If the Cleveland High basketball team wraps up the Valley 4-A League championship Feb. 19 against Kennedy, the Cavaliers' celebration will be short.
The City 4-A playoffs begin two days later.
The expansion this year of the Valley 4-A League from six teams to seven has given each team two more games to play. The City's other two 4-A leagues will finish the regular season Friday, but the Valley 4-A teams will play their last games the following Wednesday.
Some Valley 4-A League coaches are not happy with the tight schedule.
"You play all year to make the playoffs," El Camino Real Coach Mike McNulty said. "Then you have one day to prepare for the playoffs. That isn't right."
Said Jim Woodard, coach at Taft: "It's a definite disadvantage. No question about it. We have only one day of practice. And our opponent may be scouting us at our last game."
The playoff pairings were announced earlier this week. One game matches the first-place team in the Marine League with the fifth-place team from the Valley 4-A. The Marine League champion probably will be decided Friday.
Taft plays El Camino Real next Wednesday in what will probably determine fourth and fifth place in Valley 4-A. As McNulty pointed out, the coach of the Marine League champion can attend that game and scout both teams.
Cleveland (8-1) holds a half-game lead in league over Fairfax (8-2). The Cavaliers have three league games left, including the finale at Kennedy.
"I tell you right now, it's going to be a real emotional game," Cleveland Coach Bob Braswell said. "I don't think we should be penalized for having a seven-team league. I don't know what the solution is, but it's a rough situation."
Said Jim Cheffers, City Section commissioner: "I don't see how we can correct the situation this year. We will look at it for the future."
Former Cleveland player Keith Morrison was honored in ceremonies last Friday before the Cavaliers' game with Fairfax. Morrison, now a starting guard at Washington State, will have his high school jersey retired at the end of the season.
Adrian King, a junior forward who currently wears Morrison's No. 25, will have to find a new number next season.
King, who lives close to Morrison's parents, was afraid he might have to find a new jersey this year.
According to Braswell, King found out from Morrison's mother that No. 25 was to be retired.
"Adrian got quite a shock," Braswell said. "He came to me the other day and said, 'Coach, what's going to happen to me?' "
Add Cleveland: King would seem to be in line to inherit a scholarship to Washington State. The last two Cleveland players to wear No. 25--Keith Morrison and Anthony Kidd--both play for the Cougars.
Camarillo center Mitch Parrott, who is averaging 23 points and nine rebounds, might not play in the Scorpions' final league game tonight at Westlake because of a stomach ailment.
Parrott has not practiced in a week, according to Camarillo Coach John Harbour, and has undergone tests to determine the cause of the illness. Last week, Parrott scored a season-low 14 points against Newbury Park and did not play against Royal. Camarillo lost both games and fell to 13-10 and 5-6 in the Marmonte League.
"Mitch said the ball felt like a lead weight last week," Harbour said. "I probably shouldn't have let him play against Newbury Park, but he never complains. He's like a racehorse: He'll run until he drops. Whether or not he plays against Westlake is up to him because this probably will be his last game at Camarillo."
For the Scorpions to make the Southern Section playoffs, Westlake (6-4) and Thousand Oaks (6-4) must both lose their last two games, and Royal (5-5) must lose to Channel Islands and defeat Westlake.
With a third straight Del Rey League title secured, Crespi is aiming to become one of the four top-seeded teams in the Southern Section 5-A playoffs.
The Celts (11-0 in league), who defeated Bosco Tech, 79-61, Tuesday night, are ranked fifth in the 5-A.
If Crespi defeats Loyola on Friday, and Ocean View is excluded from the playoffs, the Celts would be seeded fourth.
Ocean View, which lost the 5-A title game to Mater Dei last season, has been banned from the playoffs by the Southern Section, which determined that Coach Jim Harris had used "undue influence" to keep two of the Seahawks' best players in school.
Ocean View, ranked second in the 5-A, has gone to court in an attempt to be reinstated in the playoffs. A decision will be announced in Orange County Superior Court on Thursday at 10 a.m.