Five of the area’s nine playoff teams can be found in the Division 7 playoffs, which begin Friday. La Serna (9-1) enters as the No. 2-seeded Del Rio League champion while defending Division 9 champion La Mirada (7-3), the Suburban League champ, is No. 3. The Del Rio League has three more entries in Santa Fe (6-4), California (3-7) and El Rancho (6-4). Here are the just released brackets.
The Lancers host Walnut (6-4).
The Matadores host dangerous Muir (6-4).
DRL runner-up Santa Fe (6-4) is home against Burbank (7-3).
DRL No. 3 California (3-7) is at Bonita (9-1) and No. 4 El Rancho (6-4), the divisional at-large entry, heads to divisional No. 4 Burbank Burroughs (6-4).
My analysis: Where do you begin? The bottom half of the bracket looks intriguing. You have La Serna with challenges along the way to the semifinals with a good Walnut team and either a solid Arcadia or Norwalk squad. If the Lancers reach the semifinals, they just might run into divisional No. 3 La Mirada. Remember the wild finish the last time these two teams met up earlier this year? I know La Mirada hasn’t forgotten.
Speaking of the Matadores, they were given no favors with Muir, a team that is very fast and talented, if not undisciplined at times. From there, the Matadores will likely face a Bonita team that was ranked No. 1 in the division a few weeks back before facing La Serna.
Is two years too long ago to want revenge for the Chiefs, who were upset by Burbank two years ago in the first round. If Santa Fe wins, it will then likely have to deal with divisional top seed West Covina (9-1) in the second round.
Is it me, or did wild-card El Rancho get a more favorable draw than did No. 3 California? I think the Dons have a better chance of advancing and getting an even tougher game with either Diamond Ranch/Mayfair in the second round. California is going to need its best game of the year to get past Bonita and encounter La Mirada in the second round.