The week ahead to CIF championship games ..

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.
Division 1A

Walnut (18-10) at No. 2 Aliso Niguel (25-2)
Division 3AA
No. 5 Corona del mar (19-9) at No. 4 La Verne Lutheran (20-4)
Division 3A
No. 5 Bonita (26-3) at No. 4 Damien (25-3)
Division 4A
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.
Division 2

Sunny Hills at Glendora
Division 3
Bonita at Righetti
Los Altos at Garden Grove Pacifica
St. Lucy’s at Serrano
Bishop Amat at Santa Maria St. Joseph
Division 6
Ocean View at Northview
Sierra Vista at San Marino
Alverno at San Dimas
Division 7
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.
Division 1A

Troy at Chino Hills
Division 3AA
Diamond Ranch at Arroyo Grande
Division 3A
Bishop Amat at Temescal Canyon
Bonita at Palos Verdes
Division 4A
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.
Division 1

Edison at Glendora
Division 2
Valle View at Claremont
La Habra at Chino Hills
Division 4
Santa Monica at La Puente
Artesia at Diamond Ranch
Bonita at Ganesha
Division 5
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
Wednesday’s semifinals
Division 3

No. 1 St. Lucy’s vs. No. 4 South Pasadena at William Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine, 5 p.m.
Division 5
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

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  • just sayin…

    I would say that the Brock Zystra teams were better than this year’s bonita squad. Remember, this team lost 3 tournaments. THeir claim to fame is going undefeated in a horrible Hacienda league this year. SO they still have not won a tough game this season. Tuesday night will tell you if this team is really good or just over rated. my bet is just over rated.

  • Aram

    Epic pic.

  • gametime

    just sayin…they could have been Brock did go D1, don’t think the football players had returned to this team yet for those tourney’s, so comparison is not right, right now they are 26-3 could be alltime best record? you been negative all year on this team, Brock was 6 years ago, get over it,this team is pretty good.

  • Aaron

    They may or may not have the talent of those Brock Zylstra led teams. However they do have the toughness to play with them and suffocate them with the same defense the Zylstra led teams played so intensely with. I would know, Brock is one of my best friends.

    Btw, not only did Garrett Pendleton blossom his senior season as a QB, but he seems to have done the same on this basketball team. I saw these Bearcats play three times back in late December and early January. They are where they should be, contending for the 3A title.

  • whitey

    bill duffys Damien team would have blown the socks off this years team without a doubt, ask le duc

  • Joe Amat

    whitey – Leduc wasn’t there yet for Duffy – was he? Wasn’t it Jim Salter back then? But yes – Duffy, Jon Kolodge & those guys had a good squad

  • Benny

    Get there early tomorrow at Damien, a sell out, standing room only crowd is expected

  • whitey

    hey Joe, I remeber Jim Salter well, but I believe Martin only hired him to be Le Ducs asst coach , I should go to Costa Rica or whatever hot surfing spot he’s in and ask him myself.

  • FCC

    anyone have predictions for tomorrow nights boys games?

  • Benny

    For boys:
    Aliso Niguel by 20 over Walnut
    LV Lutheran by 12 over CDM
    Damien by 6 over Bonita
    Alemany by 7 over Amat
    Orange Lutheran by 20 over Northview

  • Joe Amat


    Working backwards from LeDucs first year in’87 when Amat was not asked back to the Glendora tournament (rumor was with Lear/Pace?Lamb bros Leduc didn’t want to risk the matchup) I think Leduc’s first year as head coach at Damien was ’79-ish and was JV coach for a year (maybe 2). Duffy was probably a ’77 or ’78 guy? I think he just missed him.

    As Charles Barkley says, “I could be wrong – but I doubt it!”

  • whitey

    Joe, I’ll call Jims brother ask him to jog my memory, didn’t Lola and Jim have a “thing” or am I mistaken about that too, lol

  • Benny Hater

    hey benny fuk you, TG

  • Joe Amat

    HA! Yes, mistaken about that too. You know they say the mind is the second thing to go… I forget what the first is!

  • Two Things!

    Love Joe Amat! Encyclopedic knowledge of the SGV HS sports scene going back to before I was born, apparently!

    Also, Benny, I hope you are right regarding your predictions since I am a Lutheran Fan!

  • Benny

    TG, whats your picks genius? Oh and make that Aliso Niguel by 25 tonight after that comment by that moron.

  • Benny Hater


    A hater like you…. who knows nothing about the boys that play oin these teams on how hard they play. Last night Walnut lost to Aliso Niguel by 9, we played a not so good 1st half and they played the best 1 st half they have ever played per their coach’s quote at OC Varsity. We played better in the 2nd, but they had good players and alwyas met our runs. They are good team and so is Walnut, but they won. Everyteam has a chance to win no matter what, 3rd round CIF games, all teams hgave a chance to win, at that stage it’s about heart and who makes less mistakes, records no mean crap at that stage. If you ever realy played sports you would know that, instead of passing judgements and knocking down teams before games are even played.