The first round of the playoffs is supposed to be the easiest for any team of distinction. It's the gimme home game before the real battles begin.
Tell that to Mission Viejo.
The second-seeded Diablos (26-1) escaped the first round of the Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs with a 41-39 victory over Burbank (16-12) in Division 2AA. It's hardly the start a team that was nearly perfect during the regular season would have expected, but Burbank limited 6-foot-10 Isaac Neilson to just six points. Neverthless, Mission Viejo got it done despite generally anemic scoring—held to eight points in the second quarter and five in the fourth—and it can start fresh in preparation for Redondo Union (15-13), which defeated Orange League champion Katella, 59-52.
For Mission Viejo to advance, it will have to do it on the road.
The first round was good to Orange County teams in 2AA as seven teams won their openers, including fifth-seeded Edison (25-2), which scored a 56-54 victory over Sunny Hills (18-10). Like Mission Viejo, the Sunset League co-champion was supposed to have an easier time of it, but needed every one of Dylan Garrity's 32 points, which propelled him to the top of the school's all-time scoring list.
In Division 1A, a big South OC matchup is on the horizon as third-seeded Capistrano Valley (21-6) and San Clemente (15-12) both won; they'll play Friday at San Clemente. That place should be rocking. Other all-county matchups feature La Palma Kennedy (21-6) at Corona del Mar (18-9) and Sonora(22-4) at Cypress (17-10) in Division 3AA.
Here are the scores for all Orange County teams in the first round of the playoffs.
No. 2 Mater Dei 78, Rancho Cucamonga 27: Xavier Johnson scored 20 in an easy victory.
Los Alamitos 74, Lynwood 59: A good win by the Griffins (21-8) delivers up a game against third-seeded Corona Centennial. The good news is that Los Al will be the host team.
Pasadena 63, Trabuco Hills 34: Missing their starting and backup point guards, the Mustangs succumbed to the Pasadena press.
El Toro 73, Santa Fe 33: Ryan Hardy scored 15 and the Chargers defense limited Santa Fe to only 11 points in the second half.
Redlands East Valley 64, Dana Hills 54
Fountain Valley 51, California 30
No. 3 Capistrano Valley 59, West Covina 35
San Clemente 68, El Rancho 54
Walnut 57, Tesoro 51: Dusty Baker scored 26 points, but had two shots blocked in the final 21 seconds as Tesoro came up short.
Ocean View 53, Patriot 42
Villa Park 74, University 64: Robbie Manalang scored 19 points off the bench for Villa Park (22-7).
Edison 56, Sunny Hills 54
Temecula Valley 73, Savanna 44
No. 3 Anaheim Canyon 81, Valley View 39: Jojo Ballestero scored 22 for the Comanches (25-3).
Huntington Beach 40, La Serna 30
Placential Valencia 70, Loara 53: Greg Hammond led Valencia (23-4) with 30 points.
No. 2 Mission Viejo 41, Burbank 39: James Cramer scored 13 for Mission.
No. 1 Peninsula 62, Troy 28
Segerstrom 60, Dos Pueblos 57
Esperanza 64, Oak Hills 51
Vista del Lago 59, Garden Grove 47
No. 3 Foothill 79, Baldwin Park 37
No. 2 Elsinore 77, Westminster 54
La Habra 90, Hesperia 60
Corona del Mar 64, Santa Margarita 40: After back-to-back losses to end the season, the Sea Kings (18-9) went on an early 37-6 run to take a 45-11 lead and were never threatened as Marcus Bradley scored 21.
La Palma Kennedy 57, Magnolia 52
Bishop Montgomery 64, Tustin 34
Sonora 76, Godinez 41: Greg Watson scored 24 points to lead Sonora (22-4).
Cypress 62, Campbell Hall 53
No. 2 Palm Springs 60, El Dorado 29
No. 1 Harvard Westlake 72, Beckman 50
Brea Olinda 59, San Jacinto 47
San Marcos 69, Bolsa Grande 43
Woodbridge 68, Beaumont 54
San Juan Hills 56, Irvine 37: Wil Acromite scored 20 for the Stallions (14-13).
Garden Grove Pacifica 61, Jurupa Valley 53
Beverly Hills 85, Rancho Alamitos 21
No. 1 Orange Lutheran 64, Temescal Canyon 41: Gabe York scored 20 for the Lancers (21-7).
Northview 77, Northwood 76
Palos Verde 52, Estancia 42
Servite 69, San Dimas 53
No. 1 Oaks Christian 76, Laguna Hills 48
Laguna Beach 54, Carpinteria 43
Whittier Christian 57, Workman 41
JSerra 69, Marshall 58
St. Monica 68, Sage Hill 54
No. 4 Mission Prep 48, Costa Mesa 41
No. 3 Muir 66, Oxford Academy 38
Fairmont 61, Crean Lutheran 55
No. 2 St. Margaret's 74, Viewpoint 36
Brethren Christian 67, New Community Jewish 46
Orangewood Academy 64, Liberty Christian 29