Call it Open Division madness.
There were eight first-round basketball playoff games played Thursday night in the Southern Section Open Division, and already eliminated are the Nos. 5, 7 and 8 seedings.
"I enjoy this," L.A. Cathedral Coach William Middlebrooks said. "It's about playing the best."
Cathedral (20-6), the No. 9 seed, knocked off No. 8 Redondo, 61-56, while getting major contributions from its standouts from Brazil and the Philippines. Lucas Siewert, a 6-foot-10 junior committed to Arizona State, scored 18 points and was four of four on free throws in the fourth quarter. Kobe Paras, a 6-6 junior committed to UCLA, had 13 points, including three baskets in the fourth quarter.
Another big performance was turned in by junior Milan Acquaah, who had 16 points and delivered clutch baskets to keep the Phantoms ahead.
Their next task will be a tough one. On Wednesday, they will play host to No. 1-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery, an 81-55 winner over Riverside JW North. The Phantoms have already lost twice to the Knights this season in league play.
"They're the best team in SoCal," Middlebrooks said. "They've proved it. Now we have to prove we're good enough."
The biggest opening surprise was No. 12 Orange Lutheran defeating No. 5 La Verne Damien, 60-59. No. 11 Chino Hills defeated No. 7 Long Beach Poly, 78-54, with UCLA commit Lonzo Ball scoring 35 points.
Chino Hills will host No. 2 Santa Ana Mater Dei on Wednesday. Mater Dei, leading by just one point after three quarters, was able to defeat Los Angeles Price, 65-56. M.J. Cage had 22 points and La'Vette Parker 18.
Kahlil Ahmad had 29 points and Sedrick Barefield 23 in Corona Centennial's 95-69 win over Alemany. No. 4 Centennial will play at Orange Lutheran at Hope International University. Cody Riley had 21 points in Sierra Canyon's 75-63 win over Bellflower St. John Bosco.
Orange Lutheran Coach Chris Nordstrom credited poise by his players in pulling off the road upset of Damien. C.J. Hankins scored 20 points and Keisean Lucier-South had 17 points.
"We did a nice job in the fourth quarter in keeping our composure," he said. "We kept battling and didn't turn the ball over."
It's Orange Lutheran's first appearance in the Open Division, which brings together the best 16 teams in the Southern Section. "It's a lot of fun," Nordstrom said.