By Christian Romo
Boys Preview: All games begin on Friday at 3 p.m.
La Salle Lancers (11-11-1, 1st in Camino Real)
Division 6, First Round: at La Cañada
Winning nine of their last ten matches, La Salle shook off a slow start on their way to their first league title in five years. But a first round road match with the Rio Hondo champion Spartans will test the Lancer’s winning streak.
Maranatha Minutemen (9-5-5, 2nd in Olympic)
Division 6, First Round: at Granite Hills
Making their ninth straight playoff appearance, the Minutemen head north to Apple Valley for their first round matchup. Junior Chris Morales is going to need a big game for Maranatha to have a shot against the Cougars, who finished second in a tough Desert Sky league.
Monrovia Wildcats (15-7-4, 2nd in Rio Hondo)
Division 5, First Round: at El Monte
Only two years removed from a CIF title, the Wildcats still have the talent to make a deep run. But after a surprising second-place league finish, they start on the road against a balanced El Monte team looking to spoil Monrovia’s season.
Muir Mustangs (13-7-3, 5th in Pacific)
Division 4, First Round: at Desert Mirage
Muir snuck in to the playoffs after a wild-card win against Littlerock on Wednesday, but they’ll have a tough task against the top seeded Rams from the Coachella Valley.
Girls Preview: All games begin on Thursday at 3 p.m.
Arcadia Apaches (19-3-1, 1st in Pacific)
Division 3, First Round: vs Mayfair
The Apaches are the most talented team in the area, but a tough draw fixes them with a potential second-round match against second-seeded South Torrance. With an upset victory, however, they might become the most dangerous team in the tournament.
La Salle Lancers (14-7-2, 3rd in Del Rey)
Division 4, First Round: at San Marcos
Three straight losses to finish the season give the Lancers a first-round matchup in Santa Barbara, where they will look to upset the Channel League-champion Royals. With a little luck, a semifinal matchup against Arcadia isn’t out of the question.
Maranatha Minutemen (6-13, 3rd in Olympic)
Division 6, First Round: at Garden Grove
A good league season put an underachieving Maranatha into the playoffs, where a beatable Garden Grove team awaits.
Mayfield Cubs (8-6-5, T-2nd in Prep)
Division 4, First Round: at Brentwood
Mayfield enters the robust Division 4 tournament after a wild-card win against Burbank, looking to better 2016’s first-round exit and establish themselves as Pasadena’s top team.
Westridge Tigers (13-4-2, T-2nd in Prep)
Division 4, First Round: at West Covina
A loss and a draw to their rival Mayfield put a damper on the Tiger’s season, but a wild-card win at Nipomo put the Tigers back on track. A second-straight road playoff win would give them a favorable path to the championship round, with only top-seeded La Quinta standing in the way.