Thursday, February 23, 2012
Fab Five playoff games this weekend
By Tim Haddock
Southern Section Division 1A
Mission Viejo (25-3) vs. West Ranch (17-10): Top-seeded Mission Viejo travels to play eighth-seeded West Ranch in the quarterfinals on Friday night. Can West Ranch pull of the upset? Mission Viejo plays tough defense. Opposing teams are scoring an average of 54.5 points per game against the Diablos. In the playoffs, the Mission Viejo defense is even better, surrendering only 44.5 points per game. Mission Viejo had an 18-game winning streak at one point during the season. West Ranch has a legitimate big man in 6-foot-7 forward Ako Kaluna. He is averaging 16.1 points per game and coming off a 29-point performance against Edison in the second round of the playoffs. West Ranch as a team is averaging 70.4 points per game and 86.5 points per game in the playoffs.
El Toro (22-8) vs. Crescenta Valley (25-4): This should be a tight one. Fifth-seeded El Toro is on the road against fourth-seeded Crescenta Valley. The Falcons are coming off a 67-55 win over Warren in the second round. Dylan Kilgour, Davis Dragovich and Cole Currie each scored in double figures for Crescenta Valley. They combined for 51 of the Falcons’ 67 points against Warren. Kilgour led the way with 19 points. El Toro’s Cody White scored 24 points in his team’s 76-48 win over Huntington Beach in the second round.
Riverside Poly (21-8) vs. Thousand Oaks (20-8): The Lancers won their biggest game of the season, knocking out top-seeded Ocean View in the second round of the playoffs. Heck, it might have been the biggest win of the playoffs. Now 15th-seeded Thousand Oaks is home against No. 8 Riverside Poly in the quarterfinals. Tanner Fanjoy went off for Thousand Oaks against Ocean View, hitting seven 3-pointers and scoring 27 points. The Lancers were 11-for-12 from 3-point territory as a team. They probably can’t rely on that kind of performance again, but coach Richard Endres is used to preparing teams for deep playoff runs. Poly Riverside narrowly beat Ayala, 44-42, in the second round.
Crespi (23-6) vs. La Verne Lutheran (23-6): The final four is set in the Division 4AA playoffs. Crespi is the lowest seeded team left in Division 4AA, but knocked out third-seeded Bishop Montgomery on Tuesday night. Sixth-seeded Crespi plays second-seeded La Verne Lutheran at the University of La Verne on Friday night. Lutheran escaped with a 60-58 win over Oaks Christian in the quarterfinals. Eric Cooper Jr., who has a broken finger and is the team’s second-leading scorer, played against Oaks Christian, but wasn’t much of a factor in terms of scoring though he provided valuable leadership down the stretch. Grant Jerrett scored a game-high 21 points for Lutheran against Oaks Christian. Michael Milligan Jr. scored 19 points and had nine rebounds against Bishop Montgomery, but fouled out. London Perrantes led Crespi with 24 points.
City Section Division I
Cresnshaw (24-4) vs. Woodland Hills Taft (26-3): Taft was the only team in the City Section Division I playoffs to win by more than three points on Wednesday night. The top-seeded Toreadors advanced to the City Section semifinals -- on Saturday night at Cal State Dominguez Hills -- with a 78-56 win over Birmingham. Crenshaw pulled off a bit of an upset. The fifth-seeded Cougars beat fourth-seeded Palisades, 68-66. Taft is looking to repeat as champion of the City Section. First-year coach Jason Hart is looking to win his first City Section championship.