Three Long Beach basketball teams qualified for the upcoming CIF State basketball tournament, including the newly-minted CIF-SS Division 3A champion Wilson girls’ basketball team.
The Long Beach Poly girls’ basketball team will get a chance to end their season on a more positive note as they earned the No. 7 seed in the Open Division playoffs and will travel to No. 2 Mater Dei on Wednesday evening this week. The Jackrabbits defeated Mater Dei earlier this year but were frustrated with their performance in the CIF-SS Open Division, where they lost to Corona Centennial and Windward.
A victory for the Jackrabbits Wednesday would give them a road game Saturday against the winner of Sierra Canyon and Windward.
The St. Anthony Saints boys’ basketball team is looking for a better end to their year as well. After a historic regular season and league championship, the Saints also didn’t like the way they performed in the CIF-SS Open Division field. St. Anthony went 0-3 in pool play and were one of two teams from the CIF-SS Open pool left out of the CIF State Open Division bracket.
The Saints are No. 2 in Division 1 with a great chance to make a deep run in these playoffs. They’d host games on Tuesday (against Damien at 7 p.m.), Thursday, and Saturday if they continue to advance, and would potentially have a round four in their series with St. John Bosco next Tuesday in the SoCal regional championship; the Braves are seeded No. 1 in the bracket.
After breezing through most of the Division 3A playoffs and then locking in for tougher games in the semis and the championship, the Wilson girls’ basketball team will have a tougher road in Division 2 for the CIF State playoffs. The Bruins are seeded No. 1 and will host games all the way through to Sacramento if they make it; they open up Tuesday against Mira Costa.
Because the Bruins were the 3A champions of the CIF-SS playoffs, they were moved up to Division 2 for State, where they could see a number of higher-division programs on their way to trying to win the school’s first-ever basketball state championship.