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By Zach Cavanagh
San Juan Hills Boys Basketball Advances to First Final
In these CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, the San Juan Hills boys basketball team has played in its first quarterfinal and its first semifinal, and now, the No. 1 seed Stallions are on to their first CIF-SS final.
With its strong defense and hot shooting, San Juan Hills held off St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs, 63-53, in the CIF-SS Division 2A semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at San Juan Hills High School.
The Stallions (26-4) will play at La Mirada in the Division 2A title game on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.
JSerra Boys Basketball to Host Division 1 Final
The JSerra boys basketball team cruised in its rubber-match semifinal with Trinity League rival St. John Bosco.
The Lions led by double digits for the entirety of the final three quarters to roll over the Braves, 60-44, in a CIF-SS Division 1 semifinal on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at JSerra Catholic High School.
JSerra (19-9) advances to its first CIF-SS final since it won the Division 4AA title in 2014. The Lions will host St. Bernard of Playa Del Rey in the Division 1 final on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.
CVC Girls Basketball Advances to First Final in 25 Years
The Capistrano Valley Christian girls basketball team led, 20-2, in the first quarter and never looked back in a rout of Cal Lutheran of Wildomar, 54-28, in the CIF-SS Division 5AA semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at Capistrano Valley Christian School.
CVC (16-6) advances to its first CIF-SS Final since 1997 and will attempt to win its first title on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at Desert Christian Academy in Lancaster.
The Eagles have outscored their playoff opponents by a collective score of 285-116, with an average margin of victory of more than 42 points per game.
JSerra Boys Soccer to Host Final; San Juan Hills Falls in Penalty Kicks
The JSerra boys soccer team took advantage of a penalty kick, and San Juan Hills was defeated on penalty kicks in each team’s respective CIF-SS semifinal on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
In Division 1, JSerra’s Sean McTague converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute, and McTague scored again late in the game to send the Lions past No. 2 seed Mira Costa, 2-0, and advance to their first CIF-SS final since winning the Division 1 title in 2010.
JSerra (17-3-1) will host No. 1 seed and Trinity League champion Servite (20-2-2) in the Division 1 final on Friday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. Servite beat JSerra in both regular-season meetings, 4-0 and 3-1.
In Division 2, San Juan Hills’ historic run came to a disappointing end on Tuesday.
Senior Cole Monach scored twice to put San Juan Hills up early in the second half. However, visiting Montebello scored on a rush goal in the 74th minute, and well past the 80th minute in stoppage time, the Oilers converted a perfectly placed 25-yard free kick to tie, 2-2.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the game entered penalty kicks. The teams were tied with three goals each going into the decisive fifth round, but after Montebello converted, San Juan Hills’ final attempt went over the goal, cinching the Oilers’ victory.
San Juan Hills (10-3-6) was playing in its first semifinal after winning its first league title and first playoff game this season.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at email@example.com.