Monday, March 8, 2010
Inland Empire: Etiwanda earns rematch with El Camino in Division I regionals
By Dan Arritt
For the high school basketball teams that lost in the section finals last weekend, the Southern California Regional playoffs is their sport's version of a mulligan.
As in, another chance to get it right.
Etiwanda certainly falls into that category. The Eagles will not only return to the court Tuesday after their loss three days earlier to Mater Dei in the Southern Section Division 1AA final, but they get to play the team that ended their season last year.
And this time, third-seeded Etiwanda will play El Camino of Oceanside on its home floor.
A year ago, Etiwanda was seeded fifth in the regional playoffs but had to travel to No. 15 El Camino because it was an at-large selection after losing to Mater Dei in the section semifinals.
After the Eagles lost, 63-60, there were no more second chances.
Even though El Camino has a new coach this season and several of its top players graduated last June, the Eagles welcome another opportunity to end the Wildcats' season.
"I think there's a bit of that payback kind of approach," said Etiwanda Coach Dave Kleckner. "This is not a team we're taking lightly."