Bringing Their Best to Playoffs

Good morning and welcome to Southern Section Playoff Center. All the scores, highlights and shenanigans.

Our lead story:

* Mater Dei 86, Cerritos 36.

Yeah, those parochial schools are waiting with open arms to welcome back the Monarchs.

Mater Dei officials want a return to the blissful Angelus League days. Well, when that light bulb clicked, some went screaming into the night. Parochial school coaches tend to think the South Coast League is a mighty fine place for the Monarchs to reside.

It's part winning, part attitude.

Basically, coaches aren't thrilled dealing with kids who play like adults and adults who act like kids. It doesn't bring out the best in people, on either side.

Example: Gary McKnight was ready with his usual agenda at the recent all-league meeting--i.e. what Monarch players were co-MVPs, what Monarch players were first team, etc. It tends to be a rather lengthy list.

But the other coaches opted for a little democracy. Apparently, the league bylaws state you can't vote for your own players. They decided to be firm on this point. McKnight reacted in a less-than gracious manner.

The scene got a little, uh, shall we say, ugly. In short, is Jimmy Carter busy?

Tough to root for anyone here.

But it might be time for the Monarchs to explore the independent route. Say, play 10 county teams in lieu of a league schedule. Maybe mix in a Compton Dominguez-type team. Everyone could live with that, right?

Cancel that call to Carter.

* Trabuco Hills 77, Ocean View 68.

The Mustangs, the self-described South Coast League public school champion, handled the Seahawks all right. But Ocean View cheerleaders gave Trabuco Hills' cheerleaders a run in the halftime free-throw shooting contest.

* Mission Viejo 77, La Crescenta Crescenta Valley 74.

The Diablos finished third in the South Coast League and dumped the fourth-seeded team in II-AA. Makes you wonder: how exciting the league race would have been without you-know-who?

* Fountain Valley 64, Canyon Country Canyon 53.

The Barons lose starters Mike Arvesen (illness) and Dan Keller (broken foot), then win the Sunset League title and beat Irvine in the I-A first round. They lose starter Phil Uribe (knee), then beat Canyon in the second round.

Geez, a couple more twists, pulls and tears and the Barons could be looking at a section title.

* Brea Olinda 85, Kennedy 31.

It's tragic to see what has happened to the Ladycats, once the premier girls' basketball program. Why Brea Olinda--winner of four consecutive State championships--slipped all the way to No. 3 in Orange County poll.

By the look of things, the Ladycats will have to be content with another section title. They have no chance at defending their No. 1 ranking in that always-scientific USA Today poll. Goes to show, you can't have three coaches in three seasons and expect continuity.

* Capistrano Valley 2, Saddleback 0.

The Cougars continue to roll in the boys' Division I soccer playoffs. A couple more victories and maybe they can buy Coach Ron Willms a vowel or two.

* Marina 6, Capistrano Valley 0.

A month ago, the Cougar girls' soccer team was ranked among the elite in Division I. They finish up as notch 58 in Marina's unbeaten streak.

Are the Vikings that tough? Take a wild guess. Six goals is a season for some teams.

* Calvary Chapel 264.5, closest challenger 151.1.

The Eagles' wrestling team won six of 13 weight divisions. Six of 13? If you didn't know better, you'd swear this sport was rigged.

Wrestling, rigged? Nah.

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