MODESTO — Downey Highs days of bouncing between Sac-Joaquin Section playoff divisions came to an end Saturday, and it looks like the journey reached a favorable conclusion: The Knights (9-1) are the No. 4 seed in Division and a solid favorite over Bethel of Vallejo (6-4).
Also in D1, Enochs (6-4) travels to No. 3 Oak Ridge (9-1) and sixth-seeded Pitman (8-2) entertains No. 11 Tokay (7-3).
Section officials seeded 76 teams for their six playoff divisions Saturday afternoon at their office in Lodi. The other seeding news of note:
Buhach Colony (8-2), which celebrated its third consecutive perfect Central California Conference campaign Friday night, is the No. 5 seed in D2 and appears headed toward a quarterfinal with fourth-seeded Indekum (9-1). BC hosts McNair of Stockton (7-3) Friday.
Six-time defending Valley Oak League champ Oakdale (9-1), a section finalist the last two years, is the top seed in D3. VOL rival Sierra (9-1) is third, with Vista del Lago (9-1) sandwiched between them. Oakdale hosts Pacheco the 5-5 Panthers are in their first-ever playoff game while Sierra entertains Rosemont of Sacramento (6-4).
Division 4 is considered the deepest of all six brackets: Three teams are 10-0, three are 9-1 and six are 8-2. The two largest schools in the division, top-seeded Placer (10-0) and No. 10 Center (8-2) have been bubble teams between D3 and D4 much of the season.
Also in the division, unbeatens Argonaut and Ripon (both 10-0) are seeded Nos. 2 and 3. No. 5 Los Banos (9-1) hosts No. 12 Summerville (8-2) in an opener, while No. 6 Central Catholic (8-2) hosts Bear River (8-2) and a Raider win would send it to Ripon for a quarterfinal. No. 8 Escalon (8-2), a state champ two years, hosts No. 9 Calaveras (8-2) and the winner will likely trip to Placer for a quarterfinal.
Modesto Christian (6-4) received a plum with the No. 13 seed: The Crusaders (6-4) travel to No. 4 Capital Christian, which is 9-1, llacks a win of significance and has a 19-point loss to No. 14 seed Amador. A victory would send MC to Los Banos.
The playoffs kick off Friday at 7 p.m.
For the four large-school divisions, the section selects playoff teams from two avenues: The champion and runner-up from each of the 20 leagues earn automatic berths, then the next 24 teams with the most total wins get at-large berths. When teams are tied with the same number of wins, their opponents total number of wins is used to break ties.
The same format is used for divisions 5 and 6, for the sections smallest schools.
All six defending champs return: Granite Bay (D1), Vacaville (D2), Del Oro (D3) though the Golden Eagles are D2 this fall Hilmar (D4), Le Grand (D5) and Bradshaw Christian.
On mobile? Click here for the brackets.