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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Edison forward Jonah Tuato listens to Coach Rich Boyce in the Chargers' loss to Ayala on Saturday in the CIF-SS Division 2AA basketball championship at Honda Center.

Edison gets home game to open Southern Regional

STAFF WRITER

Edison boys basketball coach Rich Boyce walked out of Honda Center on Saturday after his team’s loss wondering how far it would have to travel for their first-round game in the CIF Southern California Regionals.

Not very far, as it turned out.

Edison was assigned a home game in the first round of the regionals that begin Wednesday and Friday. So were the other six Orange County teams in the regionals.

The Chargers (24-9), who lost to Ayala of Chino Hills in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA championship game, will play host to Kearny of San Diego in Division III on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Kearny won the CIF-San Diego Section Division 1 championship.

Boyce, like just about everyone else, is accustomed to seeing a section runner-up be the visiting team when it plays another section’s champion in the first round of the regionals.

“I don’t understand how it worked out that way,” Boyce said Sunday, when the regionals seedings and pairings were announced. “But I’ll take it.”

For Edison, and the other six Orange County boys basketball teams that were selected, the Regionals offer a second chance. None of the seven teams won a CIF-SS championship. The regionals are the qualifying tournament for the CIF State championships, so those seven now have a chance of winning a state title.

It’s happened before, that an O.C. team did not win a CIF-Southern Section championship but went on to win a CIF State title. The most recent example is the Mater Dei team of 2013 that lost in the CIF-SS finals but went on to win the CIF Southern California Regionals championship and then a CIF State title.

Boyce was an assistant on the 1990-91 Estancia boys basketball team that lost in the CIF-SS Division 3AA championship game, got into the state tournament and won the CIF State Division III title.

This is the first time since the 2007-08 season that no O.C. team has won a CIF-SS boys basketball championship. So the CIF Southern California Regionals offer a second chance to Edison and these other O.C. teams selected to the regionals: Capistrano Valley Christian, which will play in Division V; Los Alamitos (Division II); Mater Dei (Open Division); Orange Lutheran (Division II); Saddleback Valley Christian (Division V); and Santa Margarita (Division II).

Sections were able to decide which divisions in which they wanted to send their regionals representatives.

One of the first-round games is a rematch. In the Open Division on Friday, Mater Dei plays Foothills Christian of El Cajon, which Mater Dei defeated in the Nike Extravaganza in February.

The Open Division begins regionals play Friday. Divisions I-V start Wednesday.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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