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Monday, February 20, 2012
L.A. North: The top 10

By Tim Haddock

The Golden League is proving to be the giant killers in the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs. Palmdale, Knight and Quartz Hill all pulled off first-round stunners. Quartz Hill scored the biggest shocker of the first round, knocking out fifth-seeded Oxnard.

As a result, Oxnard drops out of the L.A. North top 10 and Oaks Christian enters.

The Lions are in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs and meet La Verne Lutheran on Tuesday. Eric Cooper Jr., Lutheran’s highly touted junior, has a broken finger and is questionable for Tuesday night’s playoff game.

Seventh-seeded Oaks Christian, meanwhile, has won four games in row and is holding its playoff opponents to an average of 41.5 points per game.

Here is a look at the L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Woodland Hills Taft (25-3): The Toreadors are riding a 15-game winning streak and won their first-round City Section Division I playoff game over West Adams, 80-20. Taft plays Birmingham in the second round Wednesday night in a San Fernando Valley showdown. The two teams have met twice already this season. Taft won both games by a combined score of 137-105. The last time they met on Feb. 8, Taft won, 63-47.
  2. (2) Alemany (25-4): The Warriors won their first two Southern Section Division 3A playoff games and are in the quarterfinals. They beat Artesia in the first round, 87-61, and routed Azusa in the second round, 90-45. Top-seeded Alemany plays Bishop Amat on Tuesday.
  3. (3) Calabasas (24-3): The Coyotes advanced to the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs after eliminating Palos Verdes, 53-38. Top-seeded Calabasas has a nine-game winning streak and plays Lakeside on Tuesday night.
  4. (4) Royal (21-6): The Highlanders won their first-round Southern Section Division 2AA playoff game and play Villa Park in the second round. Royal knocked out Miller, 65-38, in the first round and has a six-game winning streak.
  5. (5) El Camino Real (19-7): The Conquistadores beat Van Nuys, 62-21, in the first round of the City Section Division II playoffs. El Camino Real plays San Pedro in the second round on Wednesday.
  6. (6) Providence (24-4): The Pioneers won their Southern Section Division 5A playoff game, but their second-round win over New Roads from Santa Monica ended with a fight and was called with a little more than two minutes to play. Providence had a bye in the first round and won its second-round game, 57-43, over New Roads. The Pioneers will play the winner of Monday night’s game between Lancaster Baptist and Shalhevet.
  7. (8) Oak Park (22-7): The third-seeded Eagles are in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division 3A playoffs and play sixth-seeded Atascadero. Oak Park beat Littlerock, 63-24, in the first round and Estancia, 74-39, in the second round. Oak Park’s average margin of victory has been 37 points in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
  8. (9) Crespi (22-6): The Celts won their first two Southern Section Division 4AA playoff games setting up an interesting quarterfinal match-up against Bishop Montgomery. Crespi, the sixth-seeded team in the playoffs, is home against Bishop Montgomery, the third-team team in Division 4AA. Both teams have been ranked in the ESPNLA top 20 all season.
  9. (10) Village Christian (26-2): The Crusaders are in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division 5AA playoffs and play Bethel Christian. Second-seeded Village Christian beat Bellarmine-Jefferson, 61-38, in the first round and Mojave, 87-51, in the second round. The Crusaders are averaging 74 points per game in the playoffs and giving up 44.5 points per game.
  10. (NR) Oaks Christian (22-5): The Lions won their first two Southern Section Division 4AA playoff games, including an impressive, 63-57, win over Chaminade in the second round. Oaks Christian plays a banged up La Verne Lutheran team, the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, in the quarterfinals.