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CdM seeking rebound

Stumbling Sea Kings get No. 5 seed in CIF Division III-AA playoffs. Estancia, Costa Mesa, Sage also vie.

February 14, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • Corona del Mar High's Chris Freeman and the Sea Kings open CIF playoff action this week.
Corona del Mar High's Chris Freeman and the Sea Kings… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

Even Coach Ryan Schachter sounds sick.

He joked that the Corona del Mar High boys' basketball team last week could not avoid the plague, which cost the team a lot. The Sea Kings lost an outright Pacific Coast League title and a No. 3 seed in the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs.

Schachter blames CdM's only two league losses, which came last week, on the cold and flu bug that hit his team.

He said he and his players feel a little better, especially after CdM just dropped two seeds in the playoffs. The downfall might have been far worse for the Sea Kings Sunday, when the section released the playoff brackets.

The Sea Kings can thank Serra of Gardena for having to forfeit 13 wins because of an ineligible player. The section left the Cavaliers off the Division III-AA playoff bracket, allowing CdM to go from a No. 6 seed to a No. 5.

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Schachter had a hard time believing it. They got a No. 5 and Schachter is hoping CdM can regain its health and winning way by Wednesday.

CdM is one four local teams opening the postseason on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Sea Kings (17-9) are home in the first round against Santa Margarita (13-13).

Estancia and Costa Mesa are also playing host to first-round games, while Sage Hill hits the road.

The Eagles (16-11) play Palos Verdes (16-11) in Division IV-AA.

In Division V-AA, the Mustangs (11-15) face fourth-seeded Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo. The Lightning (14-11) go against St. Monica Catholic of Santa Monica.

Of the four area teams, CdM holds the longest current playoff appearance streak at six. Five of those are under Schachter, who before last week's collapse believed the Sea Kings had a strong shot to make a run at a section title for the second time under his watch.

The Sea Kings open with an-at large team out of the competitive Trinity League.

CdM has played one of the state's toughest schedules, facing the likes of Long Beach Poly, Taft of Woodland Hills, as well as Loyola and Westchester of Los Angeles. Schachter said the Sea Kings would not intimidate Santa Margarita.

"I was very disappointed in the draw," said Schachter, who is well aware that each of the Trinity League's six teams qualified for the playoffs, starting with Mater Dei, ranked No. 1 in the state by ESPN RISE. "I feel Santa Margarita is one of the best at-large teams to make the playoffs."

Schachter still favors his team.

The Sea Kings may have more talent, with 6-foot-6 senior forward Marcus Bradley and 6-4 senior guard Danny Cheek.

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