By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
While Damien caught almost everyone by surprise when it advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division 2A semifinals last year after finishing fifth in the Sierra League, the Spartans are not fooling anyone this time. After finishing second behind highly regarded Chino Hills in the Sierra, Damien (19-7) earned the No. 4 seed in Division 2A when the boys basketball pairings were announced on Sunday. All first-round games are Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The host Spartans will open at home against Mt. Baldy third-place finisher Don Lugo (12-14).
Baldwin Park (22-4), in the midst of one of its best seasons ever, earned the 11th seed and will host Golden No. 2 Eastside (15-10) in the first round of the 2A playoffs. Nogales (16-11) will have a tough first-round game at ninth-seed San Bernardino (20-6).
Miramonte champ Bonita (23-4) is having a great season, but the Bearcats are in the tough Division 3A bracket, where they are only the No. 8 seed, and will host Desert Sky at-large Barstow (10-12) in the first round on.
South Hills (21-3) is also having a terrific season after winning the San Antonio, but the Huskies could do no better than a No. 15 seed, and will host a surprisingly difficult first-round opponent in Garden Grove league runner-up Rancho Alamitos (13-11).
In other 3A first-round games, Charter Oak (19-7) is at Rosamond (18-6); Sierra Vista (13-12) is at No. 9 Golden Valley (22-5) and Mountain View (11-11) is at San Marcos (19-4). Mission Valley champ Rosemead’s (7-10) reward is a home against sixth-seed Campbell Hall (19-7).
San Antonio league runner-up Walnut (13-13) is on the road in the first round of the Div. 1A playoffs against 14th seed El Toro (17-9), with the winner advancing to face top-ranked Chino Hills (25-2) in the second round on Friday.
Sierra at-large Glendora (18-8) is hoping to continue its magic in the playoffs after back-to-back semifinals appearances. The Tartans draw a manageable first-round game at 11th seed Burbank (20-7), which finished second in the Pacific League behind Pasadena.
In 3AA, Miramonte at-large Los Altos (11-16) is at fifth-seed Palm Springs (18-6) while Arroyo (9-13) is at 14th seed Magnolia (16-10).
Montview champ Workman (14-9), behind Bobby Miles-Serrano and his 27 points a game average, are at home in the 4A opener, but have a tough opponent in Mission at-large Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (14-13).
In the 4AA bracket, Del Rey runner-up Bishop Amat (18-8) earned the fourth-seed at will be home against De Anza at-large Desert Hot Springs (13-13).
Also in 4AA, Valle Vista champ San Dimas (18-8) earned the ninth-seed and will be home against Rim of the World (8-17) while league foe and 14th seed Northview (16-11) is home against Tahquitz (14-10).
La Puente (14-9) is at 15th seed Chaminade (10-17); Gladstone (11-12) is at Inglewood (17-8) and South El Monte (12-11) is at No. 10 San Juan Hills (15-12).
In the Division 5AA playoffs, Arrowhead champion La Verne Lutheran (18-8) hopes to earn its third-straight trip to the finals, getting the No. 2 seed and hosting Del Rey at-large St. Bernard (4-22) in the first round.