The CIF Southern Section Boys’ Basketball playoffs kicked off on January 21 with a string of some very close games. Sixteen teams entered the first round to play in eight games.
The largest margin of victory was an 11-point advantage for 7th seed Chino Hills, defeating 10th Bishop Montgomery. After Huskies led 40-27 at the half, Montgomery battled back to get back into contention by the third quarter. Chino Hills, behind the LiAngelo Ball’s game-high 23 points and Lonzo Ball’s 10-point fourth quarter, stopped the Knights’ surge and ran away with a 69-58 victory.
Top seeded Mater Dei, also the No. 1 rank in the DigitalSports National Basketball Rankings, won their game against 16th seed Cantwell-Sacred Heart. After Mater Dei led through all of the first three quarters, Sacred Heart took the fourth quarter 17-9 to tie the game at 51, sending it to overtime. The Monarchs found their rhythm again to take a 66-59 victory. Stanley Johnson and Isaiah Juarez led the scoring for Mater Dei with 17 points each.
CIF’s first round’s closest game was between 3rd seed Loyola and 14th St. John Bosco. Entering the fourth quarter ahead 56-37, Loyola led the Braves. St. John Bosco did not back down, rallying in a 30-point fourth quarter. Though they struggled to find ways to score, the Cubs managed put up 14 points, just enough to hang on to a 70-67 victory over Bosco.
In the five remaining games 12th seed JW North upset 5th Sierra Canyon 65-56, 4th Centennial defeated 13th Serra 81-71, 8th Mayfair grinded out a 72-64 victory over 9th Chaminade, 6th Redondo Union beat 11th Compton 65-56, and 2nd Etiwanda won over 15th Cathedral 55-45.
In just the first round of the CIF Southern Section Playoffs, some incredible basketball has been displayed. Moving forward, every team looks to take down their next opponent. The high skill level of every team will lead to high-tension games decided in the closing minutes of every game.
Quarterfinal Schedule for February 28
Mater Dei vs Mayfair
JW North vs Centennial
Loyola vs Redondo Union
Chino Hills vs Etiwanda