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Boys' Basketball Playoffs: 3 teams open at home

Corona del Mar, Estancia and Costa Mesa play host to CIF Southern Section first-round opponents on Wednesday.

February 13, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Estancia High's Ben Beck, bottom, gets Costa Mesa High's Jordan Walden in the air with a ball fake during the first half Thursday, Feb. 9.
Estancia High's Ben Beck, bottom, gets Costa Mesa… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Three local high school boys' basketball teams open the CIF Southern Section playoffs at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

One program is giving out free pizza and T-shirts to students who show up.

Corona del Mar is hoping the free grub and gear entices fans.

Estancia and Costa Mesa have nothing special planned as far as giveaways to fans.

All season, the Sea Kings haven't had a large crowd come see them play.

Estancia and Costa Mesa have played in front of a packed gym. The most recent time was against each other last week. The Eagles won on a buzzer-beating three-pointer and clinched second place in the Orange Coast League at home.

Heredia said a game like that should fire up any student body to come out and support Estancia.

Another reason to attend the Eagles' playoff opener is that they have a good chance of winning. You can say the same thing about the matchups for CdM and Costa Mesa.

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Of the three, CdM (15-10) received the highest seed: No. 5 in Division 3A. The Sea Kings, who finished runner-up in the Pacific Coast League, play Laguna Hills (12-16), an at-large entry out of the Sea View League.

Estancia (16-11), in Division 3A, has Gladstone (13-11), the fourth-place team from the Montview League.

Costa Mesa (18-9) earned a Division 4A home game against St. Monica Catholic (13-14) after beating Godinez in a third-place playoff game in the Orange Coast League on Friday. The Mustangs beat St. Monica, the third-place team from the Camino Real League, 63-54, in December.

Estancia and CdM haven't seen their respective opponents this season. Heredia said he searched Google for info on Gladstone.

He wasn't feeling so lucky after what he read up on the Gladiators from Covina.

"The stories I read said they shoot the ball well from the outside," said Heredia, whose team struggles defending the perimeter.

The Eagles' defensive woes can be attributed to their low numbers, as only eight are on the roster.

The Sea Kings might be without one player.

Coach Ryan Schachter said Andrew McCormack, a senior starting forward, suffered a concussion in CdM's game at Beckman on Feb. 6. McCormack missed the following game, the team's regular-season finale at Northwood.

The Sea Kings won, 62-54, without McCormack, a key contributor and a member of CdM's quarterfinal playoff runs the past two seasons.

"He's going to the doctor [on Tuesday]," said Schachter, who won't rush McCormack back because of the severity of a concussion injury.

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