Last Sunday afternoon a group of 12 teams from the area, who qualified for the playoffs, found out what their road to championship weekend on Feb. 25 will look like.

Rancho Christian is the area’s only top seeded team, earning a No. 1 seed in Division 2A. Their playoff journey starts against Norco in first-round action. Norco is an at-large selection from the Big VIII League who reached the quarterfinals a season ago. The Eagles were champions of the Ivy League this season, which was also their first season with the Raincross Conference.

Rancho Christian’s Kevin Patton Jr. dunks against Curtis (Wash.) in a Damien Tournament game earlier this season. Valley News/Jerry Soifer photo

Area league winners include: Ivy: Rancho Christian; Mountain Pass: Liberty; Southwestern: Great Oak, Vista Murrieta and Murrieta Valley; South Valley: Santa Rosa Academy; Sunbelt: Temescal Canyon.

Here is a complete list of the first-round matchups. (All games are scheduled for 7 p.m.)


No. 4 JSerra at Great Oak


No. 11 Crespi at Vista Murrieta

Murrieta Valley at No. 12 Linfield Christian


Norco at No. 1 Rancho Christian


Yorba Linda at No. 5 Temescal Canyon

Murrieta Mesa at No. 4 Valley Torah


Hacienda Heights/Wilson at Santa Rosa Academy


No. 15 Lakeside at Yucca Valley

San Bernardino at Liberty

Liberty forward Jalen Tiggett (2) takes the shot. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group


Temecula Prep at Calvary Chapel Downey


Cornerstone Christian at No. 6 San Gorgonio

Here is the remainder of the playoff calendar:

Second round: Friday. Feb. 10

Quarterfinals: Tuesday, Feb. 14

Semifinals: Friday, Feb. 17

Finals: Friday, Feb. 24 or Saturday, Feb. 25

In the Murrieta Valley at Linfield Christian game, Nighthawks coach Brian Weathers returns to one of his previous head coaching stops before taking over at his high school alma mater. If Murrieta Valley defeats Linfield Christian and ends up hosting that game it will be played at an alternate venue. Nighthawk Gym is being used as a host site for the CIF-SS Southern Division Individual Boys Wrestling Championships this weekend and is unavailable.

CIF-SS Girls’ Basketball Playoffs

The Rancho Christian Eagles and the Great Oak Wolfpack will lead the area teams into the playoffs as nine teams moved into the postseason, which started earlier this week with wildcard games if necessary, and first round matchups that began on Thursday.

Rancho Christian, the Ivy League champion, earned a No. 1 seed in Division 3A while Southwestern League co-champion Great Oak earned a No. 3 seed in the same division. For the Wolfpack there has been a rapid turnaround under second year head coach Jared Curtiss who came over from Murrieta Mesa, where he was an assistant, after the spring 2021 season.

Senior point guard Alyssa Schuetze (2) and the Great Oak Wolfpack advanced to the postseason as co-champions from the Southwestern League after going 9-1 this season. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

Last season (2021-2022) the Wolfpack went 14-7 overall and 5-5 in Southwestern League play, receiving a playoff berth for the first time since 2018-2019 when they earned runner-up honors, but fell to Orange Lutheran in the first round. This year’s league championship is Great Oak’s first since the 2016-2017 season and their 20 regular season wins is the program’s highest total since 2018-2019.

“I knew there were pieces here from my time as an assistant at Murrieta Mesa and thought we had a chance to mold a high caliber culture that we had in my teams back home in Oregon,” Curtiss said. “Our students’ version of hard work wasn’t the same as ours but we held kids to the standards of hard work and collective responsibility and we’re seeing that pay off. Our captains, especially the seniors in Payton and Kimber, will do a great job of making sure we don’t get caught looking too far ahead and keep everyone focused on what’s in front of us.”

Curtiss’ leading scorer is senior guard Alyssa Schuetze who averaged 12.3 PPG and 4.5 RPG while shooting 40% from the field and just under 30% from the three-point line. His daughter Payton runs the point and averages 6.5 PPG with an impressive 6.2 APG (assists).

Meanwhile, 3.4 miles up the road at Rancho Christian, Aalyiah Stanton does a little bit of everything for the Eagles averaging 30.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.2 APG and 3.8 SPG.

Vista Murrieta’s Makena Ching (33) gets a shot off over Murrieta Valley defender Ava Black in their final matchup of the regular season. Valley News/David Canales photo

Area league champions include, Arrowhead League: California Lutheran; Inland Valley League: Orange Vista; Ivy League: Rancho Christian; Southwestern: Great Oak and Vista Murrieta.

The pairings and schedule for the CIF Southern Section girls’ basketball playoffs.

(Games scheduled for 7 p.m. but subject to change)


No local teams


First round, Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Marlborough at Vista Murrieta


No local teams


No local teams


First round, Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Heritage at Northwood

Murrieta Valley at Yorba Linda


First round, Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Rancho Christian, bye

South Torrance at Temescal Canyon

CSDR at Great Oak


First round, Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Elsinore at Buena Park

La Habra at San Jacinto Valley Academy


First round, Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Yeshiva at Orange Vista

Bethel Christian at California Lutheran

Banning at San Jacinto


No local teams


Wild-card games

E: at Tahquitz – 57, Adelanto – 38

G: Santa Rosa Academy – 37, Redlands Adventist – 31

J: Nuview Bridge – 41, Pomona Catholic – 30

First round, Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Winner WC E at Lake Arrowhead Christian

Winner WC G at Riverside Prep

Bloomington at West Valley


Second round (Div. 1-5A): Feb. 11, 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Div. 1-5A): Feb. 15, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Div. 1-5A): Feb. 18, 7 p.m.

Championship games: Feb. 24-25 (various locations)

Please email or if there are any changes in times, dates and/or sites.

Derryl Trujillo

Derryl Trujillo has been a local sportswriter since 2018 and is the 2019 IEBCA Supporter of the Year award winner. He can be reached via email at