When the second round of the Southern Section boys’ basketball playoffs begins Friday night, a number of Inland Empire teams face interesting matchups. Here’s a closer look:
Long distance award – Palm Springs is seeded second in Division 3AA, but the Indians won’t get a break, traveling nearly 300 miles to play at Arroyo Grande.
Haven’t we met before? – Victorville Victor Valley hosts Villa Park in Division 2AA, a compelling rematch from earlier this season, when the eighth-seeded Jackrabbits rallied from 13 points down with four minutes remaining and beat ninth-seeded Villa Park, 75-73, at Villa Park.
Act II -- Elsinore, the second-seeded team in Division 2A, travels to Riverside North for another regular-season rematch. The Tigers defeated North, 67-60, on Dec. 30 in the championship game of the Paloma Valley Shootout.
Act III -- Redlands East Valley will host San Bernardino Cajon in Division 1A. These teams met Dec. 29 in a semifinal of the Kiwanis tournament and REV came away with 47-45 victory after the Cowboys missed the front end of three one-and-one free-throw situations down the stretch.
Not you again – Moreno Valley Rancho Verde will travel to Mater Dei for a Division 1AA game against the second-seeded Monarchs. The Mustangs lost to Mater Dei twice in the postseason a year ago, 94-58, in the section semifinals and 80-48 in the second round of the Southern California Regionals.
Power couple – Get ready for an interesting matchup between big men in Division 1AA. Eastvale Roosevelt and 6-8 senior forward Shannon Fowler will take on Montebello and 6-11 senior center Antonio Worthy. Roosevelt is seeded 10th and the Oilers are No. 8.
Underdog vs. underdog – Moreno Valley Vista del Lago will host Lancaster Eastside in Division 2A. Both teams should feel fortunate just to be lacing their sneakers one more time. Eastside upset fourth-seeded Glendora, 72-65, in overtime. Vista del Lago got past 13th-seeded Garden Grove, 59-47.
Bad memories – Fontana Summit will travel to Huntington Beach in Division 2AA. The last time the SkyHawks played in Orange County they lost two years ago to Anaheim Loara, 68-66, in a Division 2A second-round game. That marked the first time Loara had ever advanced to the quarterfinals in the program’s 47-year history.