HS SPORTS: Local winter sports teams reach CIF Southern Section championship games

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Linfield Christian High School will play in the Division 7 girls’ soccer finals against Santa Clara High School Saturday, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The high school winter sports playoffs are coming to an end, and now that the dust has settled, three local teams have found themselves battling it out for a CIF Southern Section championship title. The Open Division of the boys’ basketball playoffs featured Rancho Christian High School, which had an opportunity to be a 3-time Open CIF and State Qualifier, a feat only a handful of programs and coaches have achieved since the inception of the CIF-SS Open Division. Unfortunately, the Eagles went 1-2 in their pool and missed out on the coveted final game, which will go down between Mater Dei and Sierra Canyon high schools Friday, Feb. 28, at California State University Long Beach.

The Open Division is said to be one of the most challenging and competitive playoff divisions, nationwide. The Rancho Christian roster included the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Evan Mobley, committed to University of Southern California as well as Dominic Harris, committed to Gonzaga University and ranked in the top 50 players in the USA. No other local boys’ basketball teams made it past the semifinals of their perspective brackets, and instead two girls’ basketball teams will represent the area.

The Paloma Valley High School will play Ontario Christian High School in the Division 4AA girls’ basketball playoffs Saturday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. at Colony High School in Ontario.

San Jacinto Valley Academy will play Artesia High School in the Division 5AA girls’ basketball playoffs at 10 a.m. as well, Saturday, Feb. 28, at Godinez High School in Santa Ana.

Temecula Valley High School made it the furthest in the girls’ water polo playoffs, advancing to the Division 5 semifinals where they fell to Costa Mesa High School, 8-4.

On the soccer fields, the Linfield Christian High School Lady Lions will be playing in the Division 7 girls’ soccer championships against Santa Clara High School Saturday, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m. The game will be played in Temecula at Linfield Christian.

For the boys’ soccer teams, it was the Chaparral High School Pumas and the Citrus Hills High School Hawks that made it the furthest in the area, both advancing to the quarterfinals of their Division 5 bracket. The Pumas fell to Oak Hills High School, losing a 1-1 tie to penalty kicks (5-4) and Citrus Hill fell to Marshall High School 3-2.

The postseason brackets for the final three teams in the winter sports playoff brackets look like this:

BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

No local teams made it to the championships

GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

DIVISION 4AA

First round

Paloma Valley 72, Schurr 36

Second round

Paloma Valley 68, Citrus Valley 27

Quarterfinals

Paloma Valley 48, Whitney 29

Semifinals

Paloma Valley 60, La Salle 49

Up next: Paloma Valley vs. Ontario Christian (Championship Saturday, Feb. 28; 10 a.m. at Colony High School)

DIVISION 5AA

First round

San Jacinto Valley Academy, BYE

Second round

San Jacinto Valley 58, La Puente 45

Quarterfinals

San Jacinto Valley 58, Santa Paula 57

Semifinals

San Jacinto Valley 52, Rubidoux 47

Up next: San Jacinto Valley vs. Artesia (Championship Saturday, Feb. 28; 10 a.m. at Godinez High School)

CIF-SS GIRLS WATER POLO PLAYOFFS

No local teams made it to the championships

CIF-SS GIRLS SOCCER PLAYOFFS

DIVISION 7

First round

Linfield Christian 8, Silver Valley 0

Second round

Linfield Christian 1, CAMS 0

Quarterfinals

Linfield Christian 3, Thacher 1

Semifinals

Linfield Christian 1, Loara 0

Up next: Linfield Christian vs. Santa Clara (Championship Saturday, Feb. 28; 5 p.m. at Linfield Christian School)

CIF-SS BOYS SOCCER PLAYOFFS

No local teams made it to the championships

*Brackets posted by MaxPreps and www.cifss.org.

JP Raineri can be reached via email at sports@reedermedia.com