By Phillip Brents
East County is extremely well represented in this year’s San Diego Section’s winter sports playoffs.
Division championships in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls wrestling and girls water polo are all up for grabs this month and the takers appear to be many.
Several teams have been tabbed as favorites to win their respective divisions, including Granite Hills and Monte Vista in girls soccer and West Hills in boys soccer.
Granite Hills received the No. 1 seed among Division I teams while Monte Vista received the top seed among Division III teams. West Hills received the No. 1 seed among Division II teams.
All three teams receive byes to the division quarterfinals — West Hills on Friday, Feb. 21, and Granite Hills and Monte Vista on Saturday, Feb. 22.
West Hills, which tied Helix for this year’s Grossmont Hills League title, will host the winner of Tuesday’s first-round pairing between eighth-seeded Carlsbad (6-9-6) and ninth-seeded Valley Center (8-8-6) at 6 p.m.
West Hills carries a 13-3-7 overall record into Friday’s elimination match after recording a 5-1-2 record in league play.
The winner of Friday’s elimination game advances to the semifinals on Feb. 25.
The Wolf Pack will be bidding for a CIF championship repeat after winning last year’s Division III championship.
Granite Hills, which went undefeated to win this year’s Grossmont Hills League title, will meet either eighth-seeded Westview (5-11-6) or ninth-seeded El Camino (9-10-2) in Saturday’s quarterfinal playoff match.
The Lady Eagles take a 12-5-4 record into the game after finishing 7-0-3 in league play.
The winner of Saturday’s elimination game advances to the Division I semifinals on Feb. 26.
Monte Vista (16-3-1) will face either eighth-seeded Otay Ranch (10-5-3) or ninth-seeded Hilltop (7-8-5) in Saturday’s quarterfinals after finishing runner-up to El Capitan in this year’s Grossmont Valley League standings with a 6-1-1 record.
Game times are 7 p.m. for both girls quarterfinal matches.
The Division I and Division III semifinals are both scheduled for Feb. 26. The Division I championship game is scheduled Feb. 29 at 4:30 p.m. at Mission Bay High School while the Division III championship game is scheduled Feb. 29 at 11 a.m., also at Mission Bay High School.
The top four seeded soccer teams in all divisions received byes to the quarterfinals.
Helix (10-3-4 overall, 5-1-2 in league) received the No. 2 seed among Division II boys teams and will host seventh-seeded El Camino (10-4-7) in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Grossmont (11-4-6 overall, 4-2-4 in league) received the No. 2 seed among Division I girls teams and will host either seventh-seeded West Hills (3-12-6) or 10th-seeded Bishop’s (4-9-6) in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
El Capitan (13-4-1 overall, 7-0-1 in league) received the No. 3 seed among Division III girls teams and will host either sixth-seeded La Jolla Country Day (8-7-3) or 11th-seeded Santana (12-7-2) in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Mountain Empire (17-4) received the No. 4 seed among Division IV girls teams after going undefeated (8-0) to win this year’s Citrus League title and will host either fifth-seeded Sweetwater (9-9-2) or 12th-seeded Calexico (9-9-5) or High Tech High North County (10-6-2) in Saturdays quarterfinals.
The Division IV semifinals are scheduled Feb. 26, followed by the championship game Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. at Hilltop High School.
Foothills Christian (14-8-2) received the No. 2 seed among Division V girls teams while Mount Miguel (9-9-1) received the No. 3 seed in the same division.
Foothills Christian will host either seventh-seeded Coastal Academy (8-6-2) or 10th-seeded Crawford (9-10) in Saturday’s quarterfinals while Mount Miguel will host either sixth-seeded San Diego Jewish Academy (6-8-1) or 11th-seeded Liberty Charter (4-6-2).
Foothills finished second in the Ocean League standings to Tri-City Christian, the top-seeded team in the division. Mount Miguel finished fourth in the Grossmont Valley League standings.
Semifinals for Division V girls teams are scheduled Feb. 25. The championship game is scheduled Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Hilltop High School.
Other East County boys teams receiving seeds in this year’s soccer playoffs included Valhalla (sixth) and Santana (10th) in Division II, Grossmont (sixth), Granite Hills (seventh) and Monte Vista (12th) Division III, Steele Canyon (fourth) in Division IV and Foothills Christian (seventh) in Division V.
Granite Hills (12-7-3 overall, 8-2-0 in league), Grossmont (16-4-4, 6-2-2) and Monte Vista (15-6-3, 6-2-2) finished in that order in this year’s Grossmont Valley League standings.
Steele Canyon (12-7-4 overall) finished fourth in the Grossmont Valley League standings.
Foothills Christian (15-6 overall) finished 6-0 to win the Ocean League championship title.
Santana (10-9-6, 3-3-2) and Valhalla (10-10-2, 3-5-0) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Grossmont Hills League standings.
Other East County girls teams receiving seeds in this year’s soccer playoffs included Steele Canyon (fifth) in Division I and Helix (sixth) in Division II.
Steele Canyon (8-8-9, 3-3-4 in league) finished third in the Grossmont Hills League standings.
The Open Division playoffs start at the quarterfinal level.
Foothills Christian received the No. 4 seed among boys basketball teams while Christian received the No. 8 seed in the same division.
Foothills (20-8) will host fifth-seeded Francis Parker (24-4) in a quarterfinal-round match-up on Friday, Feb. 21, at Cuyamaca College. Tip-off is 7:45 p.m.
Christian (21-5) will tip-off the playoffs at top-seeded Cathedral Catholic (21-7) on Friday at 7 p.m.
The winners of both teams play each other in the Open Division semifinals on Feb. 26.
Other series in the division include second-seeded St. Augustine (23-5) against seventh-seeded Mater Dei Catholic (22-5) and third-seeded Torrey Pines (24-4) against sixth-seeded Poway (24-4).
The championship game is scheduled Feb. 29 at UC San Diego.
Foothills and Francis Parker emerged as this year’s Coastal League co-champions after Foothills topped host Parker, 80-67, last Friday. (stats)
Foothills features five players scoring in double-digit averages: Yassine Gharram (18.8), Nico Mesa (14.6), Jalai O’Keith (13.9), Jaden LeBel (10.8) and Derrien Carter-Hollinger (10.2).
Carter-Hollinger (7.1), O’Keith (6.9), Gharram (6.3) and LeBel (6-2) lead the Knights in rebounding average.
Christian finished third in the Western League standings behind Cathedral Catholic and St. Augustine. Kobe Sanders (17.0) and Jake Tawhiao (12.4) key the Patriots in the scoring column.
Christian (18-10) received the No. 7 seed in the girls Open Division bracket and will play at second-seeded Westview (26-2) in Saturday’s quarterfinals. The winner advances to meet third-seeded Cathedral Catholic (17-10) or sixth-seeded Bishop’s (17-9) in the semifinals on Feb. 26.
Other entrants in the elite eight field include top-seeded La Jolla Country Day (27-1), fourth-seeded Bonita Vista (20-8), fifth-seeded La Costa Canyon (22-5) and eighth-seeded Mater Dei Catholic (18-8).
The championship game is scheduled Feb. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at UC San Diego.
Playoffs in all other basketball divisions start with the first-round.
Earning seeds in the boys basketball brackets were No. 5 Helix (22-6) and No. 16 Mount Miguel (4-24) in Division I; No. 4 Grossmont (16-9), No. 5 Granite Hills (15-9) and No. 10 West Hills (13-14) in Division III; and No. 4 Monte Vista (17-10) and No. 6 El Capitan (11-14) in Division IV.
Helix won this year’s Grossmont Hills League title with an unblemished 10-0 record while Grossmont finished second at 7-3.
Granite Hills won the Grossmont Valley League championship with a perfect 8-0 league record while Monte Vista finished runner-up at 5-3.
Earning seeds in the girls basketball brackets were No. 4 Mount Miguel (19-7) and No. 12 El Capitan (18-10) in Division I; No. 6 Grossmont (14-13) and No. 14 West Hills (13-12) in Division II, No. 2 Helix (14-11), No. 3 Foothills Christian (24-4) and No. 13 Santana (15-13) in Division III; No. 5 Liberty Charter (18-5), No. 8 El Cajon Valley (16-10), No. 10 Monte Vista (13-15), No. 15 Granite Hills (8-18) and No. 16 Mountain Empire (12-9) in Division IV; and No. 9 Valhalla (4-17) in Division V.
Mount Miguel won the Grossmont Hills League title with a 7-1 league record ahead of El Capitan at 6-2 and Grossmont at 5-3.
Santana won the Grossmont Valley League title with a 9-1 record over Monte Vista, which finished 6-4 in league play.
The Division I boys and girls championship games are scheduled Feb. 29 at UC San Diego; the Division II boys and girls championship games are scheduled Feb. 28 at San Marcos High School.
The Division III boys and girls finals are scheduled Feb. 27 at Montgomery High School; the Division IV boys and girls championship games are scheduled Feb. 28 at Serra High School.
The Division V boys and girls finals are scheduled Feb. 27 at Carlsbad High School.
For updates, visit the website at www.cifsds.org.
Source: East County Californian