Here's Jack Pollon's preview of the playoffs that begin tonight in the Southern Section and continue tomorrow night for the LA City Section, with an emphasis on the Daily News coverage area.
Div. ITop four seeds
2. El Camino Real
Locals in the draw: Birmingham, Taft. Cleveland
Team to watch: Fairfax. The Lions are always dangerous, and feature Reggie Theus, Jr., Omari Mundy, Chaunce Hill and freshman Lindsey Drew.
Player to watch: Maleke Haynes, El Camino Real, Jr.
The tiny point guard has taken on a leadership quality the Conquistadores will need to make a championship run.
Div. IITop four seeds
3. Granada Hills
Locals in the draw: Verdugo Hills, Reseda
Team to watch: Granada Hills. The Highlanders upset Birmingham last Friday, were tested in the West Valley League and are well-coached by Don Loperena.
Player to watch: Devenir Deruisseau, Sylmar, Jr.
The 6-foot-8 transfer from Palmdale hasn't lived up to the potential Long Beach St. and other colleges saw this past summer on the travel circuit.
Div. IIITop four seeds
1. Los Angeles
4. Poly (Sun Valley)
Locals in the draw: Grant, North Hollywood
Team to watch: Grant. The Lancers are 20-7 and feature high-scoring guard Tullio Parry.
Player to watch: Santiago Grady, Los Angeles, Sr.
Grady is an excellent left-handed 3-point shooter. Grady nearly scored 30 points in a nonleague victory against Poly on Jan. 3.
Small-schoolsTop four seeds
1. View Park Prep
3. Fulton Prep
4. Rancho Dominguez
Locals in the draw: Vaughn Charter, Sun Valley, Valley Academy, S.O.C.E.S.
Team to watch: View Park Prep is the clear cut favorite with a talented roster, which includes 6-foot-10 forwards Brodricks Jones and Chance Comanche.
Player to watch: Isaiah Cooper, Vaughn Charter, Sr.
It wouldn't be surprising if Cooper netted over 30 points per game
Div. I-AATop four seeds
1. Mater Dei
2. Long Beach Poly
4. Mission Viejo
Locals in the draw: Highland, Knight, Palmdale
Team to watch: Orange Lutheran. The Lancers were an at-large selection from the Trinity League but could make a run to the semifinals behind Penn St.-bound Payton banks.
Player to watch: Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei, So.
The man-child can do it all and will likely play in the NBA.
Div. I-ATop four seeds
1. El Toro
2. Santa Monica
3. West Ranch
4. Crescenta Valley
Locals in the draw: Burroughs, Glendale, Burbank
Team to watch: Valencia. An after-thought in the Foothill League behind West Ranch and Hart, the Vikings could surprise and make a deep run.
Player to watch: Jordan Mathews, Santa Monica, Sr.
Mathews is a prolific scorer that can carry the team down the stretch.
Div. II-AATop four seeds
1. JW North
2. Thousand Oaks
3. Villa Park
4. Sunny Hills
Locals in the draw: Camarillo, Canyon, Lancaster, Eastside
Team to watch: Camarillo. The Dons won the Pacific View League and certainly would not be intimidated by a quarterfinal game against Thousand Oaks.
Player to watch: Ben Taufahema, Canyon, So.
Taufahema can shoot from the parking lot. Taufahema led Canyon in scoring numerous times this season.
Div. II-ATop four seeds
2. Redondo Union
Locals in the draw: Moorpark, Saugus, Newbury Park
Team to watch: Redondo Union. Under the direction of coach Reggie Morris, Jr., the Sea Hawks have enough athletes to matchup with Westlake.
Player to watch: Cameron Walker, Righetti, So.
The 6-foot-7 Walker is a big-time college prospect.
Div. III-AAATop four seeds
Locals in the draw: Calabasas, Royal
Team to watch: Royal. The highlanders have plenty of veteran senior leaders and have motivation after losing in the Div. II-A championship last year.
Player to watch: Jeremy Lieberman, Calabasas, Jr.
After some inconsistent performances during the Marmonte League play, the reigning league player of the year needs to solidify his status as a college prospect.
Div. III-AATop four seeds
3. Corona Del Mar
4. Jurupa Valley
Locals in the draw: La Canada, Hoover
Team to watch: Santa Margarita. The Eagles went winless in the Trinity League but could make a run to the semifinals
Player to watch: Jeremy Hemsley, Damien, So.
Another young intriguing college prospect who can score in bunches.
Div. III-ATop four seeds
1. St. John Bosco
2. Oak Park
4. Ocean View
Locals in the draw: St. Francis, Antelope Valley
Team to watch: St. Francis. The Golden Knights have come on strong as of late with victories against Alemany and a near upset of Harvard-Westlake.
Player to watch: Tyler Dorsey, St. John Bosco, So.
The sophomore transfer from Ribet Academy can do it all for the Braves. Dorsey can pass, shoot, rebound and has great court vision.
Div. IV-AATop four seeds
1. Bishop Montgomery
Locals in the draw: Crespi, Harvard-Westlake, Oaks Christian, Sierra Canyon, Notre Dame, Paraclete, St. Genevieve, Heritage Christian, Milken Community
Team to watch: Windward. The Wildcats upset Brentwood on Feb. 6 to force a three-way tie atop the Alpha League and feature sophomores Roy Hemsley, Mason Shepard and Roman Davis.
Player to watch: London Perrantes, Crespi, Sr.
Don't be surprised if Perrantes quietly leads the Celts to another semifinal appearance.
Div. IV-ATop four seeds
1. Pacific Hills
3. St. Joseph/Santa Maria
4. Cantwell Sacred-Heart
Locals in the draw: Campbell Hall, Renaissance Academy, Viewpoint
Team to watch: St. Anthony. The Saints have all of their transfers eligible, beat Westchester in early January and won the Santa Fe League
Player to watch: Aaron Holiday, Campbell Hall, So.
Holiday is capable of scoring 40 points and grabbing 12 rebounds every night.
Div. V-AATop four seeds
1. Village Christian
2. Flintridge Prep
3. Mission Prep
Locals in the draw: Buckley, Providence, Bell-Jeff, Desert Christian/Lancaster, Vasquez
Team to watch: Village Christian. The Crusaders' three losses this year were by a combined five points.
Player to watch: Mamadou N'Diaye, Brethren Christian. Sr.
The 7-foot-6 import is headed to UC Irvine. N'Diaye is the tallest high school player in the nation.
Div. V-ATop four seeds
1. Rolling Hills Prep
3. San Gabriel Academy
4. Holy Martyrs
Locals in the draw: Valley Torah, New Community Jewish, Einstein Academy, Oakwood, Lancaster Baptist, Newbury Park Adventist
Team to watch: Einstein Academy. The Omega League champions are 16-5 and feature Sahil Rai, Chris Yin, Hunter Morris and Jackie Saucer
Player to watch: JoJo Fallas, Shalhevet, Sr.
Fallas is a great 3-point shooter and helped lead the Firehawks to a 20-1 record.
Div. VITop four seeds
1. Rio Hondo Prep
2. Trinity Classical Academy
3. Joshua Springs
4. Cal Lutheran
Locals in the draw: San Fernando Valley Academy, Delphi Academy, AGBU/Canoga Park, Summit View
Team to watch: Trinity Classical Academy. TCA finished second behind Valley Torah in the Heritage League and has several football players on the team.
Player to watch: Ryan Wiley, Rio Hondo Prep, Sr.
The 6-foot-6 wing scored 30 points against Valley Torah and Flintridge Prep this year.