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Open Division playoffs: O.C. teams get good news, bad news

STAFF REPORT

The CIF-SS Open Division brackets for the boys and girls basketball playoffs were released Saturday, giving eight county teams a look at the challenges ahead as they try to win a championship in the section’s top division.

Brea Olinda’s girls received the No. 2 overall seed behind top-seeded Long Beach Poly. The Ladycats (23-2), who have a 17-game winning streak, open the playoffs at home next Saturday against Oaks Christian of Westlake (19-6).

On the boys side, Santa Margarita (17-9) drew perhaps the toughest first-round assignment, taking on top seed Chino Hills (27-0), which features UCLA-bound Lonzo Ball. The game will be Friday at Chino Hills.

Boys: Division 1 pairings

Girls: Division 1 pairings

In other first-round matchups Friday for county boys teams: Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Montebello (16-10) at Mater Dei (25-3), Los Alamitos (23-4) at Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (22-3) and Orange Lutheran (25-7) at Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (24-1), which is the No. 2 seed and defending Open Division champion.

In other first round matchups next Saturday for county girls team: Fairmont Prep (19-6) at Long Beach Poly (22-3), Troy (20-5) at Alemany of Mission Hills (20-8) and Etiwanda (17-8) at Mater Dei (24-3).

Second-round games will be Feb. 23 (boys) and Feb. 24 (girls).

The CIF-SS will announce Sunday the teams that received at-large bids and the pairings for the other 11 divisions for boys and girls basketball. The pairings will be available shortly after their release at ocvarsity.com.

The list of at-large bids will be released at 12:30 p.m., and pairings will be released in 20-minute intervals, starting at 1 p.m. (Divisions 1AA and 1A) and ending at 2:40 p.m. (Division 6).

A panel selected the teams for the boys and girls Open Divisions based on nine areas of criteria, including strenth of schedule, overall record and their ranking.

“These are truly the elite programs in the Southern Section and they will bring forth high quality and exciting basketball in the sectional playoffs,” Assistant Commissioner Rainer Wulf, administrator in charge of basketball, said in a CIF-SS statement that accompanied the pairings.

- Kenny Connolly contributed to this report.


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