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Locals set for playoffs

Estancia, Newport Harbor, CdM and Sage Hill open CIF Southern Section playoffs Friday.

November 15, 2010|David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • Estancia High's Robert Murtha (34) and Zach Bateman (73) with their teammates celebrate beating Costa Mesa to win the Battle for the Bell and take the Orange Coast League Championship on Friday.
Estancia High's Robert Murtha (34) and Zach Bateman… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

After Coach Mike Bargas led Estancia High to its first outright football league title in 21 years, he left it up to his assistants to predict who the Eagles might see in the playoffs.

They guessed wrong.

While the other three local programs in the CIF Southern Section playoffs are not as familiar with their respective first-round opponents, Estancia clearly knows the team it plays Friday at 7 p.m. The Eagles open Southern Division play against Beckman, a team that beat them, 31-0, last month.

The Orange Coast League champion Eagles get no easy first-round home game, which most teams winning a league crown usually earn. Bargas said he was disappointed with the section pairing Estancia with Beckman on Sunday, when the CIF released its playoff brackets.

"We didn't expect to play those guys again," Bargas said. "They didn't do us any favors.

"But we get a second opportunity to play them. They're a different team [since the first meeting] and so are we."

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The Eagles (6-4) have won five straight games since losing to Beckman (5-5), an at at-large entry from the Pacific Coast League.

Newport Harbor, Corona del Mar and Sage Hill each enter the postseason on winning streaks as well.

The Sailors (6-4) hit the road to Mission Hills to play fourth-seeded Alemany (10-0), the Serra League champion, in a Pac-5 Division contest set for 7:30 p.m. Newport Harbor, a third-place team from the Sunset League, will try to win its third straight and end the Warriors' perfect season.

The Sea Kings (8-1-1), unbeaten in their last six games, received the Southern Division's No. 2 seed. The Pacific Coast League champions play host to Ocean View (7-3) at Newport Harbor High at 7 p.m. The Seahawks are the Golden West League's No. 3 entry.

The Lightning (8-2) travel the farthest, having to go 138 miles to reach Twentynine Palms for an East Valley Division game at 7 p.m. Sage Hill, the Academy League runner-up, has won back-to-back games, while the Wildcats (7-3), who split the De Anza League title, saw their five-game winning streak end last week.

The only streak that matters now is which team can make a run in the playoffs. Three of the local teams in the postseason did not experience much success advancing out of the first round last year.

Estancia, Newport and Sage Hill went one and out last year.

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