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Johnson: Predicting this season’s CIF Southern Section girls basketball champions

The CIF Southern Section girls basketball playoffs begin this week with most first-round games scheduled for Thursday.

Staff writer Eric-Paul Johnson gives his predictions for each division and tabs three Inland teams to win championships.

Open Division

Last year’s championship result: Sierra Canyon 70, Etiwanda 57.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Sierra Canyon; 2. Etiwanda; 3. Ontario Christian; 4. Mater Dei.

Other Inland team in the division: Centennial.

Championship prediction: Etiwanda def. Sierra Canyon.

Division 1

Last year’s championship result: Orange Lutheran 63, Marlborough 45.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Brentwood; 2. Windward; 3. Santiago; 4. Orange Lutheran.

Other Inland teams in the division: King, San Dimas, Valley View, Vista Murrieta.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: King at Crescenta Valley.

Quarterfinal predictions: Brentwood def. Lynwood; Orange Lutheran def. La Salle; Santiago def. North Torrance; Redondo def. Windward.

Semifinal predictions: Brentwood def. Orange Lutheran; Redondo def. Santiago.

Championship prediction: Brentwood def. Redondo.

Division 2AA

Last year’s championship result: La Salle 63, Hart 54.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Moreno Valley; 2. Mira Costa; 3. St. Anthony; 4. Fairmont Prep.

Other Inland teams in the division: Beaumont, Bonita, Claremont, Great Oak, Los Osos, Rancho Christian, Rialto, Riverside Poly, Roosevelt.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Roosevelt at Rialto.

Quarterfinal predictions: Moreno Valley def. Rancho Christian; Fairmont Prep def. Buena Park; Sr. Anthony def. Ventura; Mira Costa def. Flintridge Prep.

Semifinal predictions: Moreno Valley def. Fairmont Prep; Mira Costa def. St. Anthony.

Championship prediction: Moreno Valley def. Mira Costa.

Division 2A

Last year’s championship result: Brentwood 79, Leuzinger 66.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Louisville; 2. Lakewood; 3. Buena; 4. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Inland teams in the division: Aquinas, Chino, Diamond Bar, Eisenhower, Murrieta Valley, Paloma Valley, Yucaipa.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Santa Margarita at Yucaipa.

Quarterfinal predictions: Louisville def. Chino; Sherman Oaks Notre Dame def. Diamond Bar; Buena def. Aquinas; Los Alamitos def. Lakewood.

Semifinal predictions: Louisville def. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame; Buena def. Los Alamitos.

Championship prediction: Buena def. Louisville.

Division 3AA

Last year’s championship result: Flintridge Prep 68, Los Osos 52.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Oak Park; 2. Dos Pueblos; 3. Anaheim; 4. Notre Dame Academy.

Inland teams in the division: Summit, Temescal Canyon.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Glendale at Summit.

Quarterfinal predictions: Oak Park def. Silverado; Notre Dame Academy def. Ridgecrest Burroughs; Anaheim def. Crossroads; Dos Pueblos def. Oak Hills.

Semifinal predictions: Oak Park def. Notre Dame Academy; Anaheim def. Dos Pueblos.

Championship prediction: Oak Park def. Anaheim.

Division 3A

Last year’s championship result: Rancho Christian 91, Chino 29.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. JSerra; 2. St. Margaret’s; 3. Jordan; 4. Villa Park.

Inland teams in the division: Arrowhead Christian Academy, Cal Lutheran, Cajon, Garey, Heritage, San Jacinto.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Arrowhead Christian Academy at California.

Quarterfinal predictions: JSerra def. Oakwood; Dana Hills def. Villa Park; St. Monica Prep def. Jordan; St. Margaret’s def. San Jacinto.

Semifinal predictions: JSerra def. Dana Hills; St. Monica Prep def. St. Margaret’s.

Championship prediction: JSerra def. St. Monica Prep.

Division 4AA

Last year’s championship result: Rialto 46, Buena Park 44.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Rancho Cucamonga; 2. Anaheim Canyon; 3. Garden Grove Pacifica; 4. Gahr.

Other Inland teams in the division: Canyon Springs, Corona, Fontana, Loma Linda Academy, Montclair, San Bernardino, Temecula Valley.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Temecula Valley at Fontana.

Quarterfinal predictions: Rancho Cucamonga def. Montclair; Ramona Convent def. Gahr; Newbury Park def. Garden Grove Pacifica; Anaheim Canyon def. Corona.

Semifinal predictions: Rancho Cucamonga def. Ramona Convent; Anaheim Canyon def. Newbury Park.

Championship prediction: Anaheim Canyon def. Rancho Cucamonga.

Division 4A

Last year’s championship result: Notre Dame Academy 47, Oakwood 46.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Palos Verdes; 2. Whittier Christian; 3. Eastside; 4. West Ranch.

Inland teams in the division: Chaffey, Diamond Ranch, Packinghouse Christian, Patriot, Ramona, Redlands Adventist Academy, San Gorgonio, Tahquitz, United Christian Academy.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Apple Valley at United Christian Academy.

Quarterfinal predictions: Palos Verdes def. Diamond Ranch; Immaculate Heart def. West Ranch; Eastside def. Ramona; Whitter Christian def. Hesperia Christian.

Semifinal predictions: Immaculate Heart def. Palos Verdes; Whittier Christian def. Eastside.

Championship prediction: Immaculate Heart def. Whittier Christian.

Division 5AA

Last year’s championship result: St. Margaret’s 44, Gahr 33.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Savanna; 2. Grand Terrace; 3. La Mirada; 4. Adelanto.

Other Inland teams in the division: Bethel Christian, Colton, Elsinore, Grand Terrace, Indian Springs, Liberty, Mesa Grande Academy, Miller, Notre Dame, Nuview Bridge, Orange Vista, Santa Rosa Academy, Webb.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Santa Ana at Indian Springs.

Quarterfinal predictions: Savanna def. Katella; Adelanto def. Loara; La Mirada def. Indian Springs; Grand Terrace def. Colton.

Semifinal predictions: Adelanto def. Savanna; Grand Terrace def. La Mirada.

Championship prediction: Grand Terrace def. Adelanto.

Division 5A

Last year’s championship result: Oak Park 76, St. Monica Prep 41.

This year’s seeded teams: 1. Antelope Valley; 2. St. Pius X-St. Matthias; 3. Hamilton; Vasquez.

Other Inland teams in the division: Bloomington, Ganesha, Norte Vista, River Springs-Hemet, Sherman Indian, Temecula Prep.

Best first-round game involving an Inland team: Bloomington at Ganesha.

Quarterfinal predictions: Antelope Valley def. Hawthorne MSA; Sherman Indian def. Vasquez; Hamilton def. Lancaster Desert Christian; St. Pius X-St. Matthias def. Morningside.

Semifinal predictions: Antelope Valley def. Sherman Indian; St. Pius X-St. Matthias def. Hamilton.

Championship prediction: St. Pius X-St. Matthias def. Antelope Valley.