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CIF releases basketball brackets

Teams see road to CIF title; all six Foothill League boys teams make it in

Posted: February 16, 2009 1:18 a.m.
Updated: February 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The 2009 CIF-Southern Section basketball playoff brackets were released Sunday, leaving the Foothill League boys field of teams smiling across the board.

All six schools made it into the boys playoffs, while Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch will represent the league on the girls' side.

The league received three at-large bids for the boys, allowing West Ranch, Saugus and Canyon to make the postseason.

"I'm most excited for my seniors," said Canyon head boys basketball coach Chad Phillips. "I know how hard they have worked. ... (The team is) really excited. I think anytime you get an opportunity to play in the playoffs, anything is possible."

The Cowboys (8-18, 2-8) travel to Thousand Oaks in the first round of the Division IIAA bracket.

The Lancers (24-2, 14-0) come in as the top ranked team in the bracket after finishing the season with a Marmonte League title.

"I was not surprised," Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz said. "I think that some of the draws actually might work out well for the teams in our league, so we'll be rooting hard for (Canyon, Saugus and West Ranch) to go far."

Foothill League boys champion Golden Valley (24-3, 9-1) enters the Division IIIA bracket as the No. 4 seed and will play Beaumont of the Mountain Pass League.

The Cougars (10-12, 8-6) finished fourth in league this season behind the play of sophomore Marcus Bradley's 13.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.

Finishing second in the Foothill League, Hart will host Norco in the Division IIIAA bracket.

Receiving an at-large bid from the Big VIII, the Cougars (14-12, 4-10) finished sixth in league behind junior Joseph Lavalle's 20.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.

Rounding out Foothill's automatic bids, Valencia hosts Troy, the Freeway League's No. 5 team in the Division IIAA bracket.

The Warriors (11-13, 4-6) received an at-large bid.

West Ranch (15-11, 4-6) will travel to Serrano of Phelan, and if both the Vikings (17-9, 5-5) and Wildcats advance, the two teams could face off against each other in the semifinal round on Feb. 27.

Saugus heads to La Mirada, the Division IIA bracket's No. 2 team.

Champions of the Suburban league, the Matadores (24-3, 11-1) are led by senior Derrick Williams and his 24.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 2.1 steals per game.

Heritage League No. 3 Santa Clarita Christian will face off against Freedom League No. 2 Twin Pines of Banning in the Division VIAA bracket.

All boys first-round games will be played on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., while the girls will play on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., at their respective locations.

Girls Foothill League champion Saugus (15-11, 8-2) will start off the postseason hosting Palos Verdes Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates in the Division IIA bracket.

Centurion head coach Kent Eaton expects to lean on the senior leadership of Nicole Hicks and Gabrielle Conn, but notes that the whole team needs to stay focused.

"As long as the team shows up and trusts each other, I think we will do well," Eaton said.

The Panthers (11-16, 4-6) finished fourth in the Bay League this season, and while Eaton has not seen them before, he expects his team to respond.

"This is the duty of the playoffs," Eaton said. "You show up. You stay focused on one game. If you look past, then you tend to get knocked off and you're done."

Foothill No. 2 Valencia (20-6, 7-3) will host Burroughs of Burbank in the Division IIAA bracket.

The Indians (12-15, 7-7) are led by Lisha Elsenback and her 13.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.

The Vikings beat Burroughs back on Dec. 4 in the Valencia High Five Classic 57-44, then again on Dec. 19 in the Burroughs Tournament 60-48.

West Ranch rounds out all Foothill League selections and will travel to Del Rio League champion Whittier.

The Cardinals (23-4, 10-0) are led by Kala and Luna Amico.

Kala averages 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 3.6 steals per game while Luna posts 14.3 points, 8 rebounds and 2.5 steals.


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