Enochs High girls basketball coach Curtis Reynolds doesn’t mind that the Sac-Joaquin Section saw fit to hand his team a No. 7 seed in Division 1 playoff bracket when it announced pairings for the boys and girls postseason tournaments on Wednesday afternoon.
If his Eagles are seeded in the same position next season, Reynolds may want to have a word with members of the seeding committee.
“I fully expect us to be in a similar position next year,” said Reynolds, whose team went through the Modesto Metro Conference undefeated and posted a 25-2 record. “If you call me next year and tell me I’m a 7 seed, I’ll be frustrated.
“But we’re building a program and we haven’t done anything yet.”
Maybe not, but the Eagles will get their chance to make some noise when they open postseason play on Tuesday at Enochs High against Davis-Yolo.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Enochs was one of three MMC teams to reach the playoffs – Gregori (18-9) and Davis (14-6) were sent into the Division 2 bracket based on their enrollments.
Enochs lost only two games this season – to Division 3 contenders Patterson and Modesto Christian – but the Division 1 bracket is so loaded, that No. 7 was as good as the Eagles could do.
The D1 minefield features No. 1 St. Mary’s (Stockton) and No. 2 Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills), who have been ranked nationally, while No. 3 Napa has lost just one game this year – to D3 No. 1 seed Vanden. Fourth-seeded Nevada Union (Grass Valley) split its Delta River League meetings with mighty Oak Ridge, while No. 5 McClatchy’s three losses came to highly seeded playoff teams.
Enochs was actually pegged as a six seed, but the committee shuffled the Eagles to No. 7 in order to avoid a DRL rematch between Pleasant Grove and Oak Ridge.
“Division 1 girls and Division 2 boys were the toughest brackets to put together,” said Will DeBoard, Director of Communications for the section. “In both of those brackets, you’re going to have some great teams going out in the second round and not going to the NorCals.”
In Division 3, Modesto Christian garnered the No. 2 seed – Vanden (Fairfield) was give the top spot – and that’s just fine with head coach Robb Spencer.
“As long as you’re in the top four, it doesn’t really matter,” said Spencer, who has guided the Crusaders to five section crowns. “The top four are guaranteed two home games and a third-round game at a neutral site.”
The Crusaders (18-8) will take on No. 15 American Canyon.
Looming as a potential opponent for MC in the section semis is No. 3 Patterson (22-4), first place in the Western Athletic Conference ahead of Central Catholic, which was given the No. 5 seed in D5 and will travel to take on Woodland Christian. Patterson hosts Benicia in its opener.
At No. 8 in the Division 3 bracket is East Union (18-8), the third-place finisher in the Valley Oak League.
The Lancers opened VOL play with three straight losses, were 1-4 after five games and appeared likely to miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season. But EU won nine of its final 10 league games – including one by forfeit – and not only sneaked into the playoffs but earned a first-round home game on Tuesday.
“We’re excited about that,” said Lancers coach Jim Agostini. “We did it the hard way; that wasn’t part of the plan, but the girls have been playing well.”
This playoff run could be a springboard to bigger things for East Union, which starts two freshmen (Loretta Kakala, Ruby Dauby), a sophomore (Olivia Vezaldenos) and a junior (Anna Wood).
“We didn’t want to talk about it early because we didn’t want to label this team a young team,” said Agostini. “That’s not fair to the upperclassmen. We wanted to win from the beginning. But there is a process and there are no steps you can skip. You have to get experience, and this team did.”
Other teams earning first-round home dates were Riverbank, Bret Harte and Argonaut in D4, Ripon Christian in D5 and Turlock Christian in D6.