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Fryer: First wave of basketball tournaments arrives Monday
“Take one for the team” is a familiar phrase in sports.
Mission Viejo’s boy basketball team is going to “take one for the tournament.”
Mission Viejo is host of the Diablo Inferno that is among the season-opening events Monday, the first day of the season for basketball and the other winter sports of soccer, wrestling and girls water polo.
When Mission Viejo coach Chris Zeller created the schedule, he set up this opening-day matchup: Mission Viejo vs. Mater Dei.
Our Orange County boys basketball preseason preview will be published next week. (Spoiler alert: Mater Dei will be No. 1 in the preseason top 10.)
Zeller laughed and said, “Hey, it’s good to play the best.”
This has happened before, that a tournament’s host team plays the tournament’s best team. Loara coach Ed Prange did that for a few years, when his team played Mater Dei in the first round of his school’s tournament.
As Capistrano Valley coach Brian Mulligan said, “If you’re going to keep a tournament going and keep the teams in it loyal to your tournament, you’d better have your team play the Monarchs some time during your tournament.”
Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:
• Other boys basketball season-opening tournaments that start Monday are the Grizzly Invitational at Godinez and the Chick-fil-a Tipoff Classic at Crean Lutheran.
• The Buena Park vs. Edison football game, a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 second-round game, is at Huntington Beach High at 7 p.m. on Friday. The game had been scheduled for Orange Coast College, but Huntington Beach High made some accommodations so Edison could be the home team at Sheue Field, the district stadium on the HBHS campus.
• Fox Sports West will televise Mission Viejo vs. Rancho Cucamonga live Friday at 7:30 p.m. That’s a Division 1 second-round football game. Streaming live at foxsportswest.com/west/prepzone Friday will be Buena Park-Edison and San Clemente-Heritage of Menifee.
• Mater Dei is No. 1 in USA Today’s “computer” national football rankings. Mission Viejo is No. 11 in those rankings, which have Centennial of Corona at No. 5, and Rancho Cucamonga, Mission Viejo’s opponent Friday, is at No. 21.
• Mater Dei is No. 3 in USA Today’s “expert” national football rankings. Mission Viejo is No. 25 in that top 25. Other CIF-SS football teams in those rankings: Centennial of Corona, at No. 10; and No. 11 St. John Bosco.
• All eight teams in the Division 1 second round are in the California top 25 compiled by CalHiSports.com. Mater Dei is No. 1, Centennial is No. 2, St. John Bosco is No. 3, Mission Viejo is No. 4, Rancho Cucamonga is No. 5, Chaminade of West Hills is No. 17, Santa Margarita is No. 22 and Vista Murrieta is No. 25.
• It’s a coaches’ rematch when Palos Verdes plays Los Alamitos in a CIF-SS football Division 3 playoff game Friday at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. Palos Verdes coach Guy Gardner coached against Los Alamitos’ Ray Fenton when Gardner was at Pacifica and Fenton was at Cypress several years ago. They coached against each other four times, including the 2007 CIF-SS Southern Division championship game in which Cypress defeated Pacifica, 36-30.
• The CIF-SS office sets football playoff games for 7:30 p.m. starts. Kickoffs can be changed to 7 p.m. if both schools agree to the change and the CIF-SS office approves the change. The best way to be sure if the game you’re attending is a 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. start is go to cifss.org and find the brackets there, and click “show detail” on specific games.
• Coin flips sometimes decide which teams are home teams after the first round of playoffs in CIF-SS team sports. To find out the results of those coin flips for next week’s CIF-SS football semifinals, go to cifss.org, click on football then clock on “football 11” (for 11-man football) and then click on the box that says “championship pre-flips.” Those coin flips were completed this past weekend in anticipation of matchups for which coin flips would be required to identify home teams in the semifinals.
• The schedule for the CIF-SS boys water polo finals involving O.C. teams Saturday at Wollett Aquatics Center in Irvine: (Division 5) San Juan Hills vs. Burroughs of Burbank, 10 a.m.; (Division 3) Oaks Christian of Westlake Village vs. Aliso Niguel, 1 p.m.; (Division 2) Laguna Beach vs. Santa Margarita, 2:30 p.m.; and (Division 1) Huntington Beach vs. Orange Lutheran, 5:45 p.m.
• Admission to the CIF-SS water polo finals is $10 for adults and $5 for high school students with valid student identification and for children 13 and younger. Seating is general admission.
• An American Journal of Sports Medicine study found that nearly 60 percent of Tommy John surgeries are for patients from 15 to 19 years old. Maybe if young baseball players participated in other sports instead of playing baseball year around there would be fewer such surgeries.
• In 30-plus years of covering high school sports, I’ve heard about coaches who convince athletes to play only those coaches’ sport. But I’ve never met a coach who admits that he or she is one of those coaches.
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