Playoff pictures painted, local high school winter sports programs gear up for postseason play

Vista Murrieta’s Lydia Buggs (3) and Michaela Rentner of Temecula Valley, pictured here earlier this season, will try to help their teams advance in the post season. Annette Saenz photo.
Vista Murrieta’s Lydia Buggs (3) and Michaela Rentner of Temecula Valley, pictured here earlier this season, will try to help their teams advance in the post season. Annette Saenz photo.

Pairings for the 2016-17 CIF Southern Section-Ford Championship winter sports playoffs were posted this past weekend and will commence this week as the top teams from the area look to extend their seasons in hopes of the almighty right to call themselves CIF Champions.

Girls Water Polo

A total of 143 Southern California teams will battle for seven divisional championships in the 20th year of CIF Southern Section-Ford Girls Water Polo Championship Playoffs, scheduled to open with wildcard contests in all divisions early this week. The single-elimination tournaments will conclude with championship finals matches at the William J. Woollett, Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine February 25.

Murrieta Valley’s Lady Nighthawks (23-7, 8-0) have built quite the resume after claiming their 13th consecutive league championship, this year under new head coach Jason Shumway. They will be making their first appearance in the elite CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs and are hoping that they keep another one of their streaks alive having won12 consecutive playoff openers.

Murrieta Valley is the host team this week as they open up against Orange Lutheran in a  match that pits last season’s CIF Division 1 and Division 2 champions. The two also met last month in the Southern California Championships where Orange Lutheran got ahead early with a 6-1 lead, ultimately pulling out an 8-5 win to advance to the quarterfinal round.

Lakeside, which captured the Sunbelt League championship for the first time, is the No.1 seed in the Division 6 bracket. The Lancers (17-12) will host Glendale (9-14) in a first-round match Thursday.


Orange Lutheran at Murrieta Valley


Vista Murrieta at Santa Monica


Chaparral at Chino Hills

South Pasadena at Temescal Canyon


Hemet at North


Elsinore at Norco


West Valley at Baldwin Park

Boys’ Basketball

A total of 318 entries, including top local teams Temecula Valley (Southwestern League champs), Rancho Christian (South Valley League champs) and Temescal Canyon (Sunbelt League champs) made the playoffs. The tournament will conclude with championship-final contests March 3-4 at The Felix Events Center at Azusa Pacific University, Godinez High School as well as March 4 at The Honda Center.

Temecula Valley went to the CIF Division 1A championship game last season, but fell to Santa Monica 66-60. The Golden Bears also reached the State  regional quarterfinals. The Rancho Christian Eagles had the most successful season in not only school history, but in the history of any local boys’ team in the area in 2016 and won the CIF-SS Division 5 championship.

In Division 1AA, none of the Inland area teams received a seed but three got byes into the second round. Inland Valley League champions,  Rancho Verde, will play the Lynwood-Serra winner, Mountain Pass League champion Tahquitz will play the Inglewood-Edison winner, and Southwestern League champion Temecula Valley will play the Cantwell Sacred Heart-La Mirada winner.

Great Oak, the third place team from the Southwestern League, will play a first-round game against North, the defending 1AA champion that reached a regional championship game last season.

In Division 2AA, Perris will play host to Westlake and the valley has seven teams in Division 2A, including No. 4-seeded Vista Murrieta, runner-up in the Southwestern League, who will play host to Redlands. Other first-round 2A games among Inland area schools include Citrus Hill at Claremont and Rancho Christian, who will play host to the Palm Springs-Cerritos Valley Christian winner.

In Division 3A, Sunbelt League champion Temescal Canyon plays host to Garden Grove Pacifica and Hemet will play at Yucaipa,

In Division 4A Heritage will play host to Desert Hot Springs.

Division 5AA is the only division with wild-card games and is a 16-team bracket, rather than 32-team one and in wild-card matchups, Temecula Prep will play host to Marshall. The first round of the 16-team bracket will begin Friday.

In Division 5A, California Military Institute travels to Trona and in Division 6, Cornerstone Christian will be at Mesrobian.

Girls’ Basketball

Sunbelt League champions, Lakeside, learned Friday that they will be an Open team, drew a first-round matchup at Los Angeles Windward.

A coin flip decided the fate for Great Oak (18-7), which tied Vista Murrieta (17-6) for the league crown, but got the league’s top seed on the flip. That gave the Lady Wolfpack squad a first-round bye and will now host the Canyon Springs-Roosevelt winner in a second-round game this weekend. Vista Murrieta will have a home game this week against  North Torrance. If the Broncos win there, they would travel to fourth-seeded Canyon Country Canyon on Saturday.

Division 1A houses Murrieta Valley (18-8) while Mountain Pass League-champ San Jacinto earned the fourth seed and a first-round bye in Division 3AA. Cal Lutheran (second, Division 5AA) and Linfield Christian (fourth, Division 6) were the other seeded valley teams.


Lakeside at No. 3 Los Angeles Windward


North Torrance at Vista Murrieta

Great Oak-bye.


Murrieta Valley at Duarte


Lakewood St. Joseph at Temescal Canyon


Murrieta Mesa at Santa Ana Segerstrom


Heritage at Simi Valley Royal

San Jacinto-bye

Phelan Serrano at Tahquitz.


Hemet at Indio Shadow Hills


Wild-card ‘C’ winner at No. 2 Cal Lutheran.


Wild-card winner ‘C’ at California Military Institute

Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian at San Jacinto Valley Academy


Temecula Prep at No. 4 Linfield Christian

Cornerstone Christian at Valencia Einstein Academy

Calvary Murrieta at Santa Ana Samueli Academy

Boys Soccer

Heading into the first-round games may of the local valley teams will compete in the CIF-Southern Section boys’ soccer playoffs, which were announced Monday.


Anaheim Western at Chaparral

Palmdale at Temescal Canyon

Great Oak at Tahquitz


Laguna Beach at Temecula Valley

Perris at Apple Valley

Jurupa Hills at Citrus Hill

Paloma Valley at Hesperia Oak Hills


Covina Northview at Public Safety Academy

Temecula Prep at Aquinas

Friday’s first-round matches

Hamilton at California Military Institute

Santa Monica Lighthouse Christian or West Hills de Toledo at Nuview Bridge

Aquinas or Temecula Prep at San Jacinto Valley Academy

Girls’ Soccer

Vista Murrieta, the No. 2-seeded team in Division 2, are just one of the teams to watch out of the area’s girls’ soccer teams that received berths this week into the 2017 CIF-SS playoffs.


Norco at Temecula Valley

Irvine Beckman at Vista Murrieta


Cajon at Murrieta Valley


Tahquitz at Paloma Valley

Chino or Apple Valley at Temescal Canyon


South El Monte at Hemet

Cypress Oxford Academy at Linfield Christian

Lakeside at San Gabriel Gabrielino


Thursday’s first-round matches

Santa Rosa Academy at Vista Del Lago

West Valley at Fountain Valley Los Amigos;

Victor Valley University Prep at Nuview Bridge


Calvary Murrieta vs. Walnut Southlands Christian

Yucca Valley or Pacific at San Jacinto Valley Academy

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