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Fryer: Season will continue for 15 O.C. basketball teams
Three Orange County teams are playing in CIF-Southern Section basketball championship games – one boys team, Edison, and two girls teams, Sonora and Orange Lutheran which play each other.
You might think that the CIF State tournament would be more exclusive, as it is a higher-level tournament. It is not. The state tournament will have 14 county teams in it.
Seven boys teams and eight girls teams will play in the CIF Southern California Regionals, the qualifying tournament for the CIF State championships. A CIF Northern California Regionals is played concurrently.
Four of the CIF State’s 10 sections will be represented in the Southern California Regionals: the Central Section; the Los Angeles City Section; the San Diego Section; and the Southern Section in which all O.C. schools are members. The state’s other six sections have representatives in the Northern California Regionals.
The Orange County girls teams that will play in the regionals: Brea Olinda, Corona del Mar, Fairmont Prep, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, Oxford Academy, Sonora and Troy.
County boys regionals teams: Capistrano Valley Christian, Edison, Los Alamitos, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, Saddleback Valley Christian and Santa Margarita.
Regional brackets will be released Sunday.
There will be some long trips for Orange County teams.
A play-in game, to reduce the field, might be played Monday. If not, the regionals begin Wednesday in Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and on March 11 in the Open Division.
The regionals will have eight teams in the girls Open Division and eight in the boys Open Division. Many teams that played in the CIF-SS Open Division will be placed in a numerical division.
The regionals used to be a one-week tournament. It is now a two-week event. That means basketball players who are spring-sport athletes won’t be part of their baseball, softball, volleyball or track and field teams for a while longer.
The expansion of football and basketball playoffs make it difficult to believe the CIF State office supports the multi-sport athlete.
Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:
• CIF Southern California Regionals finals are March 19 at The Pyramid at Long Beach State, and at Colony High of Ontario. CIF State championship games are March 24 and 26 in Sacramento at Sleep Train Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings.
• Schools that have teams in the CIF-SS basketball finals have been selling advance tickets for the games. Edison will continue to sell tickets Friday. It is wise to contact the schools for availability before going to the schools to purchase tickets.
• It will be general-admission seating for all CIF-SS basketball finals. Ticket prices for the six games at Honda Center: $18 for adults; and $10 for students with valid identification and for children 13 and younger (parking is $16). One ticket is good for all six games.
• Transactions are cash only at Honda Center and at Godinez High and Azusa Pacific University, where other CIF-SS basketball finals will be played. Transactions also are cash only at participating schools’ pre-sales.
• The toughest officiating job in high school sports, in terms of being a target of fans’ commentary, is home plate umpire for baseball or softball. Football officials are many feet away from the stands and basketball fans, though close near the stands, are often on the move. The home plate ump is sort of stuck there; water polo officials are close and accessible to fans, too.
• Logan Pouelson, Huntington Beach senior third baseman/pitcher who signed with UCLA, suffered an injury to his right elbow (he’s right-handed) while throwing a pitch during the third inning of the Oilers’ loss to Orange Lutheran on Monday. Pouelson, All-Orange County first team last season, underwent an MRI for which results are expected Friday .
• The Loara baseball tournament began Thursday and continues Friday and Saturday. A 32-team tournament that uses a traditional championship/consolation bracket, the Loara Tournament can be followed at loara.usapremiersports.com.
• The Newport Elks baseball tournament began Thursday and continues Saturday. Among Saturday’s games: Gahr of Cerritos, No. 2 in the CIF-SS Division 2 rankings, at Tustin, which could have its best team in a few years, at 11 a.m. in a Frank Lerner Division game. The Elks tournament, which has 78 teams in four divisions, continues round-robin play Monday.
• An excellent early-season softball tournament begins Saturday, the Best of the West Tournament. Among the teams in it are six that are in CalHiSports.com’s California preseason top 20: No. 3 Pacifica (also the No. 1 team in the O.C. preseason rankings); No. 6 Los Alamitos; No. 7 Mission Viejo; No. 13 Cathedral Catholic of San Diego; No. 16 Saugus; and No. 22 Murrieta Valley of Murrieta. The tournament, played at Kennedy and Pacifica, concludes March 19.
• John Abdelnour was promoted to football head coach at Trabuco Hills. Abdelnour, who is a match teacher at the school, has been offensive coordinator at Trabuco. He also has coached at El Toro, his alma mater, and at JSerra.
• Fountain Valley has selected its football coach. The Barons’ new coach currently is a head coach at another school. Fountain Valley won’t make the announcement until the coach has informed players at his current school about his move.
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