The Soquel High girls basketball team, fresh off an improbable comeback over Scotts Valley in the SCCAL Tournament championship on Saturday night, received the No. 1 seed in Division IV when the Central Coast Section announced its playoff matchups on Sunday morning.
The Knights (24-2) were in the discussion of possibly earning a bid into the Open Division, which includes the top eight teams in the CCS, regardless of enrollment division. Not reaching the Open, though, supplied Soquel with the No. 1 seed in D-IV, which also includes No. 3 Scotts Valley and No. 6 Monte Vista Christian.
But, interestingly, just because Soquel didn’t make the Open Division in CCS doesn’t mean it can’t qualify for the Open Division in NorCals — IF it reaches the NorCal regional playoffs.
The Knights will need to reach the Division IV final in CCS in order to qualify for NorCals. If it wins Division IV, though, it would fulfill one of the criteria in order to be eligible for the Open Divison in NorCal, which is new this year.
The criteria, according to the CIF, are as follows (a school needs to satisfy only one criteria):
– Win two consecutive section titles, or qualify for the regional playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years.
– Qualify for the regional playoffs for the second straight season after reaching either the regional or state final in the previous season.
– Be ranked in the top 10 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, MaxPreps or CalPreps for two straight years.
There are several other factors that go into this, like how the 8-team bracket does not need to be completely filled. Strength of schedule would allow CIF officials to decide and rank teams.
But winning the CCS title again this year, at the very least, would make the defending champion Knights eligible for the Open Division at state — although does anyone want to play Bishop O’Dowd?