serra 1)
Newport Harbor (Sunset at-large) at No. 4 Lakewood (Moore 1)
San Clemente (South Coast 3) at No. 3 Servite (Trinity 1)
Long Beach Poly (Moore 2) at Los Alamitos (Sunset 2)
Fountain Valley (Sunset 3) at Notre Dame (Serra 2)
Long Beach Wilson (Moore 3) at No. 2 Mission Viejo (South Coast 1)
South El Monte (MVL 3) at No. 1 Monrovia (Rio Hondo 1)
Paraclete (Olympic 2) at La Puente (Montview 2)
Gladstone (Montview 3) at Baldwin Park (Valle Vista 2)
Whittier Christian (Olympic 3) at No. 4 Arroyo (MVL 1)
Covina (Valle Vista 3) at No. 3 Azusa (Montview 1)
Rosemead (MVL 2) at San Marino (Rio Hondo 2)
La Canada (Rio Hondo 3) at Cerritos Valley Christian (Olympic 1)
Workman (Montview 4) at No. 2 San Dimas (Valle Vista 1)
Don Lugo (Mt. Baldy 3) at No. 1 Colton (San Andreas 1)
Rancho Cucamonga (Baseline 3) at Glendora (Sierra 2)
Chaffey (Mt. Baldy 2) at West Valley (Sunbelt 2)
Arroyo Valley (San Andreas 3) at No. 4 Los Osos (Baseline 1)
Chino Hills (Sierra 3) at No. 4 Elsinore (Sunbelt 1)
Cajon (San Andreas 2) at Etiwanda (Baseline 2)
Upland (Baseline at-large) at Damien (Sierra 1)
Paloma Valley (Sunbelt 3) at No. 2 Colony (Mt. Baldy 1)
Muir (Pacific 4) at No. 1 Charter Oak (Miramonte 1)
San Gabriel (Almont 2) at West Covina (San Antonio 2)
Rowland (San Antonio 3) at California (Del Rio 1)
Alhambra (Almont 3) at No. 4 Burbank (Pacific 1)
El Rancho (Del Rio 3) at No. 3 Schurr (Almont 1)
Diamond Ranch (Miramonte 3) at Burroughs (Pacific 2)
Crescenta Valley (Pacific 3) at Santa Fe (Del Rio 2)
Bonita (Miramonte 3) at South Hills (San Antonio 1)
You can also go straight to CIF to look at all the brackets.
Mater Dei has been one of California’s elite programs for decades, owners of nine CIF championships, five undefeated seasons and two USA Today mythical national championships, and a former nemesis of Bishop Amat when the two met annually in the old Angelus League.
With Bishop Amat’s five divisional championships, the two schools have 14 titles between them, with Bishop Amat holding an all-time 18-15 head-to-head edge.
“It reminds me of when I played at Bishop Amat, and when I coached here my first time through (as an assistant),” Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said. “It’s an old league match-up. They were always the team to beat in league, not much has changed.”
Mater Dei finished third in the powerful Trinity League behind champion Servite (9-1) and second place Orange Lutheran (6-4).
“They have so much talent and play in a league where any of those teams could have been league champions,” Hagerty said. “It’s not like we’re playing a third-place team, we’re playing a championship-caliber team. That’s always the case when you line up against Mater Dei. But if you’re going to keep playing, you have to play great teams. I don’t know if it was going to be any easier playing them in the second or third rounds, you might as well get them now and hope to move on.”
Defending Southeast and Miramonte League champion Charter Oak (9-1) was the top seed in the Southeast Division with San Antonio league champion South Hills (7-3) No. 2.
South Hills and Charter Oak would be a dream area championship between Chargers coach Lou Farrar and South Hills’ Steve Bogan, who each own four championships, but there are plenty of spoilers in the division.
Charter Oak will host Muir (4-6), a dangerous fourth-place team from the Pacific League, in the first round.
“When I think of Muir I think of (former coach) Jim Brownfield, it’s a heck of a tradition they have,” Farrar said of Muir. “They have played some great teams and were actually a few points from winning their league. They always have athletes, and this year is no different.”
If the Chargers advance, they will await the winner between San Gabriel (6-4) and host West Covina (6-4), another good first-round matchup. If West Covina and Charter Oak advance, West Covina will host the second round game against the Chargers.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “I know some people would love to see it, but we have San Gabriel first. They spread it out, throw the ball and score a lot of points. If we get past them, then yeah, a game with Charter Oak would be exciting.”
No. 2 South Hills (8-2) will host Bonita (3-7) in the first round. The Bearcats finished third in the Miramonte.
“It’s going to be a fun game,” Bogan said. “We’ll have to prepare for (Bonita coach) Eric Podley’s creativity. I’ve always been a fan of his, he’s one of the more creative coaches around.”
In other Southeast first-round games, Rowland (8-2) is at Del Rio League champion California (7-2-1) and Diamond Ranch (4-6) is at Burroughs (7-3).
In the Central Division, Sierra league co-champs Damien and Glendora drew first-round games, though both are extremely difficult.
After coin flips, Glendora (7-3) is the second-place team from the Sierra, which means they will host defending champion Rancho Cucamonga (8-2), who slipped to the No. 3 team in the Baseline. The winner would likely get top-ranked Colton (9-1) in the second round.
Damien (5-5), the Sierra League’s No. 1, drew Upland (8-2), a fourth-place at-large from the Baseline. The winner would likely get No. 2 Colony, making life difficult for both Glendora and Damien to advance.
“No kidding,” Damien coach Greg Gano said. “But the way I look at it, no matter who you got it was going to be tough. Our kids have reacted well the past few weeks, but the speed of the game is going to get a lot quicker.”
San Dimas (9-1), Azusa (9-1) and Arroyo (8-2) were the No. 2 through No. 4 seeds respectively in the Mid-Valley Division, with undefeated Monrovia (10-0) No. 1.
San Dimas opens against Workman (6-4), the fourth-place team in the Montivew, with the winner meeting either La Canada (5-4) or Cerritos Valley Christian (6-4) in the quarterfinals.
No. 3 Azusa drew Covina (5-4) in the first round, a rematch of the Aztecs’ first-round win over the Colts last season.
The winner will face either San Marino (8-2) or Rosemead (5-5) in the second round.
On the top half of the bracket, South El Monte (3-7) will face top-ranked Monrovia, with the winner facing either Paraclete (6-4) or La Puente (7-3).
Arroyo will be at home against Whittier Christian (7-3), and Baldwin Park (8-2) is at home against Gladstone (7-3). The winners will face each other in the quarterfinals.
All games are scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m.