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VARSITY TIMES

A look ahead

May 14, 2008

What's happening in high school playoffs this week:

Baseball

First-round games in Divisions I, III, V and VII of the Southern Section-Toyota championships will be held Thursday, and first-round games in Divisions II, IV and VI will take place Friday. Second-round games in all divisions are Tuesday.

On Thursday, Long Beach Wilson has the home-field advantage when it plays host to Huntington Beach Edison at Blair Field in Long Beach in a Division I game at 3:15 p.m. Edison was only 4-8 in nonleague games this season, but 10-5 in the difficult Sunset League, including a 4-0 victory over top-ranked Los Alamitos.

Dueling left-handers are scheduled to take the mound in Division II play at 3:15 p.m. Friday, when visiting Goleta Dos Pueblos probably will start UC Santa Barbara-bound Chris Joyce, who can mix three pitches and throw all for strikes, against Palos Verdes and junior Nate Halverson, a San Pedro transfer who is 9-0.

Los Alamitos is the top-seeded team in Division I, followed by Orange Lutheran, Newhall Hart and Simi Valley. In Division II, Redlands East Valley is top-seeded, followed by West Torrance, Vista Murrieta and Palos Verdes. Encino Crespi is top-seeded in Division III, followed by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Cajon and Paramount.

Other top-seeded teams are Covina Northview in Division IV, La Puente Bishop Amat in Division V, San Jacinto in Division VI and San Juan Capistrano Saddleback Valley Christian in Division VII.

The City Section playoff seeding meeting takes place Saturday.

Boys' golf

Granada Hills has a comfortable lead heading into today's round of the two-day City Section championships. Play begins at 9 a.m. at the Wilson Golf Course in Griffith Park.

On Monday, on the Harding Course at Griffith Park, the Highlanders had four players shoot in the 70s to post a team score of 384, 14 shots better than Woodland Hills El Camino Real, the pre-tournament favorite. Venice is a stroke behind El Camino Real at 399, followed by Reseda Cleveland at 406.

The first-round lead at one-over-par 73 is shared by Dohnte Allison and Chris Kim of Granada Hills, Robin Jang of Van Nuys and Brennan Amirkhizi of Woodland Hills Taft.

The Southern Section-Toyota individual finals will be held Monday, beginning with an 8 a.m. shotgun start, at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs.

Softball

Wild-card games take place today in the Southern Section-Toyota playoffs, with first-round games on Friday and second-round games on Tuesday.

Ivy League champion Riverside La Sierra is ranked eighth in Division I but is a first-round upset candidate when it plays host to Westlake Village Westlake and Stanford-bound pitcher Jenna Becerra (10-4) at 3:15 p.m. Friday.

Led by Indiana-bound center fielder Heather Nelson and Cal State San Bernardino-bound pitcher Courtney Wilhelms, La Sierra has refocused since its loss two weeks ago to lightly regarded Riverside Ramona.

Simi Valley is the top-seeded team in Division I, followed by Corona Santiago, Valencia and Norco. In Division II, La Palma Kennedy is top-seeded, followed by Etiwanda, Lakewood and Mission Viejo. Crescenta Valley is top-seeded in Division III, followed by Burbank, Hacienda Heights Los Altos and Irvine Beckman.

Other top-seeded teams are La Quinta in Division IV, Torrance in Division V, Riverside Christian in Division VI and Calabasas Viewpoint in Division VII.

Semifinals in the City Section's Championship and Invitational divisions will take place Monday at South Gate Park. The Small Schools Division semifinals are Thursday, with the final at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Balboa Birmingham.

Swimming

City Section semifinals take place at 2:30 p.m. today at the John C. Argue Swim Stadium, adjacent to the Coliseum.

On Friday, the City's diving preliminaries and finals will be held beginning at 2 p.m. at Pierce College.

Boys' tennis

The City Section individual playoffs continue with second-round action on Thursday and Round of 16 play on Tuesday, all at the Balboa Tennis Center in Encino.

The Southern Section-Toyota individual playoffs begin with sectionals Friday at the Cate School in Carpinteria, Arcadia County Park, the Costa Mesa Tennis Center and the University of Redlands.

The Southern Section team semifinals will be held Tuesday afternoon. In Division I, top-ranked Irvine University travels to fourth-ranked Palos Verdes Peninsula and second-ranked Santa Barbara plays host to third-ranked Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Track and field

The City Section preliminaries will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday at Lake Balboa Birmingham.

The Southern Section-Toyota finals will be held Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. The pole vault competition begins at 10:30 a.m. with other field events beginning at 11 a.m. and running events at 1 p.m.

Boys' volleyball

The Southern Section-Toyota championship playoffs continue with quarterfinal games Friday.

City Section championship games will be held Saturday at Cal State Northridge.

The Invitational Division title match begins at 11 a.m., followed by the Small Schools Division final at 2 p.m. In the 5 p.m. Championship Division match, second-seeded Palisades, which defeated two-time defending champion and third-seeded Granada Hills in a semifinal Tuesday, meets ninth-seeded El Camino Real, which swept fourth-seeded Sylmar in its semifinal.

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