BRAVEHEART: If you haven’t jumped on the Braves Bandwagon, this is your chance to root for neighborhood kids on a dream run

With all due respect to Damien, Bishop Amat, and La Verne Lutheran, Baldwin Park is the feel-good story of the 2010 boys basketball playoffs. For one, they’re the only area public school left in CIF playoffs that are designed to benefit the rich private and public school powerhouses, which is why the best teams in the Southern Section are spread over so many divisions, making sure the best programs have the easiest roads to the finals, which is the best way for CIF to fill up its seats at the big venues and make its money. It’s awful, but that’s the way it is, which is why what Baldwin Park is doing is such a breath of fresh air. And look how they did it, squeezing out a 54-53 win over Eastside followed by another clutch 88-87 overtime victory on the road at Villa Park for their first playoff victories since 1984. Yes, 26 years! My goodness, now they get Keppel in the quarters at home on Tuesday, and though Keppel is extremely quick and talented, they’re not physically over-powering. The Braves have a shot, they really do. Keppel historically is a great home team with incredible fans, and they will bring it. Hopefully the city of Baldwin Park shows up on Tuesday, they will need every student, alumni, teacher and fan of the town to rock the house and make the Aztecs as uncomfortable as possible. The Braves (24-4) are 8-1 at home and four out of five of Keppel’s (23-5) losses have come on the road. If the Braves win, they could have the ridiculous task of having to face Pasadena in the semifinals, but enjoy this first. There might not be another season like this in Braveheart Country for years, so if you’re going to attend just one game, this is it.

Baldwin Park’s record-setting season
All these are bests in school hisotry

3 – Tournament Wins
24 – Most Wins in a Season
101 – Most points scored in a game
1,979 – Most points in a season
70.0 – Highest scoring average in a season.

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Playoffs, the second week: Four left in boys and girls hoops; Soccer looking strong after first round

Boys Basketball
Tuesday’s CIF-SS Quarterfinal Matchups
All games at 7 p.m.
Division 2A

No. 12 University Irvine at No. 4 Damien
No. 3 Keppel at No. 11 Baldwin Park
Division 4A
No. 4 Bishop Amat at No. 12 Lawndale
Division 5AA
No. 6 Brentwood at No.2 La Verne Lutheran

Girls Basketball
Wednesday’s Quarterfinals
All games start at 7 p.m.
Division 2A

No. 1 Diamond Ranch at No. 7 Anaheim Canyon
Division 3AA
No. 6 Sonora at No. 3 Bishop Amat
Division 3A
No. 1 Santa Margarita at No. 8 Sierra Vista
No. 5 Palos Verdes at No. 4 Bonita

Boys Soccer
Tuesday’s Second-Round
All games start at 3 p.m.

Division 2
Glendora at Riverside Poly
Division 4
Cathedral at Sierra Vista
North Torrance at Diamond Ranch
Santa Monica at Los Altos
Division 5
Baldwin Park at Desert Hot Springs
Division 6
El Monte at Oak Hills
Mountain View at Cerritos Valley Christian

Girls Soccer
Wednesday’s Second Round
All games at 3 p.m.
Division 2

Flintridge Sacred Heart vs. St. Lucy’s at Damien HS
Division 4
Bishop Amat at Rim of the World
Los Altos at California
Division 6
San Dimas at Calvary Murrieta
Division 7
Azusa at CAMS
Laguna Blanca at Arroyo
South El Monte vs. Alverno at Rio De Los Angeles Park
St. Matthias at Sierra Vista at 5 p.m.

Girls Water Polo
Wednesday’s Semifinals
Division 3

Riverside Poly vs. St. Lucy’s at Wm. Woolet Aquatics, 2 p.m.
Division 6
Los Altos vs. Chadwick at Mira Costa HS, 3:15 p.m.
Walnut vs. Malibu, 3:15 p.m.

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Wrestling: Area’s best bring home 8 CIF-SS titles

Here’s my story from Saturday’s CIF-SS divisionals, which proved to be quite productive for area competitors:

South Hills High School, after finishing in a three-way tie in the San Antonio League and losing a coin flip, didn’t get the opportunity to compete for a CIF-Southern Section dual championship last week.
The Huskies made up for it Saturday, finishing a solid third at the CIF-SS Southern Division championships at Chaparral High. Redlands East Valley won the meet with 212 points, with traditional power Temecula Valley second at 192.5 and the Huskies third at 181. West Covina was fourth at 138.5.

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