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Local girls' basketball quartet of league champions dealt CIF playoff fates

Local girls' basketball quartet of league champions dealt CIF playoff fates
Sarah Perez of Crescenta Valley High and Ani Boyajyan of Glendale are headed to the CIF playoffs with their Pacific League championship squads. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

A quartet of local girls' basketball teams brought home league championships in the recently completed regular season.

However, Crescenta Valley High, Flintridge Prep, Glendale and St. Monica Academy were dealt vastly different postseason hands when the CIF Southern Section unveiled playoff pairings on Sunday afternoon.

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Prep League champion Flintridge Prep garnered the No. 4 seed in CIF Southern Section Division 3-A and will host California on Thursday night, Pacific League tri-champion Crescenta Valley is headed on the road to face Newbury Park in Division 2-AA play, Glendale, also a Pacific League tri-champion in Division 2-AA, will venture to No. 2 seed Camarillo and St. Monica Academy, the International League champion, received a first-round bye, but will travel to play second-round opponent Big Bear on Saturday.

For the Rebels, another lengthy playoff run could be in the cards.

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"The boys' game is the night before, so we're hoping to piggy-back off that and hope the fans carry that momentum over to the next night," Flintridge Prep co-coach Kevin Kiyomura said.

Flintridge Prep (20-5) is rolling right now as it enters the playoffs having won 15 games in a row since a setback against La Cañada.

"I feel like we're progressing with an upward trajectory," Kiyomura said. "So, we feel good going into the playoffs."

At 13-13, California is a Del Rio League at-large entrant.

Should the Rebels prevail, they would lead them to Saturday's second round against Oxnard Pacifica (12-8, Pacific View No. 3) or Serrano (10-9, Mojave River No. 2).

Last season, Flintridge Prep had a bye into the 3-A second round as the No. 2 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals, where it lost to La Salle.

"The inaugural thought process was the goal was to get a couple games in the playoffs, but the way things shook up, the way they've played out, we feel we really should be able to hit that goal," Kiyomura said.

A good many area eyes are likely to be fixed on the Division 2-AA playoffs with Burroughs, Crescenta Valley, Glendale and La Cañada part of the 32-team bracket.

"Our division is just tough all-around," said Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan, whose team opens up at home against Buena. "So, I don't think there's any easy games."

Burroughs, Crescenta Valley and Glendale shared the Pacific League title, but as they're all in the same division, a coin flip was needed to determine seeding with the Indians taking the No. 1 seed, the Falcons at No. 2 and the Nitros at No. 3 and dealing with the consequences and then some.

The Nitros had their greatest run in program history a season ago, opening up with a win over Whittier, 56-46, before marching to the semifinals for the first time where they fell to Leuzinger, the eventual division champion.

But the road ahead will have a much more arduous start for Glendale (19-9) with No. 2 Camarillo (23-2, Coastal Canyon champion) hosting them.

If Glendale pulls off the upset, that would put it in Saturday's second round against Oak Hills (18-4, Mojave River champion) or Cajon (24-3, Citrus Belt No. 2).

The Falcons (20-7) open Division 2-AA action on Thursday night on the road at Newbury Park, which boasts a 13-11 record and shared the Marmonte League title. A win would put Crescenta Valley into Saturday's second round against Bonita (14-12, Palomares League No. 3) or La Cañada (22-4, Rio Hondo League champion).

Last season, Crescenta Valley lost its Division 1-AA opener at home against St. Anthony, 64-38.

International League champion St. Monica Academy (18-4) has already turned in a more successful postseason than the one prior as it received a first-round bye, but it will travel to face Division 5-AAA No. 4 seed Big Bear (19-5) in Saturday's second round as Big Bear, the Cross Valley League champ, also received a bye.

Last season, St. Monica lost at home in the first round of Division 5-A play, 75-41, to top-seeded Heritage Christian, which won the championship.

Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon

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