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Who's In? Who's Out?

Posted: February 10, 2008 6:26 a.m.
Updated: April 12, 2008 2:01 a.m.
As many thought it would turn out, the Foothill League's winter sports were wild.

Ties, buzzer beaters, departures, highlights, lowlights - all of them happened.
League races came down to the final game of the regular season in three of four sports - Saugus' girls soccer team was the only squad that clinched a league title earlier.
But for the other three - boys and girls basketball and boys soccer, drama and math factored in.
With Valencia and Saugus boys basketball even at the top of the league standings going into Friday, both teams faced must-wins.
Saugus failed to gain its first league crown since 1983 with a 57-53 loss to Hart.
Valencia, on the other hand, secured its first title since 2005 with a 70-48 victory over Canyon Friday.
Valencia co-head coach Greg Hayes offered some comments about Canyon's graciousness after the game.
The former Canyon head basketball coach, who coached current Cowboys head coach Chad Phillips when he was in high school, said his comments had nothing to do with his former affiliation to the school.
"I don't think I've seen more class and graciousness, especially through all the adversity they went thru," Hayes said of Canyon. "The postgame handshake, it's obligitory. Some kids come through and it's not as sincere. This was so sincere and genuine."
Saugus girls basketball's obligatory handshakes were a little more enthused.
The Centurions were in control for much of their game against Hart at Hart High Friday and secured a 53-38 win which gave them a share of the league title with the Indians.
As for boys soccer, a three-way tie at the top means we have tri-champions.
Hart gets the No. 1 spot from the Foothill League based on head-to-head competition.
Canyon draws No. 2 thanks to better quality wins in league and Saugus, now back-to-back champs, is No. 3.
Saugus girls are No. 1, followed by Hart and Canyon.
Who's In? Who's Out?
Lets start with soccer because it's easiest.
For the girls, Saugus will get a home game and possibly a top seeding in the playoffs.
Hart and Canyon finished with 18 points and tied for second place.
But based on Hart's better quality wins in league, the Indians get the No. 2 spot from the Foothill League.
Does that mean a home game?
Who knows?
Boys and girls soccer hasn't been given its due in Santa Clarita in the past from the CIF-Southern Section, so it's a crap shoot.
Canyon will definitely be on the road.
The same formula goes for boys.
Hart will be home, Canyon could be home and Saugus will definitely be on the road.
What about wild cards?
If there's ever a pair of deserving teams, its Valenia's girls and Golden Valley's boys.
The Vikings were sub-.500 in league, but 13-4-4 overall.
Golden Valley was the boys' best team of the second half, finishing 4-1-1 in its last six games.
But the Grizzlies were 0-4 in the others. Overall, they were 11-7-2.
"Magic Mountain should call us for a new ride - 'The Grizzly,'" said Golden Valley head coach Phil Lopez. "We had the potential and talent to battle, but in the first half, we dug too big of a hole."
Lopez said he will turn in paperwork requesting an at-large bid.
But there in lies the problem.
As soccer is not a money-making sport for the CIF-Southern Section, because admission is free to games, it's likely that the athletics governing body will not expand its pool and Valencia's and Golden Valley's seasons are done.
Solace for Golden Valley comes in the fact that senior Ahmad Yacoub led all area goal scorers in 2007-08 with 28.
Basketball's a tougher situation to figure out.
It is a money-making sport and the brackets have been expanded to include at-large teams in the past.
But how many teams is the question.
We know that Valencia boys will be home, Saugus boys will likely be home, based on a 21-5 overall record, and third-place West Ranch will be taking a bus.
The three bottom teams of the league have all met the requirement for an at-large team of winning at least 12 games this season.
Five Foothill teams made the playoffs last year with West Ranch not making it because of not achieving a 12th win.
Hart, Canyon and Golden Valley must await their fate.
A similar situation occurs for the girls.
Hart will host a home game as the No. 1 from the Foothill League based on a coin flip with Saugus.
Saugus as the No. 2 will also likely be at home.
Canyon will be on the road for game one.
Valencia and West Ranch will wait for wild cards.
Basketball brackets are supposed to come out today and soccer is slated to be released Monday.


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