Fryer: Playoff changes will benefit basketball


Anaheim’s boys basketball team lost by 40 points in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs last season.

That was in Division 1A. Anaheim will be in the playoffs again this season. The Colonists moved up to Division 1AA because the school has one of the larger enrollments in the section.

Beverly Hills won the CIF-SS Division 3A boys basketball title last season. Because its enrollment is not so high, Beverly Hills will play in the 3A playoffs again this season.

Girls basketball has the same oddities. Brea Olinda, No. 1 in the Orange County top 10, is a lock to be sent to the CIF-SS Open Division. If there was no Open Division, Brea would be in the 3AA playoffs while Huntington Beach, ranked No. 8 in the county, would be three divisions higher, in 1A.

This will all change next school year. The CIF-SS Council last month passed a proposal by which many team sports like basketball will have playoff divisions created solely by performance data – that season’s regular-season record and strength of schedule, and playoff results of the previous two seasons.

Enrollment will not be a factor. That’s good.

There are many larger-enrollment schools in areas of Southern California where various factors, including cost of participation and time commitment, limit the number of students who go out for sports. A large enrollment at those schools doesn’t translate to an advantage in sports.

It’s going to be better in 2016-17, for Anaheim boys basketball and many other teams.

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• The CIF-SS office will release Friday at 3 p.m. the list of teams selected for the boys basketball Open Division playoffs and the division bracket. The girls basketball Open Division bracket was to be released at the same time, but a couple of games on Friday’s schedule could impact the selection of teams or bracket. The CIF-SS office on Thursday was considering delaying the release of the girls Open Division bracket to Saturday.

Janessa Paredes of Beckman is in the 3-point competition of the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships. People can view video highlights of the competitors and can vote for them using an interactive bracket at Winners of each matchup advance to the next round.

• Three county wrestlers are ranked No. 1 in their CIF-SS weight divisions: Canyon’s Aleeah Gould, 106 pounds; Valencia’s Gabby Garcia, 126; and Santa Ana’s Josahandy Moreno, 131. Garcia, a senior, won CIF State championships her freshman, sophomore and junior years.

• The preseason Sunset Vs. Trinity League Challenge baseball series continues with two games Saturday at 11 a.m.: Marina at Servite and St. John Bosco at Newport Harbor. On Wednesday, Mater Dei beat Los Alamitos, 3-1, as Mater Dei senior J.T. Jazinski pitched four no-hit innings, and Santa Margarita beat Huntington Beach, 4-3. The baseball season officially begins Feb. 27.

• Friday is the deadline for county athletic directors to submit their honorees for the Orange County Athletic Directors Association “Student Athletes With Character” award that includes a recognition dinner Feb. 22 at Anaheim Convention Center. Earlier this week, OCADA president Mike Zimmerman had received honorees from less than half of the county’s high schools. County athletic directors are to email Zimmerman at with their schools’ male and female honorees.

• San Clemente quarterback Jack Sears, who will be a senior in the 2016 season, this week received scholarship offers from Hawaii and Tennessee. He has offers from seven schools.

• JSerra is in the market for a full-time athletic director. Football coach Jim Hartigan served as the school’s athletic director in recent years. Running a Trinity League football program while being a school’s A.D. is too much, so that’s a good move for Hartigan and JSerra.

• A couple of contracts still need to be signed, but JSerra’s nonleague football schedule is set to include Charter of Sacramento, Alemany of Mission Hills, Bishop Amat of La Puente, Vista Murrieta and Great Oak of Temecula.

• Segerstrom will announce its new football coach early next week. Mike Maceranka, the only coach the school has had, moved on to take the football coaching position at Laguna Hills.

• Corona del Mar quarterback Chase Garbers, who will be a senior in 2016, has offers from Boise State and Boston College. Mater Dei linebacker Faavae Faavae, a senior in ’16, got an offer from Arizona State. Also, two Buena Park seniors-to-be got offers: offensive lineman Ryan Nelson, from Washington State, and receiver Taariq Johnson, from Nebraska.

• Today is final day Fountain Valley is accepting applications for varsity football coach. The job became vacant when Ray Fenton left to become coach at Los Alamitos.

• When Rich Fisher was named football coach at Santa Margarita, last month, I asked him if he was going to teach academic classes or maybe take on an administrative job like Director of Formation or Director of Advancement. “No,” Fisher said, “I’m just going to be Director of Football.” The Trinity League is as different as it is demanding.

• Capistrano Valley Christian made a fine hire this week when it brought in former Northwood and Santa Margarita coach Rick Curtis as its football coach. Curtis is a good coach and an even better person.

Mel Morales, El Dorado’s football coach from 1980-83, died last week at age 76. El Dorado will have a remembrance gathering Feb. 27. Email Carl Sweet at for information.

• It will be part retirement party and part reunion when a celebration of retiring Los Alamitos football coach John Barnes takes place in the Los Alamitos gym on Feb. 28 starting at 2 p.m. Go to for details.

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