Etiwanda and Rancho Christian earn spots in Open Division boys basketball playoffs
The Rancho Christian boys basketball team has been watched closely this season by the members on the CIF Southern Section’s Open Division watchlist committee.
Rancho Christian did not get much competition in its South Valley League games, so the Eagles had to build their resume at top-flight tournament and showcases.
The Eagles went 26-2 this season, knocking off a handful of state-ranked teams along the way. That was more than enough for Rancho Christian to earn its spot in the elite field of teams.
Rancho Christian is the No. 4 seed in the Open Division playoffs and will play Chatsworth Sierra Canyon at Temecula Valley High in Friday night’s first round. The winner heads to the semifinals, which will be played Feb. 24 at Cal Baptist.
The Southern Section narrowed the Open Division from 16 to 8 teams this season. Rancho Christian is the only program who will be making its Open Division debut.
“With this team, this year, I felt it was realistic to make the Open Division,” Eagles coach Ray Barfield. “To show the consistency they did this season really says a lot about our players. We’re excited, but it’s a very tough road ahead.”
Etiwanda received an invitation to the Open Division playoffs for the first time since finishing as the runner-up in 2014. The Eagles (26-1) are the No. 2 seed this season and play host to Santa Margarita in the opening round Friday night.
Etiwanda, which is the lone public school in this year’s Open Division field, has won 23 consecutive games since losing to Rancho Christian in December.
CIF-SS OPEN DIVISION PLAYOFFS
Friday’s first-round games
(Games are at 5 p.m. Times and site subject to change)
No. 8 St. John Bosco (21-6) at No. 1 Bishop Montgomery (25-0)
No. 5 Sierra Canyon (21-3) vs. No. 4 Rancho Christian (26-2) at Temecula Valley HS
No. 6 Crespi (25-2) […]