Gardena Serra High basketball coach Dwan Hurt had never seen anything like the controversial seeding in the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA championship playoff, and when Redondo Union High School first year coach Reggie Morris Jr. inherited a team that won just two league games last year he certainly didn’t envision a No. 1 seed in the D 2AA playoffs.
Thus, let the playoffs begin in the CIF-SS and CIF Los Angeles City Section boys and girls playoffs this week.
Serra, which finished second to undefeated Bishop Montgomery in league with a 20-6 record, was awarded a No. 4 seed when the brackets were released by the Southern Section on Sunday.
However, what Serra did not appreciate that in their side of the bracket are also the No. 3 seed J. Serra, which finished 15-8, and No. 2 seed Price, which finished at 23-3.
“There is just no justifiable reason for all of us to be on the same side of the bracket,” Hurt told the Sentinel.
Section rules do not allow for league teams that finish first and second to be on the same side of the bracket and indicates that when that occurs then the No. 3 and No. 4 seed shall swap seeds.
However Serra, led by junior wing Tavrion Dawson, will now have to get past Price and Arizona State bound Chance Murray. It is a more realistic chore than beating undefeated Bishop Montgomery (26-0) to reach to title game.
Bishop Montgomery, ranked in the top five nationally and No. 1 in the State in some rankings are led by senior Pepperdine recruit LaMond Murray Jr.
Meanwhile, Morris Jr., son of the legendary City title winning Manual Arts coach Reggie Sr., has demonstrated again what an outstanding coach he is by transforming a Redondo Union program that was all but dead a year ago.
Morris Jr. literally took the same team from a year ago and led them to an undefeated 10-0 league season and 11 consecutive wins to roar to the No. 1 seed in the D-2A bracket.
Led by junior guard Ian Fox’s15 points per game and senior Derek Biale ‘s 13 points per game, the Redondo Union came closer to beating Bishop Montgomery than any team this season and roared to an 18-8 finish.
Morris Jr. is not the only black coach who enjoyed a stellar campaign; Ryan Bailey led Brentwood to a No. 2 seed in the D-4A with a 23-3 record. Brown University recruit and Collision XV All Star game selection Leland King, who averages 21 points and 14 rebounds per game, led Brentwood.
In Long Beach, where the Poly is king and queen in boys and girls basketball, Sherieff Metoyer led their boy’s team to a No. 2 seed behind Mater Dei in D-1AA. Poly, led by the dynamic duo of Roschone Prince and Jordan Bell, capped a brilliant 22-4 campaign and could meet with Jamal Adams’ Loyola Cubs in the quarters. Prince, who is signed to attend USC and Oregon bound Bell averaged 19 and 13 points per game respectively. Loyola is led by Collision XV All Star selection Trey Mason.
Meanwhile, Poly’s girl’s team is led by head coach Carl Buggs, and they finished 22-4, which earned them the No. 4 seed. Both Poly teams are ranked among he top teams in the nation and the Lady Jackrabbits are led by junior Arica Carter at 11 points per game.
Coach Derrick Taylor and St. John Bosco are led by the Hamilton brothers, McDonalds All American Isaac and junior sensation Daniel are the top seed in D-3A. Eric Cooper Sr. and the St. Anthony Saints got a No. 5 seed in D-4A and are led by combo guard Eric Cooper Jr., who averages 24 points and 6 rebounds per game. Lawndale Leuzinger, led by guard Eric Childress, is the top seed in D-3AA. Coach Tony Thompson led Compton to the No. 4 seed in D-3AAA.
Ellis Barfield’s Lynwood Lady Knights are the No. 3 seed in D-2AA. Serra (21-5) led by Michigan bound Siera Thompson (18 points, four assist and three steals), is the No. 3 seed in D-4AA, St Bernard is the No. 4 seed led by Chayanne Butler’s 20 points, five rebounds, five rebounds and four steals per game.
In the City Section boy’s division, Westchester is the No. 1 seed and will face No. 16 seed Fremont on Thursday at Westchester. In girl’s division, Narbonne and coach Vickie Sanders is the top seed and they look to repeat as champions.
Finally, former Inglewood High star Anthony Davis took over as head coach at Crossroads High School during mid season and has led the alma mater of former NBA star Baron Davis into the CIF-SS playoffs.
Crossroads finished its regular season with a 14-9 record, 7-3 in league play and has won four of its last five games. Senior guard Miles Stevens and sophomore Brandon Tillis has been instrumental in the turn around. Former Crenshaw High star Kevin Bradley serves as the head junior varsity coach and Davis’ assistant coach on the varsity team.