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High Schools: CdM, Estancia aim for upsets

February 20, 2012|By David Carrillo Penaloza

On paper, one local high school boys' basketball team and two boys' soccer teams aren't supposed to win Tuesday.

All three programs face teams seeded in the top four of their respective CIF Southern Section playoff brackets.

But all three locals have great shots at winning their respective contests.

The Corona del Mar boys' basketball team is at fourth-seeded Santa Margarita in the Division 3A quarterfinals at 7 p.m.

The CdM boys' soccer team is at fourth-seeded Fontana in a Division III second-round match at 3 p.m.

The Estancia boys' soccer team plays host to second-seeded Artesia of Lakewood in a Division IV second-round match at 6 p.m.

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The CdM basketball and soccer teams reached this round last season, while Estancia wasn't in the postseason.

Below is a breakdown of each playoff matchup:

CdM (17-10) vs. Santa

Margarita (16-13)

If you looked at Coach Ryan Schachter's first five seasons at CdM, the basketball team reached at least the quarterfinals four times.

So, he should expect to lead the Sea Kings to the quarterfinals every season, right?

Schachter laughs when you say a quarterfinal appearance is automatic with him at the helm. He didn't count on anything this season.

Remember, he lost all five starters to graduation from last season's team. Back in December, he called this a rebuilding season.

Two months later, Schachter has CdM in the quarterfinals for the third straight season. And Schachter isn't satisfied with just making the quarters.

He believes fifth-seeded CdM has a winnable game at Santa Margarita, which plays in the robust Trinity League, with the likes of Mater Dei, St. John Bosco and Orange Lutheran, which earned the No. 1 seed in Division 1AA, No. 2 seed in Division 3A and No. 3 seed in Division 1A, respectively.

"Our guys believe," said Schachter, who has one player who has played major minutes against Santa Margarita before.

The two programs met last season in the first round of the playoffs at CdM.

Andrew McCormack, who came off the bench last season, helped the Sea Kings rout Santa Margarita, 64-40.

McCormack is now a senior and he starts. The Eagles will surely remember McCormack and how the Sea Kings held Santa Margarita to 11 points at halftime.

"They're going to be coming for us," Schachter said of the Eagles, who finished fifth in the Trinity League. "They return a lot of guys from last season's team."

The Eagles pose a problem for Pacific Coast League runner-up CdM when it comes to size.

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