Mater Dei, Sage Hill selected to Open Division of CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs

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Mater Dei and Sage Hill, the top two ranked girls basketball teams in Orange County, were selected Friday for the prestigious Open Division of the upcoming CIF-SS playoffs.

The Southern Section announced only the participants for the eight-team division, not the specific matchups. The pool-play assignments and schedules for the playoffs will be announced Sunday at noon.

2023 @CIFSS Girls Open Division teams in alphabetical order:

Bishop Montgomery
Mater Dei
Ontario Christian
Sage Hill
Sierra Canyon

— CIF Southern Section (@CIFSS) February 4, 2023

The Open is the toughest playoff division and automatically sends all eight of its teams to the CIF State SoCal Regional playoffs.

Mater Dei (26-2), ranked third this week in Division 1 and No. 1 in Orange County, was expected to be pulled to the Open Division.

The Monarchs have been part of the division every season since it debuted in 2014. They went 8-0 this winter to capture the Trinity League title for the 16th consecutive season.

Last season, Coach Kevin Kiernan’s team lost in the semifinals of the Open Division to eventual champion Etiwanda 64-53. The Monarchs claimed consecutive Open Division titles in 2020-21.


Sage Hill, ranked fourth this week in Division 1 and No. 2 in the county, received its first selection to the Open Division.

Coach Kerwin Walters’ team followed its state Division II championship season of last winter by playing a challenging schedule and going 6-0 to win the Pacific Coast League.

The Open Division playoffs begin Saturday, Feb. 11.

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