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Fryer's predictions for the boys basketball playoffs

OCVARSITY.COM

Steve Fryer makes his predictions for all 12 of the CIF-SS boys basketball divisions.

Check out his round-by-round selections:

Division 1AA

2012 champion: Mater Dei

Top seeds: 1. Mater Dei; 2. Long Beach Poly; 3. Centennial of Corona; 4. Mission Viejo

O.C. angle: When Mater Dei gets serious, the Monarchs are unbeatable. It's time for Elijah Brown, Stanley Johnson, Jordan Strawberry and company to get serious. We could see a Mission Viejo at Orange Lutheran second-round game. Foothill and standout point guard Justin Davis have the most difficult draw of county teams, with a first-round road game Friday at Great Oak of Temecula and, if victorious, a probable second-round game against state-ranked Etiwanda.

Final four: Mater Dei; Inglewood; Etiwanda; Long Beach Poly

Champion: Mater Dei

Division 1A

2012 champion: Orange Lutheran

Top seeds: 1. El Toro; 2. Santa Monica; 3. West Ranch of Valencia; 4. Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta

O.C. angle: County basketball is well-represented in this division. El Toro's chances rely upon how good Cody White and the Chargers' other 3-point shooters are in any given game. The thinking here is that we could have at least two all-Orange County quarterfinals, like Cypress vs. El Toro and Huntington Beach vs. Troy.

Final four: El Toro; Crescenta Valley; Huntington Beach; Santa Monica

Champion: Santa Monica

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All CIF-SS boys basketball playoff brackets

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Division 2AA

2012 champion: Inglewood

Top seeds: 1. J.W. North of Riverside; 2. Thousand Oaks; 3. Villa Park; 4. Sunny Hills

O.C. angle: With two Orange County teams among the top four seeds, we could see at least one county team in the semifinals. But this is a deep division, and Villa Park and Sunny Hills are in challenging parts of the bracket. Villa Park has a reliable scorer in Luke Selway, and consistent play from 6-foot-10 junior Lamont Tyler could help the Spartans go far.

Final four: J.W. North; Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach; Murrieta Valley of Murrieta; Thousand Oaks

Champion: J.W. North

Division 2A

2012 champion: Mayfair of Lakewood

Top seeds: 1. Westlake of Westlake Village; 2. Redondo Union of Redondo Beach; 3. Canyon; 4. Elsinore

O.C. angle: Canyon, a hot team that beat Villa Park and Foothill last week, is in a favorable corner of the bracket with an accessible path to at least the quarterfinals. Tesoro comes out of the South Coast League battles, which will have the Titans and versatile scorer Tanner Lancona ready for the playoffs. Savanna is the champion of the Orange League, not one of the county's strongest, but the Rebels have talented players, such as high-scoring Keith Davis, and are well-coached.

Final four: Westlake; Tesoro; Redlands East Valley; Redondo Union

Champion: Redondo Union

Division 3AAA

2012 champion: Pasadena

Top seeds: 1. Tustin; 2. Sonora; 3. Hart of Newhall; 4. Compton

O.C. angle: Tustin has what it takes to win a championship — scorers such as Rob Nelsen and Nick Hornsby, rebounders, ball-handlers, depth and excellent coaching. If Servite and Sonora win their first-round games, it would be Sonora at Servite in the second round. Garden Grove League champion Santiago, led by Alex Robertson, might be that special team ready for a special run.

Final four: Tustin; Compton; Hart; Sonora

Champion: Tustin

Division 3AA

2012 champion: Calabasas

Top seeds: 1. Leuzinger of Lawndale; 2. Damien of La Verne; 3. Corona del Mar; 4. Jurupa Valley of Mira Loma

O.C. angle: Santa Margarita went 0-10 in the Trinity League, not a good way to go into the playoffs. But the Eagles are talented with a good inside-outside game featuring 6-8 junior Joe Furstinger. Corona del Mar and outside shooter Max Stone finished second to a very good Northwood team in the Pacific Coast League.

Final four: Leuzinger; Santa Margarita; San Marcos, Damien

Champion: Leuzinger

Division 3A

2012 champion: Alemany of Mission Hills

Top seeds: 1. St. John Bosco of Bellflower; 2. Oak Park; 3. Chaminade of West Hills; 4. Ocean View

O.C. angle: Ocean View has been an inconsistent team, but when Kendall Small and the other Seahawks are playing well, they are tough to beat. Northwood, led by Zach Pierce, went undefeated in a good Pacific Coast League. A Northwood-Ocean View quarterfinal would be a fun matchup.

Final four: St. John Bosco, Ocean View, Chaminade, Oak Park

Champion: Chaminade.

Division 4AA

2012 champion: Serra of Gardena

Top seeds: 1. Bishop Montgomery of Torrance; 2. Price of Los Angeles; 3. JSerra; 4. Serra of Gardena.

O.C. angle: This is a smaller-enrollment division, and Laguna Beach is a fine smaller-enrollment program. But Laguna Beach is a community basketball program, too, and this division is dominated by private schools that place heavy emphasis on athletic success. Talented JSerra, featuring 6-6 senior Jamal Aytes, is a good fit in what is the second-best division in the section, after 1AA.

Final four: Bishop Montgomery; La Verne Lutheran; JSerra; Price

Champion: Bishop Montgomery

Division 4A

2012 champion: Pacific Hills of West Hollywood

Top seeds: 1. Pacific Hills; 2. Brentwood of Los Angeles; 3. St. Joseph of Santa Maria; 4. Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary of Montebello

O.C. angle: This division has a few county schools that are good in a variety of sports. The best of the lot is St. Margaret's, which finished second to Brethren Christian in the Academy League and could forge its way into the quarterfinals. The other county teams have first-round opponents that might be too much for them.

Final four: Pacific Hills; Cantwell Sacred Heart; Campbell Hall of North Hollywood; Brentwood

Champion: Pacific Hills

Division 5AA

2012 champion: St. Bernard of Playa del Rey

Top seeds: 1. Village Christian of Sun Valley; 2. Flintridge Prep of La Canada; 3. Mission College Prep of San Luis Obispo; 4. Buckley of Sherman Oaks

O.C. angle: Mamadou! Brethren Christian's 7-foot-5 senior Mamadou Ndiaye could carry the Warriors deep in this division, if his foot injury is not serious. But the best county team here just might be Saddleback Valley Christian, which beat Santa Margarita by eight points at the Nike Extravaganza as junior Miles Seward scored 23 points. Saddleback Valley Christian coach Tom Lewis is trying to quietly build a strong program, but something like a trip to the finals would be a statement.

Final four: Village Christian; Buckley; Saddleback Valley Christian; Flintridge Prep

Champion: Village Christian

Division 5A

2012 champion: Holy Martyrs of Encino

Top seeds: 1. Rolling Hills Prep of Palos Verdes Estates; 2. Shalhevet of Los Angeles; 3. San Gabriel Academy of San Gabriel; Holy Martyrs

O.C. angle: Only three county teams are in this division. It will certainly be only two at the most soon because Orangewood Academy and Tarbut V'Torah play each other in the first round. Capistrano Valley Christiancould advance to the quarterfinals but likely would face Rolling Hills Prep there.

Final four: Rolling Hills Prep; Holy Martyrs; Desert Christian Academy of Bermuda Dunes; Shalhevet

Champion: Rolling Hills Prep

Division 6

2012 champion: Renaissance Academy of La Canada

Top seeds: 1. Rio Hondo Prep of Arcadia; 2. Trinity Classical Academy of Valencia; 3. Joshua Springs Christian of Yucca Valley; 4. California Lutheran of Wildomar

O.C. angle: Only three county teams are in this division, and all three are in the Division 6 rankings — No. 9 Bethel Baptist, No. 11 Eastside Christian and No. 14 Acaciawood Academy. All three should win their first-round games, and Bethel Baptistmight be poised for a deep foray.

Final four: Rio Hondo Prep; California Lutheran; Bethel Baptist; Trinity Classical Academy

Champion: Rio Hondo Prep

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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