Saugus (18-7, 7-3 Foothill League) at Muir (20-7, 12-2 Pacific League), Division 2A Saugus won’t have much time to lament its loss to Hart on Friday, missing out on the program’s first Foothill League title in 35 years. “There’s still basketball to play,” said Saugus coach Alfredo Manzano after Friday’s loss. “It means we have to be more focused, have more attention to detail. It doesn’t matter how many hours of film we’ve watched and what we’ve done so far, we’re going to have to do more.” MORE: Foothill League teams focusing on playoff preparation Muir can relate to the Centurions. The Mustangs lost to Pasadena in their regular-season finale, with a league title on the line as well. Like the Cents, their loss wasn’t all that close, falling to Pasadena 78-51. In sophomore Adrian McIntyre, Saugus has a player more than capable of going head-to-head with the top scorer on opposing teams. For Muir, that’s been senior Hunter Woods, whose averaged 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds this season, per MaxPreps. The Cents have just two seniors in their rotation — Luke Bodeau and Dylan Spring — but they’ve been the steadying forces behind Saugus’ prolific season, filling up on assists, rebounds and steals and keeping the turnovers at a minimum. A hot night from behind the arc for sophomore Tyler Mehl could also be an X-factor in this one. Valencia (11-14, 7-3 Foothill League) at Oxnard (19-6, 8-0 Pacific View League), Division 2A Valencia certainly wasn’t dished any favors by being matched up against the four-time reigning Pacific View League champions. But, like Notre Dame, Valencia’s record is pretty deceiving. The Vikings have the height with players like Jayden Trower (6-foot-7), Josh Assiff (6-foot-6) and Richard Kawakami (6-foot-5) to match up with most teams. They also have Dexter Akanno, who could break out for 30-plus points on any given night while providing a matchup nightmare at point guard with his 6-foot-4 frame. A wacky ending to their final game against Hart this season on Jan. 30 cost the Vikings a shot at the league title. Valencia rattled off three straight wins to close out the regular season following the loss to the Indians.
Luca Robinson having a spectacular start to this one down low. He’s up to 11 pts after this finish in the paint. Hart leads 28-21, 3:09 2Q. pic.twitter.com/tCwEtGgti5— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) February 10, 2018
Oxnard lost nine seniors off its roster from last year but gained a guard in Santa Clara transfer Justin Mack. Another player to keep an eye on for Oxnard will be Jaron Waters, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s regular-season finale against Pacifica. West Ranch (17-9, 5-5 Foothill League) at San Marcos (21-6, 8-0 Channel League), Division 2A West Ranch was the lone at-large team to come out of the Foothill League and they’ll be pitted against the Channel League champions. The Wildcats endured a coaching change just as their season got underway, which had a long-standing effect on their performance in league. “With all that we’ve been through, I think we’re just now starting to realize our full potential and get past some of the troubles from earlier in the season,” said West Ranch coach Sean McKillop following a loss to Hart on Feb. 6. “That should make us a dangerous team for the playoffs.” The Wildcats are certainly dangerous thanks to two potent scoring threats in Andrew Austin and Austin Galuppo, the latter of which surpassed 2,000 career points in the Cats’ regular-season finale victory over Golden Valley. They’ll have to contend with a San Marcos scoring duo of seniors Jackson Stormo and Ryan Godges, who’ve averaged 16.8 and 16.5 points this season, respectively. Trinity Classical Academy (11-10, 6-6 Heritage League) at Pasadena Polytechnic (21-3, 7-1 Prep League), Division 4A Trinity closed out the season with a win over Guidance Charter after battling it out in a Heritage League that touted the likes of Santa Clarita Christian and Valley Torah. The Knights will likely have their hands full with a Poly team that was a two-point loss away from finishing with a perfect league record. Tyler Lee has been able to do it all for the Knights this year, averaging a team-high 13.9 points and 8.1 rebounds, and provides some size at 6-foot-2. Kyle Fields also gives Trinity a viable threat from 3-point range and has averaged 9.8 points on the season.
END 1Q: Valencia 25, West Ranch 18— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) February 3, 2018
Valencia hit seven 3s in the quarter. Dexter Akanno had two of them, with one from DEEP shown below. pic.twitter.com/KaUpSXHUHv
Tyler Lee, who had 21 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, discusses snapping a three-game losing streak and what got Trinity out to a hot start Thursday. pic.twitter.com/N4vgtqQolz— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) February 2, 2018