Despite his team’s 31-point loss in its Santa Fe League finale, Bellarmine-Jefferson Coach Julian Andrade is quite confident that his team could have a lengthy postseason run ahead of it.
And after CIF Southern Section playoff pairings were released on Sunday, all four Burbank-area squads have a chance to do that.
Bell-Jeff will open up the Division 5-AA playoffs by hosting Academy of Careers and Exploration, while Burbank travels to face Loara in Division 1-A and both Burroughs and Providence earned at-large bids in their respective divisions.
“In our division, I’m not gonna be surprised if we get to the semifinals or finals,” Andrade said.
Bell-Jeff (17-9) is the No. 8 seed and will face an ACE team that’s 11-7 and finished third in the Cross Valley League on Wednesday. A Bell-Jeff win would put it in Friday’s second round against La Sierra Academy or Bishop Diego.
“I think we’re coming around,” Andrade said. “I feel really good about our chances. We had a good schedule to prepare us for this competition.”
Burbank took fourth in the Pacific League and, with a 15-12 record takes on a Loara team that is 20-7 and took second in the Golden West League. The first-round Division 1-A matchup on Friday will send the victor into Tuesday’s second round against Alhambra or second-seeded Santa Monica.
First-year Coach Jerry DeLaurie has Burbank back in the playoffs after the Bulldogs failed to make the postseason a year ago.
“We’re excited to be in the playoffs, and we are going to show up and we’re going to play hard. “I’m proud of the guys and the fact that we finished .500 in league and we didn’t have to apply for the playoffs but we made it as the No. 4 team from the league.
“We have played a tough schedule, and I’m hoping that will help us in the playoffs.”
Burroughs (15-11) took fifth in the Pacific League and earned an at-large berth into the Division 1-A dance and will travel to face No. 8 Cypress (20-7), the second-place team out of the Empire League. The winner will face Corona Santiago or La Sierra in the second round.
“We are really happy that we were able to make it to the playoffs,” Burroughs Coach Adam Hochberg said. “We know we are going to be taking on a good team from a good league, but we’re just happy to be given the opportunity to compete.”
Despite dropping its last two Liberty League games and four of its last five overall, Providence earned an at-large berth in Division 5-AA with a 10-16 record.
Now playing without reigning All-Area Player of the Year Marcus LoVett, Jr., the Pioneers will travel to play Desert Mountain League champion Desert Christian (17-7) in the first round on Wednesday. Should the Pioneers advance, they will face No. 2 Flintridge Prep or Avalon.
Providence Coach Ernest Baskerville said he hopes his team’s tough schedule will play off in the playoffs.
“We’re battle tested,” said Baskerville, whose team advanced to last season’s division championship with LoVett. “We’ve played a very tough schedule. I think we have something like the third toughest schedule in the division.
“We know we’re going to be facing a tough team in the first round. But we’ve gone up against our share of tough teams this year and we’ve played in front of a lot of big crowds on the road.”