The hard work and effort that the Santa Barbara High boys basketball team put forth this season earned a reward of sorts on Sunday, as the Dons were named the No. 1 seed in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A bracket, which was released by the CIF-SS office.
The Channel League champions (25-3) will open their playoff march at home on Friday, with a first-round game against San Gabriel (14-14), and at-large entry from the Almont League.
The city’s two other Channel League entries also landed playoff berths, starting with runner-up San Marcos (14-8), which will hit the road on Friday to face Gold Coast runner-up Windward (22-4) in a Division 1 matchup.
The third-place team from the Channel League, Dos Pueblos (12-16) will walk a familiar path in its Division 3AA opener, traveling to face former league foe Ventura (20-8), the Pacific View League champion.
The other four of the county’s seven postseason entrants in boys basketball sit in Division 5A, with Coast Valley League No. 4 entry VCA (9-11) opening up on Wednesday with a wild-card matchup against Nordhoff (7-16), the third-place team from the Citrus Coast League.
The Citrus Coast runner-up, Carpinteria, opens 5A play at home Friday against National League runner-up New Covenant (10-5), while cross-town rival Cate (11-4) opens at home that same night against the winner of Wednesday’s wild-card matchup of Orange County Christian and St. Michael’s Prep.
A third county team landed a 5A home opener, as Condor League champ Dunn (11-3) will face either Joshua Springs Christian or Ambassador.
Only four county teams made the postseason in the girls game, led by Channel champion Santa Barbara (17-10), who opens Division 1 play at home on Thursday against Harvard-Westlake (19-8), the Mission League runner-up.
Channel runner-up Santa Ynez (14-13) will hit the road on Thursday for a 4AA opener at Oak Park (19-9), the Coastal Canyon runner-up.
Lompoc (12-12), the third entry from the Channel, get the tall order of opening Division 3AA play on the road at top-seeded Brentwood (22-6), which finished third in a strong Gold Coast League.
The county’s other entry was Coast Valley runner-up VCA (12-6) which will host Harbor runner-up Price (4-8) in a 5A first-round game on Thursday.