The Pacifica Christian Orange County High boys' basketball season is not over.
The Tritons earned a berth into the CIF Southern Section Division 5AAA playoffs on Wednesday, when the section removed San Joaquin League champion Saddleback Valley Christian from the postseason because it used an ineligible player. With Saddleback Valley Christian out, Pacifica Christian finished third in the league, not fourth. The top three teams in the league made the postseason.
"How fun, right?" Pacifica Christian coach Jeff Berokoff said via text when asked how good it feels to be in the playoffs after not being eligible because the Tritons had placed fourth in league and had an overall record below .500.
"My guys haven't practiced for like 10 days."
Berokoff, who led the Tritons to the Division 6 finals last season in the program's varsity debut, has to get his team ready in a hurry. Pacifica Christian (10-16) has a first-round game at Perris Orange Vista (18-5) on Thursday at 7 p.m. Orange Vista won the Warrior League.
Dominick Harris, a sophomore point guard committed to Gonzaga, leads Pacifica Christian.
"Orange Vista is good," Berokoff said, "so it's gonna be a fun game."
Saddleback Valley Christian received the No. 3 seed in the Division 3AA playoffs on Sunday, when the section released the brackets. Ocean View, originally the No. 4 seed in the division, is now the No. 3 seed and it has a first-round bye.
The Seahawks, the Golden West League champions, were slated to open the playoffs at home Wednesday against Beckman at 7 p.m. Ocean View (23-4) will host the winner of Wednesday's game between Whittier Christian (12-15) and Beckman (13-13) on Friday at 7 p.m.
"Obviously surprised, but out of our control," said Tim Walsh, a co-coach at Ocean View, about having a first-round bye. "We felt like we were ready to go tonight, and we will be ready [in the second round] on Friday, too."