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Saturday, March 3, 2012
CIF Girls Hoops: The need for seeds

By Mark Tennis

Here’s the first installment of two posts we’ll be doing Saturday in which we’ll make our recommendations for which girls teams should be seeded No. 1 in next week’s CIF regional playoffs.

Division I South: Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
A no-brainer here as the Monarchs are the two-time defending CIF state champs and have been FAB 50 national champs for two straight years as well. They won a loaded CIF Southern Section Div. IAA bracket that included other highly ranked teams in the state such as Brea Olinda, Long Beach Poly and Santiago of Corona. Santiago was 30-0 until running into the MD buzzsaw and lost 71-32 in the semifinals. A Monarch final against either Brea or Poly is definitely possible.
Division I North: Berkeley
The Yellowjackets are the defending NorCal champs and are coming off a strong week. They won their 21st CIF North Coast Section title on Friday night by demolishing Deer Valley of Antioch 61-29. And judging by the other teams Berkeley might face from the CCS or Sac-Joaquin sections, it will take a big upset do deny the team another trip to the state final.

Division II South: Lynwood
If there’s a team in the south that might give state No. 1 and defending champion St. Mary’s of Stockton a tough game it’s the Knights. All four of Lynwood’s losses (the team’s record is 25-4) have come to out-of-state opponents. The Knights also topped three D2 state-ranked teams to win their section title, a march that was capped by a triumph over J.W. North of Riverside for the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA title. In addition, Lynwood is a program with a great tradition at the Division I level with three CIF state titles.

Division IV South: La Jolla Country Day
Yes, you could make a case that Serra of Gardena, after its triple-overtime win over Windward, should get the top seed. After all, Windward came into that game No. 1 in the state overall. But the Torreys were a solid No. 3 in the state last week as well and took care of business in their section finals, routing Bishop’s of La Jolla 64-39 on Saturday morning. More interesting than the No. 1 seed in this division, though, is where Windward lands. Will the Wildcats have to travel to LJCD for a matchup or will that possible game be in the neutral environment of Colony High in Ontario?

Division V North: Brookside Christian (Stockton)
This seed looked messy coming into the weekend, but when two-time defending D5 state champ Pinewood of Los Altos Hills lost to Eastside of Palo Alto 41-28 in the CCS final on Saturday morning, it’s clear sailing for Brookside. Not only did the Bruins win their first Sac-Joaquin Section title on Friday night, but they also handily defeated Eastside 67-31 earlier in the season. Hamilton of Hamilton City was unbeaten heading into its Northern Section final, but clearly has not played as strong of a schedule as Brookside. All four of Brookside’s losses are to Division I teams other than D3 Sacramento. The Bruins also have a win over NCS D1 finalist Deer Valley.