1. The CIF City Section soccer playoff pairings were announced over the weekend. The San Fernando boys soccer team earned the top seed in the City Championship bracket. Avance is the No. 1 seed in the boys small-schools playoffs. The San Fernando boys soccer team, the reigning City Section champions, will play Roybal in the first round of the 32-team bracket on Wednesday. Avance plays Animo South L.A. in the first round of the 16-team small schools playoffs. Birmingham, the West Valley League champions, is the No. 2 seed in the City Championship bracket. The Patriots will play Canoga Park, a rematch of the 2006 City final, in the first round.
2. The El Camino Real girls soccer team is the top seed in the City Championship playoffs. Carson is the top seed in the City Invitational and Northridge Academy is No. 1 in the small school playoffs. The El Camino Real girls will play Arleta in the first round of the 16-team tournament on Thursday. All six teams from the West Valley League qualified for the playoffs. The chances of one of those teams winning the City Championship are pretty good. Twenty of the past 22 City Section champions have come from the West Valley League. Carson plays North Hollywood in the first round of the girls soccer City Invitational on Thursday. Northridge Academy plays Animo de la Hoya in the first round of the 16-team small schools tournament.
3. The CIF Southern Section girls water polo playoff pairings were also announced over the weekend. Dos Pueblos (27-0), the champions of the Channel League, earned the top seed in the Division 1 playoffs. Dos Pueblos won the Division 1 water polo championship last year, beating Newport Harbor, 8-7, in the title match. San Clemente is the top seed in the Division 2 playoffs. Agoura is seeded fourth. Harvard-Westlake is the No. 1 seed in the Division 4 playoffs. Crescenta Valley is the No. 3 seed in the Division 5 playoffs. Redlands East Valley earned the top seed in the Division 5 water polo playoffs. The girls water polo playoffs begin Tuesday with wild-card rounds.
4. The Saugus boys basketball team should be in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Instead, the Centurions will be watching because no one from the school apparently applied for playoff consideration, according to a story in The Signal. Saugus’ loss is West Ranch’s gain. West Ranch finished in fifth place in the Foothill League standings and will play Ventura in the first round of the Division 2AA playoffs. Not that playing Ventura is any reward. Ventura is 24-2, won the Channel League with a perfect 12-0 record and has won seven games in a row. The last time Ventura lost was to Etiwanda, 52-51, in the Los Osos Martin Luther King Jr. Shootout on Jan. 17. West Ranch is 17-9 and went 3-3 in its last six league games.
5. Saugus wasn’t the only boys basketball team to not submit a playoff application for an at-large bid in the Southern Section playoffs. Or perhaps the Southern Section needs to invest in a new fax machine. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame is out of the Division 5AA playoffs, even though the Knights are a top-10 team in the Division 4AA poll. According to the Daily News, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame coach Bill Bedgood submitted an application via fax to the Southern Section offices for playoff consideration. His team was ranked seventh in the Division 4AA rankings, but Notre Dame was not in the playoff bracket when it was released on Sunday. Instead, Brentwood was the seventh seed in the Division 5AA playoffs and will play Silver Valley from the Desert Mountain League in the first round.