Downey High’s 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 section’s 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.
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