Bell-Jeff, the No. 2 seed in Division IVAA, will open the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at home against Maricopa.
Two other girls’ squads — Burbank and Burroughs — get to wait until Saturday for their Division IA opening-round games. The Indians will host Norwalk at 7:30 p.m. and the Bulldogs will travel to Artesia for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
On the boys’ side, Bell-Jeff opens its play Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. with a first-round Division IVA game at Milken Community. Burbank plays at 7:30 p.m. today in a Division IIA wild-card matchup at Golden Valley and Burroughs will be in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a Division IIA opening-round game at Saugus.
The Guard girls’ team comes into the playoffs after advancing to the quarterfinals last season. Bell-Jeff (21-5) is fresh from sharing a Santa Cruz League championship with St. Mary’s Academy — which garnered the division’s No. 1 seed. It was Bell-Jeff’s first title in 10 years.
“We got to experience the excitement of the playoffs last season when we made it to the quarterfinals,” Camacho said. “So, the girls’ are really excited about seeing what they can do.”
With a team brimming with talent, does Camacho think his Guards have enough to make it back to the title game?
“We know that we have the chance to hopefully do something very special this season,” he said. “We just want to be prepared for every team, and play the best basketball that we can against every opponent. We are looking forward to the playoffs.”
Maricopa (9-10) is the third-place team from the Coast Valley League.
Looking down the line, if the Guards are successful on Thursday, they will play Saturday against the winner of No. 16-seeded Saddleback Valley Christian and Moreno Valley Calvary Chapel.
Bell-Jeff could also possibility face No. 6 St. Margaret’s in the quarterfinals.