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The easiest way to gauge how favorable the CIF Southern Section playoff draw is for any given league is to check on the third-place finisher.
Millikan (13-12) finished third in the Moore League, and like the rest of the Long Beach teams, the Rams got a good draw with Arcadia coming to town on Tuesday for the first round of the CIFSS Division 3 postseason.
“We got a decent first round game so we’re excited,” Millikan coach Danely Smith said. “Anything can happen in the playoffs but I feel confident, I think the boys are excited to play… it should be a good first round and then we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Millikan’s large senior class led by experienced attackers like Max Miller have played the right non-league games to feel confident headed into the playoffs. The Rams and Arcadia have one common opponent this year in California High, and Millikan won that game comfortably.
“I just want to make sure that we’re not taking a team for granted,” Smith said. “The fact we’re senior heavy is very beneficial in the playoffs because it seems like it’s those seniors who come through in the clutch.”
Arcadia (11-14) finished fourth in the Pacific League.
Despite losing its key league games to Poly and Wilson this month, the Rams feel like they got what they needed from those contests against familiar opponents.
“Obviously we got handled by Wilson but we played a good game and the boys feel good about it so we’re feeling good going into the playoffs,” Smith added. “Everyone is excited so we’ll see how it turns out.”