The California Interscholastic Federation has expanded its basketball playoffs, resulting in more Westside teams being selected to participate.
The tournament is scheduled to begin Wednesday, February 18, with second round games set for Friday night. There are six divisions this year as compared to five in the past. In several instances teams with losing records have received invitations.
Santa Monica High plays in Division 1-A, the highest for any local team. The Vikings, who are 19-7 overall but finished third in the Ocean League, were scheduled to travel to Montclair High, the Mt. Baldy League’s second place team, for its opening game,
Coach James Hecht’s Vikings were 6-4 in league games but finished strong in the final week by crushing Culver City, 63-29 and edging Hawthorne, 65-61. Inglewood won the league championship and Morningside finished second.
The CIF chose the Ocean League’s fourth and fifth place teams – Hawthorne and Culver City – for playoff berths too although both will have to travel to oppose highly seeded opponents.
The Westside will be well represented in the 5AA Division, with first round games also scheduled for Wednesday night, February 18.
St. Monica (17-9) is the No. 12 seed and will play at Heritage League champion Milken (18-8) in the first round.
Crossroads (10-13) is the No. 13 seed and will play at Desert (15-2).
Brentwood, one of the teams allowed into the playoffs following an unimpressive season, takes a 5-19 record into a game at top-seeded Pacific Hills.