Playoff pairings for the CIF Southern Section basketball playoffs will be announced on Sunday as the races in nine Orange County leagues conclude this week. Wild-card games are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 19 and opening round games begin on Friday, Feb. 21.
Five teams--Mater Dei, Ocean View, Capistrano Valley, Troy and Brea-Olinda--already have clinched titles, and all but Ocean View are assured of hosting first-round games in the playoffs.
Ocean View's fate will be determined Thursday in Orange County Superior Court when Judge Harmon G. Scoville rules on Seahawk Coach Jim Harris' petition to have sanctions barring his team from the playoffs overturned.
Playoff games or a coin flip to determine the playoff field are a distinct possibility in several leagues, including the Orange, Sunset, South Coast and Angelus Leagues. Here's a closer look at the playoff picture:
Mater Dei (8-0) has clinched its third consecutive title under Coach Gary McKnight, but the remaining two berths won't be decided until Saturday. Servite (4-4) and Pius X (4-4) are tied for second, but the Friars figure to lose to Mater Dei on Saturday afternoon at Chapman College. A coin flip will used to break a tie.
Santa Ana (11-1) will play host to Foothill (10-2) for the league championship Friday night. Both schools already have clinched playoff berths. El Modena (8-4) and Tustin (7-5) are battling for the third spot. Tustin plays at Foothill and El Modena travels to Santa Ana tonight. The teams meet at El Modena on Friday night for third.
Katella (11-1) figures to clinch the league title tonight against Esperanza (3-9). The Knights will be making their 20th consecutive trip to the playoffs under Coach Tom Danley. Second-place El Dorado (10-2) has a tough week, meeting Cypress (8-4) tonight and Los Alamitos (9-3) on Friday night.
Troy (8-0) won its first league title in six years last Friday. Buena Park (6-2) also has clinched a playoff berth and Fullerton (4-4) needs only a win against Sunny Hills (3-5) tonight to finish third.
Rancho Alamitos (7-1) will travel to Bolsa Grande (6-2) tonight needing a win to gain its second straight league title. La Quinta (4-4) and Garden Grove (4-4) are battling for third place. La Quinta has an edge in the schedule, meeting winless Santiago tonight and Los Amigos on Friday. Garden Grove finishes the season at Bolsa Grande.
Brea-Olinda (8-0) ran away with the league title, but the two remaining playoff berths are wide open. Western (3-5) will travel to Anaheim (3-5) for a key game tonight. Western won the first meeting, 64-51. Second-place Valencia (4-4) plays host to Magnolia (3-5) and a victory would put the Tigers in the playoffs.
SEA VIEW LEAGUE
Corona del Mar (10-2) needs only a victory against winless Costa Mesa (0-12) tonight to win the league title. Woodbridge (8-4) is second with Laguna Beach (7-5) in third. Laguna Beach plays its final two games at home, beginning with Newport Harbor (5-7) tonight. Woodbridge has two difficult games remaining, including cross-town rival University (6-6) tonight.
SOUTH COAST LEAGUE
Capistrano Valley (11-0) will finish as undefeated league champions barring a major upset against Laguna Hills (1-10) tonight. Mission Viejo (8-2) has also clinched a playoff berth, but will determine who finishes third. The Diablos play host to El Toro (6-4) tonight and travel to Irvine (7-4) on Friday night.
Ocean View (9-0) is the league champion, but the Seahawks' fate is in the hands of the court. The winner of tonight's game between Marina (4-5) and Edison (4-5) also is assured a playoff berth. Huntington Beach (4-5) can also gain a playoff spot with a win over Fountain Valley (3-6) tonight. If necessary, a playoff will be held Friday night at a neutral site.