1. The players on the Cleveland boys basketball team are making no secrets they want another shot at Woodland Hills Taft. The two teams meet in the quarterfinals of the CIF City Section Division 1 playoffs on Tuesday night. Taft, the top seed in the Division 1 playoffs, has won the previous two games against Cleveland by pretty significant margins. The first time the two teams met on Jan. 21, Taft won, 69-32. The second time, at Cleveland High School on Feb. 9, Taft won 79-40. That’s an average winning margin of victory of 38 points. Taft is coming off an 80-point win over Hollywood in the first round of the playoffs. Cleveland escaped with a two-point win over Fremont in its first-round game. This one has blowout written all over it.
2. The Valencia boys basketball team is in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs and will play third-seeded Etiwanda on Tuesday night. Valencia, the 12th seed in the playoffs, pulled off a bit of an upset in the second round. The Vikings beat fifth-seeded Murrieta Valley, 77-70, on the road. Valencia and Etiwanda played in the Oaks Christian Holiday Invitational in December, but didn’t play each other. Eitiwanda won the tournament. Valencia finished in fourth place. They had two common opponents in that tournament. Etiwanda beat Sacramento in the semifinals and beat Loyola in the championship game. Valencia lost to Loyola in the semis and lost to Sacramento in the third-place game.
3. Loyola opened the CIF Southern Section Division 1A playoffs with a bang. The Cubs beat Highland by 40 points, 98-58, in the second round of the playoffs. Loyola had a bye in the first round. Joe Stein scored 24 points, 19 in the first half, as Loyola built a 55-26 lead at halftime. Loyola plays ninth-seeded Montclair on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals. Montclair beat Rialto, 55-50, in the first round and El Toro, 73-33, in the second round.4. Three girls basketball teams from the LA North region are alive and playing well in the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs. The Burroughs of Burbank girls won their first two playoffs games by 20-plus point margins. Burroughs, the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, beat Mission Viejio, 52-35, in the first round. The Indians then knocked off Saugus, 52-34, in the second round. The Canyon from Canyon Country girls are in the quarterfinals after a 37-point win over Sultana. Fifth-seeded Canyon jumped out to a 16-1 lead in the first quarter and won, 59-22, in the second round of playoffs. The Buena girls opened playoffs with a 54-point win over Glendale. The No. 2 Buena girls had a more challenging second-round game, beating Thousand Oaks, 64-53.
5. Here’s your high school wrestling fix: Matt Hickman from Camarillo won the 152-pound championship match of the CIF Southern Section Coastal Division tournament. Hickman defeated Gianpier Yanez of Servite, 9-3, and won his second Southern Section title in a row. Alemany’s Akeem Gonzales won his first CIF wrestling title by defeating top-seeded Garrardo Aguirre of Oak Hills, 7-6, in the Eastern Division 215-pound final. Simi Valley’s William Gockel-Figge won the 189-pound Eastern Division title by defeating Anthony Ballinger of Apple Valley in the championship match. Simi Valley teammate Austin Braddock won the 130-pound title. Finally, Trevor Devestern of Littlerock won the 145-pound title and the upper-weight MVP of the tournament.