HS Basketball: Top local teams get set for CIF Southern Section Playoffs

With an 8-game winning streak intact, the Southwestern League Champion Great oak Wolfpack will open up postseason play against Tesoro in Division 2A. Time Stood Still Photography.

The high school winter sports season is one of the quicker sports seasons, but it is also very competitive, especially on the local basketball courts. This year many eyes have been focused on the Rancho Christian Eagles boys’ team, including the members on the CIF Southern Section’s Open Division watch-list committee. As a powerhouse program in the South Valley League, Rancho Christian aimed their sights on getting into the Open Division, but did not get much competition during their league match-ups, so the Eagles had to build their resume at the more renowned tournaments and showcases.

Rancho Christian will start their CIF-SS Open Division run Friday, Feb. 16, against Chatsworth at Temecula Valley High School. Jerry Soifer photo.

Rancho Christian garnered a 26-2 record this season, knocking off a handful of state-ranked teams along the way and more than earned a spot in the elite field of teams.  Under the direction of Head Coach Ray Barefield, the Eagles caught the No. 4 seed in the Open Division playoffs and will play Chatsworth Sierra Canyon at Temecula Valley High in Friday night’s first round. The winner heads to the semifinals, which will be played Feb. 24 at Cal Baptist.  The Southern Section narrowed the Open Division from 16 to 8 teams this season and Rancho Christian is the only team that will be making its Open Division debut.

Murrieta Mesa and Temecula Valley will begin their postseason runs this week after competing and finishing strong in the very tough Southwestern League. Annette Saenz photo.

Other top local teams from the boys’ side that will invade the post season include the Southwestern League Champion Great Oak Wolfpack (18-10, 8-2), Southwestern League runner up Temecula Valley (19-8, 8-2), Sunbelt League Co-Champs Temescal Canyon (19-9, 9-1) and Paloma Valley (21-6, 9-1), Mountain Pass League Champs Citrus Hill (20-6, 9-1), Murrieta Mesa (21-8, 7-3) out of the Southwestern League, who had their best season ever, and a handful of other battle tested teams.

On the girls’ side of the court many of the top local teams that made it to the post season include Vista Murrieta (23-2, 10-0; Southwestern League Champs), Temescal Canyon (21-4, 10-0; Sunbelt Champs) and Hemet (22-5, 10-1; Mountain Pass League Champs).

Here is a breakdown of all other divisions (Non-Open) and brackets for both boys’ and girls’ teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL (Games at 7 p.m. Times/sites subject to change)

Division 1

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Damien at Temecula Valley

La Mirada at Rancho Verde-

DIVISION 2AA

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Tahquitz at Aliso Niguel

DIVISION 2A

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Vista Murrieta at Hesperia

Tesoro at Great Oak

DIVISION 3AA

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Santiago/Corona at Laguna Beach

DIVISION 3A

Wednesday’s first-round games:

San Gabriel at Temescal Canyon

Citrus Valley at Citrus Hill

Murrieta Mesa at Adelanto

Palm Desert at Paloma Valley

Elsinore at Blair

DIVISION 4AA

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Heritage at Hillcrest

Centennial/Compton at Flintridge Prep

Santiago/Garden Grove at St. Margaret’s

DIVISION 4A

Wednesday’s first-round games:

No local teams 

DIVISION 5AAA

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Orange at California Military Institute

Orange Vista, bye

DIVISION 5AA

Tuesday’s wild-card games:

Cal Lutheran at Bloomington Christian

Wednesday’s first-round games:

Santa Rosa Academy at Boron

DIVISION 5A

Wednesday’s first-round games:

CSDR at Cornerstone Christian/Wildomar

Nuview Bridge at Joshua Springs Christian

GIRLS BASKETBALL (Games at 7 p.m. Times/sites subject to change)

DIVISION 1

Thursday’s first-round games:

Lakeside at Chaminade

Canyon Springs at Vista Murrieta

Great Oak at Valley View

DIVISION 2AA

Thursday’s first-round games:

Los Osos at Temescal Canyon

DIVISION 2A

Thursday’s first-round games:

Murrieta Valley at Downey

DIVISION 3AA

Thursday’s first-round games:

Heritage at Burroughs/Ridgecrest

Beaumont at Rancho Verde

Rancho Cucamonga at San Jacinto

DIVISION 3A

Thursday’s first-round games:

Chaparral at La Salle

Murrieta Mesa at Granite Hills

DIVISION 4AA

Thursday’s first-round games:

No local teams 

DIVISION 4A

Thursday’s first-round games:

No local teams 

DIVISION 5AAA

Thursday’s first-round games:

Cal Lutheran at Mesa Grande Academy

California Military Institute, bye

DIVISION 5AA

Thursday’s first-round games:

Arrowhead Christian at Orange Vista

San Jacinto Valley Academy at Hesperia Christian

Rancho Christian at Riverside Prep

DIVISION 5A

Thursday’s first-round games:

CSDR at Nuview Bridge

Calvary Murrieta at Calvary Baptist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.