I.E.: Same obstacles for Etiwanda In Division 1AA

The Etiwanda boys’ basketball team is staring up at some familiar foes heading into the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs.

According to the brackets released Sunday by the section office, the Eagles are seeded third in the division behind No. 1 Mater Dei and No. 2 Long Beach Poly.

Etiwanda (26-1) had its section playoff runs ended by either Mater Dei or Poly the last three seasons, and was eliminated by the Jackrabbits in the Southern California Division 1 regional playoffs the last two years.

To earn another shot at Poly, the Eagles will need to win their first three playoff games, beginning Friday night against visiting San Clemente.

A pair of Inland Empire teams also received the lone at-large berths in the Division 1AA playoffs.

Chaparral will face off against Mater Dei in the first round. Mater Dei 6-7 senior forward Xavier Johnson, the second-leading scorer for the Monarchs at 17.6 points and leading rebounder at 8.8 a game, played for Chaparral as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Mater Dei.

Riverside King was awarded the other at-large berth and will open at Long Beach Poly. The Wolves shocked Mater Dei to win the Division 1AA title in 2009. King forward Kawhi Leonard, who currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs, had 20 rebounds in the victory, eight more than Mater Dei twins David and Travis Wear, who currently play for UCLA.

Other highly seeded teams from the I.E. include J.W. North (No. 3 in Division 2AA), Murrieta Valley (No. 3 in Division 2A), Palm Springs (No. 3 in Division 3AAA), Palm Desert (No. 4 in Division 3AAA), and Ontario Christian (No. 2 in Division 4A).