The postseason has arrived in high school basketball, and it’s time for the best teams in Southern California to go head to head in the Open Division playoffs.
In the City Section, No. 1-seeded Fairfax and No. 2-seeded Westchester will be heavily favored in their openers on Friday against Harbor City Narbonne and Woodland Hills El Camino Real, respectively. The best opener should be No. 5 Washington playing at No. 4 Woodland Hills Taft. On Dec. 6, Taft beat Washington 60-59.
The real fireworks will take place in the Southern Section playoffs that have become pool play for three games to decide which two teams will play for the championship.
The opening games on Friday resemble championship games. There’s No. 2 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon hosting No. 7 Santa Ana Mater Dei, No. 5 Etiwanda at No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde and No. 6 Bellflower St. John Bosco at No. 3 Corona Centennial. On Saturday. No. 1 Temecula Ranch Christian will play No. 8 Torrance Bishop Montgomery at Chaparral.
All eyes will be on Sierra Canyon to see how the Trailblazers respond to their defeat to Rancho Christian last Saturday. They couldn’t hold on to a nine-point lead in the final minutes.
Mater Dei is a young team with lots of size. Last season, the Monarchs stunned Sierra Canyon in the Open Division championship game. Sierra Canyon should improve with the addition of Terren Frank, who returned from a knee injury last week. Teammate Cassius Stanley has been sick, so his availability is in question.
The Open Division girls’ playoffs begin Saturday with some top games in the Southern Section.