2014-15: Horizon Girls Get Stink Eye From CIF

Winning a league and section title no longer matters, according to the convoluted “power” ratings and Open divisions established by the state CIF and endorsed by the San Diego Section.

The Horizon girls’ basketball team was essentially told to drop dead by the CIF after the Panthers had won their league title and the San Diego Section Division I championship.

State regional playoffs begin tomorrow night. Horizon is out and La Jolla Country Day and The Bishop’s, teams beaten by Horizon for the Horizon League title, are the 1 and 2 seeds in D-V.

Teams can move down in the regional only if they were in Open Division in their section playoffs.  St. Augustine stays in the Open by virtue of another seeding criteria.

No less an expert and booster of high school sports than Mark Tennis of Cal-Hi Sports weighed in.

“We’ve been doing this for 35 years, longer than the CIF has even had a state tournament, and the Horizon Christian girls basketball team having its season end through a series of CIF San Diego Section policies, CIF State regional criteria, and ridiculous power ratings is one of the worst cases of how not to run high school sports that we’ve ever seen.”

“It’s a tragedy,” added Steve Brand of UT-San Diego.

Boys D-I titlist Escondido also is out.  Morse, which lost to the Cougars, 63-49, in the D-I championship, is in.

Go figure.

The ratings are the result of much statistical analysis.  A labyrinth of information goes into a computer to help determine which teams compete in Roman numeral divisions and which teams are selected for Open divisions.

Sounds good, but it hasn’t worked.

St. Augustine, which won a state D-III title in 2012-13, was denied an opportunity to defend its title and was consigned to the Open Division in 2013-14.

The Saints were forced to go on the road and  took a 67-39, first-round shellacking from Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Coach Mike Haupt’s squad again is in the Open Division and faces another tall hurdle.  As the No. 8 seed, the Saints visit No. 1 Torrance Bishop Montgomery, the state’s second-ranked squad.

Foothills Christian, which won the San Diego Section D-II title, all of a sudden is in the Open Division, apparently because the Knights have an overall high state ranking (No. 20 by Cal-Hi Sports).

The No. 6 seed Knights also have a daunting challenge, visiting No. 3 seed Etiwanda, the state’s third-ranked team.

Torrey Pines, the Open Division loser to St. Augustine, also is in the tournament, but now has a home game  in D-I tomorrow night against North Tustin Foothill.

Go figure II.

More and more teams are being invited to the state playoffs.  The once-pristine regional is beginning to look like the  bloated early rounds of the Section tournament.

Teams with losing records are creeping in.

Regional first-round pairings involving San Diego section teams:


Div. Seed Team Record Seed Team   Record
Open 8 St. Augustine 25-6 @1 Torrance  Bishop Montgomery   29-1
6 Foothills Christian 23-7 @3 Etiwanda 23-8
I 11 Tustin Foothill 28-3 @6 Torrey Pines 29-3
10 San Marcos 25-3 @7 Riverside  J. W. North 24-3
II 16 Ladera Ranch Tesoro 19-11 @1 La Costa Canyon 22-7
12 Mira Mesa 25-7 @5 Redlands East Valley 25-7
15 Kearny 23-8 @2 Anaheim Canyon 23-9
III 12 Valhalla 22-9 @5 La Habra Sonora 28-4
10 Corona del Mar 24-7 @7 El Cajon Valley 25-6
IV 11 Cerritos Valley Christian 22-9 @6 Mission Bay 21-4
15 Pacific Ridge 22-6 @2 Pasadena Maranatha 20-8
V 11 Hesperia Christian 23-9 @6 Army-Navy 24-6


Div. Seed Team Record Seed Team Record
Open 6 Mission Hills 26-5 @1 Long Beach Poly 25-3
I 12 Torrey Pines 22-9 @5 San Bernardino Cajon 26-3
15 Eastlake 20-8 @2 Vista Murrieta 22-7
II 12 La Costa Canyon 23-6 @5 Norco 22-9
13 Eagle Rock 19-10 @4 Mt. Carmel 28-3
14 Westview 21-7 @3 Mira Costa+ 24-7
III 12 Kearny 22-6 @5 Corona 22-8
11 Rancho Bernardo 14-12 @6 Rancho Santa Margarita 18-14
IV 9 El Capitan 19-8 @8 Capistrano J. Serra 23-7
V 1 La Jolla Country Day 14-12 Bye
2 L.A. Price 14-16 @2 The Bishop’s 21-9


Foothills Christian came on strong in the San Diego Section playoffs and  finished atop the UT-SanUT-San Diego poll.

# Team (1st place votes) W-L Points* Previous
1 Foothills Christian (9) 23-7** 107 2
2 St. Augustine (2) 25-6 101 7
3 Torrey Pines 29-4 89 1
4 Escondido 23-7 64 8
5 La Costa Canyon 22-7 59 3
6 Army-Navy 24-6 47 5
7 San Marcos 25-3 44 4
8 Morse 25-7 28 9
9 El Camino 21-6 22 6
10 Mission Bay 20-4 17 10

*Awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.  **Includes two forfeits.

Others receiving votes: El Cajon Valley (25-6), 5; Mira Mesa (25-7), 4; Francis Parker (19-8), 2.

Eleven San Diego County sportswriters and broadcasters and a CIF San Diego Section representative vote each week. The panel includes John Maffei and Kirk Kenney (UT-San Diego), Terry Monahan (UT-San Diego correspondent), Bill Dickens (eastcountysports.com), Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), John Labeta (CIF San Diego Section), Bodie DeSilva (sandiegopreps.com), Aaron Burgin (fulltimeshoops.com), Rick Willis (KUSI Chl. 51), Rick Smith (partletonsports.com), Drew Willis (sdcoastalsports.com).


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2 Responses to 2014-15: Horizon Girls Get Stink Eye From CIF

  1. Tom Shess says:

    Explain one more time how a team can win the CIF Open division in basketball and not be the #1 team in the county? And, what a crime Horizon girls have to endure.

    Tom Shess
    North Park

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