Basketball playoffs

JOHN SANDERS/Valley Press Sports Correspondent

PLAYOFF-BOUND — The Highland and Knight boys basketball teams tied for the Golden League title and are now ready to move into the CIF-Southern Section playoffs with first-round games on Friday.

Eight boys basketball teams and four girls basketball teams earned playoff berths in the CIF-Southern Section brackets announced on Sunday.

The boys teams are Knight, Paraclete, Highland, Quartz Hill, Mojave, Littlerock, Desert Christian and The Palmdale Aerospace Academy, while the girls teams are Lancaster, Antelope Valley, Knight and Highland.

Boys Basketball

The Knight boys basketball team will look to get back to CIF-SS championship game beginning with Chaminade in the CIF-SS Division 2A first round at home on Friday. 

The Hawks (19-8) lost an exciting championship game to Crean Lutheran, 62-61 in double overtime, in the Division 3AA championship game last year and went to the State Regional Division 3 semifinals where they lost to Notre Dame 59-43.

Knight’s 50-game Golden League winning streak came to an end with a loss to Highland last week and the two teams shared the league title with 13-1 records. It was the Hawks’ third straight championship. Chaminade (20-9) finished fourth in the Mission League with a 3-3 record.

In Division 3AA, Highland will host Claremont, while Paraclete will play at Cerritos in the first round on Friday.

After tying for the Golden League championship, the Bulldogs (21-7) are looking forward to a long playoff run. They are ranked No. 7 in the division. Claremont (12-16) finished third in the Palomares League (6-4). 

Paraclete (22-6) was the first boys basketball team in Valley history to start the season with a 20-0 record. The Spirits had a tough Gold Coast League schedule and went 1-5 to finished tied for fifth in the league. They earned an at-large berth to the playoffs because of their stellar record. Cerritos (16-11) won the 605 league title with a 9-1 record.

In Division 4AA, Quartz Hill will play at Adelanto in the first round on Friday. The Rebels (8-6) took third in the Golden League with an 8-6 record, while Adelanto (22-6) was the Desert Sky champion at 7-1.

In Division 5A, Mojave will host River Springs Charter (Hemet) in the first round on Friday. The Mustangs (9-9) finished second in the Desert Mountain League with a 4-2 record, their only two losses coming to champion Desert Christian. River Springs Charter (10-3) finished second in the Warrior League with a 7-3 record.

In Division 5AA, Littlerock will travel to Riverside County Education Academy (Moreno Valley) for a first round game on Friday, while Desert Christian will host Environmental Charter and Thacher will play at Palmdale Aerospace Academy.

The Lobos (13-8) finished fourth in the Golden League with a 7-7 record and are making their first playoff appearance since 2012. The Lobos are ranked No. 4 in Division 5AA. RCEA (15-14) won the Warrior League with a 10-0 record.

The Knights (20-9) won their final Desert Mountain League title with a 5-1 record. The league is folding after this season. Environmental Charter (7-9) finished fourth in the Mulholland League with a 5-4 record.

The Griffins (17-10) finished second in the Heritage League with a 9-1 record. Thacher (9-9) took third in the Frontier League with a 4-4 record.

Girls Basketball

The Lancaster girls basketball team will host Palos Verdes in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs on Thursday. The Eagles (22-4) won their second straight Golden League title with an undefeated 14-0 record this season after sharing the championship with Knight last year.

Lancaster moved up a division after losing in the first round of the Division 3AA playoffs as the No. 1 seed last year. They are ranked No. 14 in Division 2A.

Palos Verdes (18-10) earned an at-large bid after finishing fourth in the Bay League with a 4-6 record.

In Division 3A, Antelope Valley will travel to No. 1-seeded St. Bonaventure in the first round on Thursday. The Antelopes (10-17) finished fourth in the Golden League with a 7-7 record. St. Bonaventure (23-2) tied for the Tri-Valley League title with a 7-1 record.

In Division 3AA, Knight will host Yucca Valley in the first round on Thursday. The Hawks (16-10) finished second in the Golden League with a 12-2 record. 

Knight, the No. 5 seed in Division 3AA, has gone deep in the playoffs the past two seasons, making it to the championship game in 2017 and the Division 4AA semifinals last season. The Hawks also reached the State Southern California Division 4 Finals last season, which is one step away from the state title game.

Yucca Valley (16-10) finished fourth in the Desert Valley League with a 9-5 record.

Highland will play at Moreno Valley in the first round of Division 4A on Thursday. The Bulldogs (12-16) finished third in the Golden League with an 8-6 record, while Moreno Valley (20-6) won the Mountain Valley League title with an 11-1 record.

All game times for boys and girls are set for 7 p.m., but are subject to change.

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