Inside O.C. basketball this week (2-19-13)
The tricky CIF-SS schedule threw me a curveball and scheduled the second round and, in some cases, the quarterfinals round on Tuesday night.
What's up with that?
Don't they realize that Inside O.C. Basketball comes out Tuesday afternoon?
I can't believe this happened. I'm shook.
I'm not even sure how to attack this week?
I saw Santa Margarita play twice this season (against Mater Dei and Saddleback Valley Christian). The Eagles lost both games and they finished 0-10 in the Trinity League. Guess who started this week in the 3AA quarterfinals? That's right, Santa Margarita. The Eagles had lost 11 consecutive games entering the playoffs, but have defeated Century and Lakeside of Lake Elsinore to get to the quarters.
Kendall not playing Small
You see what I did there? OK, it was a stretch. Ocean View's sophomore guard was awarded the OCV Athlete of the Week and for good measure. Small shot 22 of 33 (66.7 percent) from the field in two games, averaging 27 points, 8.5 rebounds and five steals. That's not a bad week.
All six of the Trinity League teams - Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, Orange Lutheran, JSerra, Santa Margarita and Servite - have advanced to the second week of the playoffs. I'm not surprised that the Monarchs, Braves, Lions and Lancers advanced. I'm not surprised by the Eagles. Servite is a little bit of a shock. I thought Sonora would eliminate the Friars this past Friday night. I was wrong, as the millions - and I do mean millions - of the Asylum-ites led the Friars to victory.
As I mentioned before, Mater Dei and St. John Bosco should make it to Friday's round. Santa Margarita is beign host to Diamond Ranch, the third-place team from the Hacienda League. After making the drive, getting through the toll road ... expect Santa Margarita to win. Servite? The Friars have a road game that will probably sound like a home game as they head to Brea Olinda. I'm not picking against Servite. Orange Lutheran? The Lancers will be host to Mission Viejo in the must-see 1AA game of the second round.My pick is Mission Viejo.
That leaves us with the epic 4AA game between JSerra and Serra of Gardena (or GSerra as I'm calling them this week). This is the third and fourth seed matching up. JSerra has to travel. I hope the JSerra fans come too. Gardena is a lovely place. I'll be there. JSerra wins. Check back Wednesday to see how bad my predictions were.
Coach of the Year
Earlier in the year, I listed the O.C. players who I would pick for my starting five and second team. One pick I didn't make: Coach of the Year. There are a lot of good choices this year ... too many. My list right now is down to three: Tustin's Ringo Bossenmeyer, Villa Park's Kevin Reynolds and El Toro's Todd Dixon. That's my top three, but I could change my mind later this week.
Still in business
Four of the five South Coast League teams survived to the second round. But how many of them do I expect to still be around Friday? I am picking Mission Viejo to beat Orange Lutheran on Tuesday night. In 1A, both El Toro and Aliso Niguel are on the road. El Toro is at Diamond Bar and Aliso Niguel is at Valencia of Valencia. Real teams aren't scared of road trips. I'm taking both teams to advance. Finally, Tesoro in 2A is at home against Citrus Hill of Perris. Tesoro should win, sending the four SCL teams into the quarters on Friday.
Wild Sunset League
The top five teams in the Sunset League finished five games apart in the league standings. Fountain Valley, the league champ, is done. Los Alamitos, the second-place team, is also gone. But Edison, Huntington Beach and Newport Harbor all survived the first round. Who will make it to Friday? I don't think any Sunset League team will make it to Friday.
Games I want to see Friday
These are a list of games that I want to see Friday. In 1AA: Long Beach Poly vs. Loyola. 3AAA: Tustin vs. Compton. (That game would be in Compton, and I know Steve Fryer is not coming to Compton. I live in Compton. Problem solved.) 3AA: Santa Margarita vs. Leuzinger. That game would be at Santa Margarita, and as a Leuzinger alum, I will not be allowed to cover the game. 3A: St. John Bosco vs. Ocean View. This game would be at Bosco ... 10 minutes from my house. Tempting ... too tempting. 4AA: JSerra-Price. The game would be at JSerra, but that would be the third seed against the second seed. Friday could be epic.
OCVarsity's reporters did a favorite fans list earlier this month. One group that might have been overlooked is the Canyon Crazies. The Crazies were out in force last week. Good group. A couple of highlights: The "Take his whistle" chant (referring the refs) might be my favorite of the year. Plus, Jackie Moon attends every game.
My O.C. Top 10
The O.C. top 10 voting has ended (thankfully), but if I had to submit a vote this week, it would have probably looked like this: 1. Mater Dei; 2. Mission Viejo; 3. JSerra; 4. El Toro; 5. Tustin; 6. Villa Park; 7. Orange Lutheran; 8. Servite; 9. Canyon. 10. Sonora.