With just one week of play remaining in the regular season, more than half of the boys' Southern Section basketball playoff berths have been determined.
In the top five divisions, 5-A through 1-A, nearly 60% of the fields have been filled. The 5-A, with just 37.5%, is the only division where less than half of the playoff teams are not known. In the 3-A division, 70% of the playoff spots have been taken.
Three teams qualify from most leagues. The 4-A, 3-A, 2-A and Small Schools divisions will be made up of 33 or more teams. Wild-card games, to be played Feb. 19, will be used to reduce the fields to 32 teams for first-round playoff action, which begins Feb. 21. The 5-A and 1-A divisions also open play Feb. 21 and require no wild-card games.
There are several key games this week involving league leaders. In the 4-A, Culver City (8-0) is at Inglewood (7-1) Wednesday in an Ocean League game. Two Friday night games have Lynwood (9-1) traveling to Compton Dominguez (9-1) in the San Gabriel Valley League and Tustin Foothill (10-2) at Santa Ana (11-1) in the Century League.
In the 3-A, Burbank Burroughs (6-2) is at Montebello Schurr (7-1) tonight and at home against Burbank (7-1) Thursday night in key Foothill League contests. In two Wednesday night games, Garden Grove Rancho Alamitos (7-1) is at Garden Grove Bolsa Grande (6-2) in the Garden Grove League and Compton Centennial (8-1) is at Inglewood Morningside (9-0) in the Pioneer League.
Just two 2-A games involve league leaders. El Monte (6-2) is at El Monte Mountain View (7-1) tonight in the Mission Valley League and Santa Maria St. Joseph (8-2) is at Lompoc Cabrillo (9-1) Friday night in the Los Padres League.
In the 1-A, Palos Verdes Chadwick (5-0) is at Flintridge Prep (5-1) tonight in the Prep League and Yucca Valley (10-2) is at Twentynine Palms (11-1) in the De Anza League and Van Nuys Montclair Prep (10-2) is at Los Angeles Baptist (10-2) in the Alpha League, both Friday night.
Here's a look, by division, at the situation in each league:
5-A DIVISION: ANGELUS--Santa Ana Mater Dei (8-0) has already won the league title. Games to determine second and third: Wednesday night, Downey Pius X (4-4) at Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (4-4) and La Puente Bishop Amat (2-6) at Anaheim Servite (4-4); Friday night, St. Paul at Bishop Amat and Torrance Bishop Montgomery (2-6) at Pius X; Saturday afternoon, Mater Dei vs. Servite at Chapman College. CAMINO REAL--Gardena Serra (13-0) has qualified. Playa del Rey St. Bernard (9-3) has a one-game lead in the battle for second but plays host to Long Beach St. Anthony (8-4) Wednesday night and then meets Verbum Dei (8-4) Friday night at Compton College. DEL REY--Encino Crespi (10-0) has clinched the league title, and Loyola (7-4) is assured of a playoff spot. La Canada St. Francis (6-4) needs just one win either at Downey St. John Bosco (5-6) tonight or at home against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (2-8) Friday night to finish alone in third. MOORE--Long Beach Poly (8-0) and Millikan (6-2) will finish first and second. Long Beach Wilson (4-4) at Lakewood (3-5) Thursday night should deside third. SUNSET--Huntington Beach Ocean View (8-0) has won the title but is ineligible for the playoffs. With one game left, the five remaining teams are all still in playoff contention. Wednesday night's schedule: Huntington Beach Marina (4-5) at Huntington Beach Edison (4-5); Fountain Valley (3-6) at Huntington Beach (4-5) and Ocean View at Westminster (3-6).