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Soquel to play in CCS open division

Posted: Sunday, Feb 17th, 2013

The Soquel High boys basketball team poses for a picture with the SCCAL championship pennant Saturday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)

Soquel High’s boys basketball team is going to try to run the gauntlet.

Less than 24 hours after winning the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League tournament championship in overtime, the Knights opted to move to the Central Coast Section’s Open Division Tournament.

By playing in the eight-team division, Soquel is guaranteed at least two tournament games and will compete in the Northern California tournament next month. Had the Knights not went to the Open Division, they would have likely been one of the top three seeds in the Division IV tournament.

Soquel (20-6) will face Mitty of San Jose in the opening round Friday at Piedmont Hills High in San Jose.

Mitty is the top-seeded team in the tournament. The 22-5 Monarchs won the West Catholic Athletic League’s regular-season championship. Their last loss didn’t happen in California; it happened in Springfield, Mass., during the Spalding Hoophall Classic, where they lost to Lone Peak High of Utah.

Mitty’s last loss in California was on Dec. 22 against Salesian of Richmond, with the game being held at California State University, East Bay’s Hayward campus.

The Soquel-Mitty victory plays on Feb. 27 at Independence High. The loser moves to the consolation bracket and will play on Feb. 26.

The remainder of the local teams will go for the gold in the standard fare of the five CCS divisions.

Pajaro Valley’s boys team, which hadn’t sniffed a tournament appearance since 2009, will make its return at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the opening round of the Division II tournament. The Grizzlies will face host Los Gatos, which went 10-14.

The winner will head to Mountain View on Thursday to face the Spartans.

Three local teams grace the Division III tournament: Aptos, North Monterey County and Santa Cruz. Of the three teams, Santa Cruz gets the highest seed at No. 5. The Cardinals are scheduled to face either 20-5 Del Mar or 5-20 Valley Christian on Thursday.

Aptos is the No. 6 seed in Division III and won’t have to play until Thursday at home against Sobrato or Terra Nova. Aptos’ next win will be its 20th and will get them a date with third-seeded Mills this weekend.

North Monterey County makes it tournament return Tuesday when it travels to San Jose to face Prospect. The Condors come in with an 11-13 record. A win gets them a showdown with Hillsdale on Thursday.

In Division V, St. Francis Central Coast Catholic will have a week to get ready for either St. Thomas More or Oakwood of Morgan Hill. The Sharks will head to Alma Heights Christian on Saturday for their quarterfinal game, the time to be determined.

Monte Vista Christian is the No. 8 seed in Division IV and will face The King’s Academy on Thursday at home. If it wins, it gets a crack at top-seeded Seaside on Saturday.

Two girls teams in Santa Cruz County earned top seeds in their own division.

Soquel is the No. 1 seed in Division IV and won’t have to play until Saturday when it takes on either Seaside or Notre Dame of Belmont. The game will be held at Notre Dame of Belmont’s gym. Much like the boys, the girls team had thoughts of testing themselves in the Open Division, but they ultimately opted for the single-elimination tournament.

Pacific Collegiate, the undefeated Mission Trail Athletic League champions, earned the top seed in Division V. The 22-4 Pumas won’t play until Saturday when it takes on either Oakwood of Morgan Hill or Summit Prep.

Other local teams will have a shot at the title thanks to finishing at least .500 in league or nonleague play.

Watsonville is the lone local representative in Division I. The Wildcatz will play host to Monta Vista of Cupertino at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The winner heads to Hollister for a Thursday meeting with the Haybalers. Waiting in the wings is North Salinas.

North Monterey County’s 6-6 finish in the Monterey Bay League’s Pacific Division was good enough to get them into the tournament. The Condors will travel to San Jose Academy on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Santa Cruz gets the No. 9 seed in Division III and will start its journey at San Mateo on Thursday, with the winner taking on top-seeded Burlingame this weekend.

Monte Vista Christian’s girls team will have to wait to find out who its play. Harker or Oceana will be the invited guests on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Scotts Valley is in the same pod.

St. Francis’ girls team is the No. 3 seed in Division V. The Sharks battle either Jewish Community or Santa Catalina on Saturday.

Anzar, with an 18-6 record – only Pacific Collegiate has more wins in Division V – earned the No. 7 seed. The Hawks play host to Alma Heights Christian on Thursday.

For the complete article see the 02-19-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-19-2013 paper.

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