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.
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:
|Open||8||St. Augustine||25-6||@1||Torrance Bishop Montgomery||29-1|
|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|
|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|
|Open||6||Mission Hills||26-5||@1||Long Beach Poly||25-3|
|I||12||Torrey Pines||22-9||@5||San Bernardino Cajon||26-3|
|II||12||La Costa Canyon||23-6||@5||Norco||22-9|
|13||Eagle Rock||19-10||@4||Mt. Carmel||28-3|
|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|
FINAL UT-SAN DIEGO BASKETBALL VOTE
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|
|5||La Costa Canyon||22-7||59||3|
*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).