GLENDALE — For the half-dozen local girls' basketball teams that made it to the playoffs, the release of their respective divisions' playoff pairings on Sunday unveiled a difficult road ahead.
Crescenta Valley High, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Holy Family, Glendale, Glendale Adventist Academy are all headed for first-round road games, while Flintridge Prep, perhaps surprisingly, was the only local to be rewarded with a home game on Thursday evening, but will go in as the likely underdog.
"You've got nothing to lose at this point," said Nitros Coach Tania Adary, whose team likely entertains the most arduous first-round draw as Glendale will travel to face second-seeded Buena in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2-AA playoffs. "You throw what you've got out there."
Glendale (14-12), which will take to the road on Thursday for a 7 p.m. start as with all other first-round games, takes on a Buena team that won the Channel League and boasts a 20-6 record. Buena is also the same team that defeated Glendale in the first round in 2009, the last time the Nitros made it to the playoffs. The winner of Thursday's game will face either Thousand Oaks or University on Saturday.
Sacred Heart goes in as the lone local team with a top-16 seed, as the Tologs drew the No. 8 seed, which they take with them for a first-round road game against Alverno. The Horizon League champion brings a 12-4 mark to the Division 5-AA playoffs, as the Tologs have amassed a 15-11 record and received entry into the playoffs as a Mission League at-large squad. The winner will play either ninth-seeded St. Monica or Workman.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Athletic Director Stephanie Contreras said the game might be played at Sacred Heart with Alverno being designated as the home team. Alverno plays its home games at Foothill Community Church in Pasadena and there's not enough room to accommodate the spectators and the teams.
"They played 16 games, eight of them in league," Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Gino Pacella said. "I sort of expected a matchup like this and now we have a chance to make some noise.
"We want to get out there and run a little bit. It should be a good game for us."
Flintridge Prep (8-15) earned entry into the Division 4-AA playoffs on the last day of the season by beating Webb and also winning a coin flip to break a tiebreaker with Westridge to be the fourth-place entrant from the Prep League. Prep was rewarded Sunday with a home game at 6 p.m. against Paso Robles (10-15), an at-large team from the PAC 7 League and the No. 12 seed. The winner will take on Rosary, the fifth seed, which received a first-round bye.
Flintridge Prep Coach Todd Frost said things appear to be falling into place for the Rebels.
"We are definitely playing our best basketball at the right time," Frost said. "Hopefully, we are peaking at the right time and this will be a good team to play against.
"From what I can see [of Paso Robles], they are a team that likes to spread the ball around."
In Division 1-A, Crescenta Valley drew Sunshine League champion Marlborough (17-7), the No. 15 seed. The Falcons (13-13), like the Nitros, enter as a Pacific League at-large entrant and are looking to turn around a three-game losing skid. The reward for either CV or Marlborough is a Saturday game against second-seeded Troy.
"I think it's a great draw for us, considering our record and losing our last three games in league," said CV Coach Jason Perez, who guided the Falcons to the quarterfinals last season. "Marlborough is good and we have a shot.
"We are going to have to play our best and just forget about league."
Holy Family drew the tough task of taking on Delphic League No. 2 Archer (16-6), the sixth seed in Division 5-A. The contest will be played at 7 p.m. at Santa Monica City College.
The Gaels (8-11) long ago locked up the No. 2 spot in the Horizon League and should they advance would face either Victory Valley Christian or Mojave.
"On paper, it looks like it will be a competitive game," Holy Family Coach Ernest Siy said.
Finally, in Division 6-AA, Glendale Adventist Academy, the Liberty League's No. 3 team, will travel to face Tarbut Valley Torah (16-4), the sixth seed and San Joaquin No. 2. The winner will play L.A. Adventist, which received a first-round bye as the 11th seed.