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February 18, 2013

Looking ahead: UA recruits in the playoffs

It seems like making the playoffs in the CIF Southern Section is no longer an accomplishment, but rather an expectation. An expectation even for teams with as little as four wins all season long.

The CIF-SS is comprised of 12 divisions with 32 teams receiving playoff invites per division. What this does is create pointless, first-round blowouts, and many Arizona recruits were involved in first- and second-round CIF-SS playoff games last week.

Div. 1AA

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei 83, Eastvale (Calif.) Roosevelt 43

Five-star, class of 2014 recruit Stanley Johnson scored 18 points in the Monarchs' first "test" in their pursuit of a third consecutive CIF title.

Mater Dei (27-1) will play on the road at Downey (Calif.) Warren (22-5) in its next contest Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Monarchs beat Warren, 83-38, in early December and I expect a very similar outcome in the second meeting.

If Mater Dei wins, as is expected, then it will play the winner of Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde (22-5) and Chino Hills (Calif.) (24-4) on Friday.

Etiwanda (Calif.) 73, Palmdale (Calif.) Highland 39

Four-star, class of 2014 point guard Jordan McLaughlin and the Eagles (23-2) had no problem ousting their first-round opponent. Etiwanda's second-round opponent, Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak (18-8), might be a couple rungs higher up the toughness ladder, but the Eagles should easily move on to the quarterfinals.

If all goes according to the CIF-SS plan, Etwianda will matchup with Corona (Calif.) Centennial (26-2) on Friday, seeing that Centennial defeats Victorville (Calif.) Silverado. This game would pit McLaughlin against super-sophomore Sedrick Barefield of Centennial.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola 86, Montebello (Calif.) 45

Four-star, class of 2014 floor general Parker Jackson-Cartwright was gifted an extra week to continue recovering from the foot injury that plagued him this season. The Cubs (21-6) will play against Pasadena (Calif.) (21-5) in the second round on Tuesday.

With a win over Pasadena, Loyola will play either Long Beach (Calif.) Poly (25-2) or Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair (22-5). I predict that Loyola and Long Beach Poly will square off on Friday.

Div. 3AAA

Compton (Calif.) 74, La Mirada (Calif.) 52
Compton 63, Beverly Hills (Calif.) 44

Four-star, class of 2014 recruit Isaiah Bailey and the Tarbabes cruised through the first two rounds of the Division 3AAA playoffs. Bailey scored 14 points with eight rebounds against La Mirada, and had 12 in the win over Beverly Hills.

Compton will be on the road Tuesday against Calabasas (Calif.) (23-5) in the quarterfinals. With a win, the Tarbabes will play the winner of Tustin (Calif.) (27-2) and Laverne (Calif.) Bonita (25-5) in the semifinals on Friday.

Div. 3A

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco 78, Buena Park (Calif.) 33
St. John Bosco 91, Ridgecrest (Calif.) Burroughs 46

Bosco and five-star, class of 2015 point guard Tyler Dorsey's first-round opponent, Buena Park, had four wins this season, and Bosco won by 40. Makes sense, right? Either way, the Braves stormed through its second-round opponent and into the quarterfinals.

Bosco will play Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral (15-7) on Tuesday. It's more than likely that Bosco will win this game and move on to Friday's semifinals. Awaiting the Braves will be either Huntington Beach (Calif.) Ocean View (22-6) and 2015 guard Kendall Small or Irvine (Calif.) Northwood (23-5).

Ocean View 78, Laguna Hills (Calif.) 53
Ocean View 88, Barstow (Calif.) 66

Small had two huge games in the Seahawks' big first- and second-round wins. Against Laguna Hills, Small finished with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 2-for-4 from 3-point range. Small also added seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.

The 6-foot guard had 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting, while pulling down 10 rebounds against Barstow. The high-desert Aztecs might have had more of a chance if journeyman NBA center Robert Swift was back donning the Barstow cardinal and gold.

As noted above, Ocean View will play Northwood on Tuesday and with a win, will likely face Bosco on Friday. A match-up with Bosco would give Small a chance to prove his worth against top competition, and is definitely a game to keep an eye on.

Div. 4A

Los Angeles (Calif.) Pacific Hills 104, Pasadena (Calif.) Marshall 41

Six-foot-5, class of 2014 wing Namon Wright and Pacific Hills (21-4) are the top seed in Division 4A and received a first-round bye. They used the extra day of rest to blow out Marshall by 63.

The next team in the Bruins' path is Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure (14-13) in a quarterfinal game on Tuesday. With a win, Pacific Hills will play the winner of Long Beach (Calif) St. Anthony (17-8) and Arizona signee Eric Cooper Jr. and Montebello (Calif.) Cantwell-Sacred Heart (19-8-1) on Friday.

St. Anthony 95, Playa del Rey (Calif.) St. Bernard 58
St. Anthony 75, Calabasas (Calif.) Viewpoint 52

Arizona-bound Cooper Jr. had 11 points in limited minutes in St. Anthony's first-round blowout of St. Bernard. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard finished with 18 points and four rebounds in the Saints' second-round win over Viewpoint.

St. Anthony will play Cantwell-Sacred Heart in a quarterfinal game on Tuesday.

Outside the Southern Section:

Nevada Sunset Region Playoffs

Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman 75, Las Vegas (NV) Shadow Ridge 55
Bishop Gorman 71, Las Vegas (NV) Palo Verde 55
Bishop Gorman 80, Las Vegas (NV) Centennial 78

Five-star, class of 2015 big man Stephen Zimmerman led the Gaels (27-3) to three straight playoff wins and a spot in the Nevada State semifinals on Thursday at The Orleans Arena

The 7-footer had 17 points and 16 rebounds in Gorman's win over Palo Verde, and dropped 24 points while snatching 17 rebounds in the Gaels' close call against Centennial.

Gorman's state semifinal opponent will be decided by a play-in game on Monday between Centennial (21-9) and Las Vegas (NV) Valley High (21-9).

Devin UglandDevin Ugland
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst

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