CIF championships are the best, but the week before championships are the most exciting to me. I absolutely love the quarterfinals and semifinals, the crowds are more intimate and you see the passion up close and personal. So, here is what we got going this week…
Above: This is what we usually do this time of year, follow the Amat girls basketball team and Wiard deep in CIF and in the state playoffs. But it’s been tough following them lately, it seems like the Amat boys and girls hoops teams are living on the road, and will be on the road again in the quarters….
Boys Hoops note: Bonita at Damien might be the biggest area playoff since what? It has all the intrigue, two teams with great records in the same city meeting for the first time this year. Not only that, this could be the best teams both schools have ever had, plus it’s at Damien, the perfect venue where the “Pit” will likely be shouting from start to finish. Walnut, love what they’re doing, and Bishop Amat, they have a real shot at reaching the finals. Northview is a feel-good favorite because anyone who follows hoops in this area would love to see coach Rice go as far as he can. And uh, Lutheran, we’ll have more when they place Price on Friday night.
CIF-SS Boys Basketball playoffs
Tuesday’s quarterfinals, 7 p.m.
Walnut (18-10) at No. 2 Aliso Niguel (25-2)
No. 5 Corona del mar (19-9) at No. 4 La Verne Lutheran (20-4)
No. 5 Bonita (26-3) at No. 4 Damien (25-3)
No. 1 Orange Lutheran (23-6) at No. 8 Northview (23-6)
No. 6 Bishop Amat (21-7) at No. 3 Alemany (19-10)
Girls Soccer note: You gotta love Glendora still fighting in D-2, who beat Upland late in the year. In D-3, Amat, Los Altos and Bonita all should be fearful, they’re all on the road and I guarantee not all will survive it. You want surprises? How far will Northview, San Dimas or Sierra Vista go in D-6? It’s one of those divisions where you won’t be surprised if any of them go all the way.
Tuesday’s CIF-SS Second Round Schedule
All games start at 3 p.m.
Sunny Hills at Glendora
Bonita at Righetti
Los Altos at Garden Grove Pacifica
St. Lucy’s at Serrano
Bishop Amat at Santa Maria St. Joseph
Ocean View at Northview
Sierra Vista at San Marino
Alverno at San Dimas
Bell Gardens at Arroyo
Girls hoops note: No home love, everyone on the road except for Chino Hills. Obviously, would love to watch Amat and Bonita go at it again in semifinals. Or how about a Diamond Ranch-Muir semifinal, which could happen too. But I gotta tell you, my feel-good team is Duarte, which is where I will be on Wednesday night.
CIF-SS Girls Hoops
Wednesday’s second round schedule
All games at 7 p.m.
Troy at Chino Hills
Diamond Ranch at Arroyo Grande
Bishop Amat at Temescal Canyon
Bonita at Palos Verdes
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian
Boys Soccer: I have had it wrong all year, Glendora is the area’s best team, they win the Baseline and are still around in D-1, by far the toughest of the divisions. If they win again, and they’re at home, that would be something special. Best game of the day is Bonita at Ganesha, and I’m picking the Giants. Baldwin Park is still alive too. Hey, wouldn’t that be something in the year you don’t expect the Braves to go far, they go all the way.
CIF-SS Boys Soccer Playoffs
Wednesday’s second-round schedule
All games at 3 p.m.
Edison at Glendora
Valle View at Claremont
La Habra at Chino Hills
Santa Monica at La Puente
Artesia at Diamond Ranch
Bonita at Ganesha
Pomona at Cajon
Lakeside at Baldwin Park
Girls water polo note: How silly is it that two San Gabriel Valley based teams have to go to Irvine to play a semifinal at 5 p.m.? They should call CIF-SS and say thanks, but no thanks, we’ll do it right here at PCC where we can play in front of big home crowds, right? Well, I tried anyway. FYI, sorry South Pas, this St. Lucy’s team is gonna roll…Let’s also not forget Bonita, which won a CIF-SS title in 2008. The Bearcats face Division 5 top seed Redlands East Valley at 7:30 p.m. at Mt. SAC. The Bearcats are the No. 4 seed.
Girls Water Polo
No. 1 St. Lucy’s vs. No. 4 South Pasadena at William Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine, 5 p.m.
No. 4 Bonita vs.No. 1 Redlands East Valley, at Mt. SAC, 7:30 p.m.
Wrestling Note: The Valley brings one of its bigger contingents to the CIF-SS Masters Meet at Temecula Valley. It will include 43 competitors, 10 of which won divisional individual championships last week.
CIF-SS Masters Meet
Friday and Saturday at Temecula High School