Girls Basketball Playoffs: No. 3 seed Bishop Amat on the road in the first round; Sierra League champ St. Lucy’s with a bye

Bishop Amat girls are the No. 3 seed but will be on the road in the first round. How does that happen?

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
It’s not often you see a No. 3 seed playing on the road in the first round of the playoffs. But that’s exactly what the Bishop Amat High School girls basketball team will be doing Thursday when the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A postseason gets under way.

Amat, which finished out of the money in the difficult Del Rey League, needed an at-large berth to get into the field of 32. But once in, the Lancers’ overall body of work, strength of schedule and maybe a little history resulted in the No. 3 seed.

However, because first-, second- or third-place teams always get the home court over an at-large team, the Lancers (16-11) find themselves at Santa Paula (12-12) on Thursday.

“I think people recognized that we played a pretty tough schedule,” Amat coach Richard Wiard said. “The lowest-ranked team that we lost to, when I looked it up the other day, was ranked 37th in the state.

“We took it on the chin in league a few times, but I think in terms of our strength of schedule, that’s why we were able to get seeded third.”

Division 1A
Saturday’s first-round games

La Sierra at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m.
Division 2AA
Saturday’s first-round games

Ayala at Royal, 7 p.m.
West Covina at Thousand Oaks, 7 p.m.
Redlands East Valley at Chino Hills, 7 p.m.
Division 2A
Saturday’s first-round games

Claremont at Saugus, 7 p.m.
Division 3A
Thursday’s first-round games

Charter Oak at El Monte, 7 p.m.
San Dimas bye
Azusa at Estancia, 7 p.m.
St. Lucy’s bye
Bishop Amat at Santa Paula, 7 p.m.
Gladstone at Artesia, 7 p.m.
Covina bye.
Division 3AAA
Thursday’s first-round

Baldwin Park at Gahr, 7 p.m.
Rowland at South Torrance, 7 p.m.
Fullerton at Arroyo, 7 p.m.
Glendora at Los Amigos, 7 p.m.
South Hills at Bonita, 7 p.m.
Division 3AA
Thursday’s first round

Jurupua Valley at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m.
West Valley at Rosemead, 7 p.m.
El Modena at Diamond Ranch, 7 p.m.
La Mirada at Wilson, 7 p.m.
Division 4AA
Thursday’s first-round

Harvard-Westlake at Workman, 7 p.m.
San Marino at Duarte, 7 p.m.

Several local teams are in Division 3A along with Amat. Covina is the No. 2 seed and has a bye in the first round.

St. Lucy’s the No. 4 seed, also has a first-round bye, as does San Dimas.

There is a chance Covina and Amat could play if both teams reach the semifinals, which is something they’re favored to do. It’s just that the road to get there for Amat may a long and winding one.

Should Amat beat Santa Paula and Rim of the World beats Hesperia, Amat and Rim of the World would have a coin flip to see who hosts Saturday’s second-round game. If Amat loses the flip, the Lancers could be going from having played in Ventura on Thursday to playing in Lake Arrowhead on Saturday.

“You’d certainly rather play close to home, but the CIF-Southern Section has a pretty wide area,” Wiard said. “It is what it is. We’ve traveled before.”

There is some good news for Amat. Forward Leeah Powell, who suffered a shoulder injury during league, returned to play in the last three games and Wiard said she’s 100 percent.

Lofty seed

St. Lucy’s breakout season not only has resulted in the program’s first league title since 1994, but also the No. 4 seed in Division 3A. More importantly, that means a second-round game at home, where the Regents have not lost all year.

St. Lucy’s has a bye in the first round.

“I’m very pleased with the draw,” Regents coach Mondo Lanier said. “I’m very happy with the four seed. I don’t know the last time St. Lucy’s has been seeded that high. To draw a bye and get a home game in the second is excellent.”

The Regents (18-6) won the Sierra League and had a nice finish to the regular season by beating Charter Oak and Ayala last week. But there might be some pressure that comes with the expectations of being seeded so highly.

“This is all new to us, so I don’t know if there’s any pressure or not,” Lanier said. “If we make the final four, then so be it. If not, then it’s been a great year and a great run.”

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  • Elmendorf

    Congradulations to all the teams in the area. I the big 3 (Bishop Amat, Diamond Ranch, and Bonita)have an excellent change at winning CIF. Theses are my predictions for the 1st round.

    Diamond Bar will be upset by La Sierra
    Ayala will lose at Royal
    West Covina will struggle at Thousand Oaks
    Chino Hills should win Redlands East Valley
    Saugus will defeat Claremont
    Charter Oak wins at El Monte
    Azusa loses to Estancia
    Bishop Amat wins at Santa Paula
    Gladstone loses to Artesia
    Baldwin Park loses to Gahr
    Rowland wins at South Torrance
    Fullerton wins at Arroyo
    Glendora wins at Los Amigos
    South Hills loses to Bonita
    Jurupua Valley loses at Sierra Vista
    West Valley wins at Rosemead
    El Modena loses at Diamond Ranch
    La Mirada loses at Wilson
    Harvard-Westlake wins at Workman
    San Marino loses at Duarte

  • MVL Fan

    Can CIF explain why the same schools in Mission Valley League compete in Div. 3 for girls basketball and Div. 7 in girls soccer during the same winter sport season?