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Prep basketball: Paperwork snafu costs Cents

Saugus boys will miss playoffs because of late application; CIF releases brackets for each division

Posted: February 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.

A total of 12 Santa Clarita Valley boys and girls basketball teams found out where they’ll be playing once the CIF-Southern Section postseason begins this week.

In a tough blow, another one also found out it won’t be going anywhere.

The Saugus boys basketball team, which finished fourth in the Foothill League due to tiebreakers, will not participate in the CIF-SS Div. IIAA postseason. The Centurions likely would have received an at-large bid, but the paperwork was not submitted by the Saturday morning deadline.

“We apologize on behalf of the school and the athletic department that something like this has happened,” said Saugus High School Principal Bill Bolde. “We will launch an investigation as to why it happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Bolde added that the school is “very embarrassed and sorry for the kids,” and that the CIF-SS office will not change its stance on the paperwork deadline.

The at-large spot instead will go to the West Ranch boys team, which finished fifth in the Foothill League after tiebreakers. Head coach Sean Legaux expressed excitement for the opportunity, but also said he felt bad for Saugus and how the situation played out.

The Wildcats (17-9) will travel to face Ventura on Wednesday. Ventura is the No. 1 overall seed in the CIF-SS Div. IIAA bracket after going 24-2 and winning the Channel League with a 12-0 record.

West Ranch finished the regular-season on a three-game win streak, and Legaux feels confident heading into the game.
“Winning three in a row feels good,” he said. “We’re definitely battle-tested after playing so many tight ones.”

The game is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m., as are all of the other postseason basketball contests.

Valencia (19-7), which won the Foothill League championship, is the only Foothill League boys team to host an opening-round game. The Vikings will entertain Oxnard on Wednesday in the first round of the CIF-SS Div. IAA playoffs.

Oxnard is 15-11 and finished third in the Pacific View League. But Valencia head coach Rocket Collins knows not to take anyone lightly, especially in the loaded Div. IAA bracket.

“The playoffs are the playoffs,” he said. “We’ve got to play everybody to win the championship at some point. We’ve got to be ready for Wednesday.”

Elsewhere in the Div. IIAA bracket, Foothill runner-up Canyon (19-7) will hit the road Wednesday to face Buena, which finished 14-11 overall and second in the Channel League.

Hart (13-12) finished third in the Foothill League and will travel to play Arroyo Grande. The Eagles went 19-8 and tied for second in the PAC-7 League.

Santa Clarita Christian and Trinity Classical Academy also earned berths in the CIF-SS postseason.

Trinity will host either the Academy of Careers and Exploration of Helendale or Weaver of Murrieta at 7 p.m. Friday. The latter two schools will play a Div. VIA wild-card game on Wednesday.

This marks the first postseason berth for the Knights (12-9), who finished as runner-up in the Omega League in their first season of varsity play and are ranked No. 6 in the final CIF-SS Div. VIA poll.

SCCS (16-7), meanwhile, will host Nuview Bridge of Nuevo on Wednesday in the CIF-SS Div. VIAA first round. Nuview Bridge is 6-10 overall and qualified as the third-place team out of the Warrior League.

On the girls’ side, three of the five Foothill League qualifiers will host a first-round playoff game. Canyon, which is ranked No. 5 in the final CIF-SS Div. IIAA poll, will host Valley View of Moreno Valley on Thursday. Valley View finished 18-8 and tied for third in the Inland Valley League.

Also in Div. IIAA, Saugus (13-14) will host Marina of Huntington Beach on Thursday after finishing third in the Foothill League. Marina wound up 16-10 and third in the Sunset League.

West Ranch (16-9) received an at-large bid to the Div. IIAA bracket, and the Wildcats will travel to play Del Rio League champion Whittier on Thursday. Whittier went 21-6 and 10-0 in its league.

After finishing as the Foothill runner-up, Valencia (20-7) will host Diamond Bar in the opening round of the CIF-SS Div. IA playoffs on Thursday. The Brahmas enter the postseason at 12-14, having earned an at-large spot from the Hacienda League.

Hart finished fifth in the Foothill League but still earned an at-large spot in Div. IIIAA. The Indians (14-12) will travel on Thursday to face Rio Mesa of Oxnard, which finished 9-17 overall but third in the Pacific View League.

Hart head coach Zach Koebel will resign after this season, and he pointed out that several of his players will graduate, too.

“It’s the last hurrah for everybody,” he said.

Santa Clarita Christian received an at-large bid in the Div. VIA bracket, and the Cardinals (7-12) will travel to face St. Monica Academy of Pasadena in a wild-card game on Thursday. St. Monica finished 9-6 and third in the International League.


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