Sierra Canyon gets No. 1 seed for Southern California Open Division regional playoffs
Chatsworth Sierra Canyon has already proved it is the best boys’ basketball team in Southern California by winning the Southern Section Open Division title. Now the Trailblazers will have to defeat some of the same teams again if they want to repeat as Open Division state champions.
On Sunday, Sierra Canyon was awarded the No. 1 seed for the Southern California Open Division regional playoffs. The six-team single-elimination tournament is made up entirely of Southern Section Open Division playoff teams that will play games Wednesday, Saturday and March 10. The champion advances to play the Northern regional champion at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on March 14. Divisions I through V will begin action Tuesday.
Sierra Canyon and No. 2-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei drew first-round byes. The CIF decided to stick with competitive equity and didn’t allow a City Section or San Diego Section representative to be included in the Open Division.
Sierra Canyon will play the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 4 Studio City Harvard-Westlake and No. 5 Corona Centennial. The two teams will be meeting for a third time. Harvard-Westlake is 2-0 against Centennial. Mater Dei will play the winner of the game between No. 3 Etiwanda and No. 6 Temecula Rancho Christian.
Southern California and Northern California Regional pairings for the CIF boys’ and girls’ basketball playoffs.
The challenge for Sierra Canyon is whether its players will have the same hunger they showed to win a section title. They’ll be taking on opponents who have become familiar with them and would love to make their season by ending Sierra Canyon’s 16-game playoff win streak.
One surprise was City Section Open Division champion Westchester not making the Open Division and being placed as the No. 9 seed in Division I. The Comets will be at No. 8 Los Angeles Ribet. The Comets routed Fairfax 68-43 on Saturday night and are playing their best basketball of the season. It’s the first time the City champion hasn’t made the Open Division. Bellflower St. John Bosco is the No. 1 seed.
“Some common sense in the meeting might have gone a long way,” Westchester coach Ed Azzam said. “We’ll play the hand we’re dealt. We’re much better now than we were in December. I would argue that point if I was in that meeting. It’s completely disrespecting L.A. City.”
The seven-team Open Division girls’ tournament features an opening game between league rivals Los Angeles Windward and visiting Chatsworth Sierra Canyon on Wednesday. No. 1 La Jolla Country Day was given a first-round bye. No. 2 Mater Dei plays No. 7 Long Beach Poly.
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