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D4 Playoff Primer

The first round of the CIF Division 4 playoffs finished with the status quo largely in tact, with one exception: No. 12 Crawford, which went winless in the Central League, dominated No. 5 seed El Capitan to advance to the quarterfinal round.

Beyond that, the seven remaining top seeds all moved on to Saturday's "Elite 8."

Which two of the final eight teams will be left standing for Thursday night's championship game? Let's explore the field in a quick primer.

The Field by the Numbers:

3: Central League Teams - Canyon Hills, Clairemont and Crawford

2: Valley League teams - Fallbrook and Valley Center

2: Chula Vista teams - High Tech High Chula Vista and Southwest SD

1: East County Team - Mount Miguel

Who is the favorite? Southwest SD, Mount Miguel

The Raiders, led by San Diego's longest tenured coach, Steve Selland, have had a remarkable season, going 26-2, losing its only games by a combined 7 points. They're not the biggest team in the field, but they have very good guard play and just enough girth and length on the interior to hold the line. Senior guard Xavier Gonzalez is a fun guard to watch, as he scores it from three levels and creates for teammates while playing with great pace.

Mount Miguel has perhaps the most complete team remaining in the field, as they have great guard play (Senior Mekhi Sidney is crafty and exciting to watch) and legitimate size in the middle with freshman forward Jasen Hughes and 6-4 junior Hamad Elhamad. They speed you up with their back court pressure and often convert the turnovers into transition buckets.

Who is the dark horse? Fallbrook

Any time your back court is as dynamic as the Warriors, you have a chance at the lower levels. 6-4 senior SG Sammy Carmona is a world class athlete who can defend and score off the bounce. Point guard Malaki Brotherton has great size at 6-2 and is an underrated passer. And 5-11 sophomore Elliott Watkins keeps improving and can stroke it from deep. The X-factor is 6-4 senior Christian Myers, who is a true glass eater and plays with a nonstop motor. They face a solid High Tech High Chula Vista team in the second round and match up favorably against the Bruins.

Players to watch:

Southwest SD

Xavier Gonzalez, 5-10.5 Sr. G - Crafty and long three-level scorer dictates pace of the game.

Aaron Rosillo - 6-2 Sr. W - Big-bodied swingman has a killer midrange game.

Noah Soltero - 6-4 So. F - Long, wiry forward is emerging as a sleeper prospect

Mount Miguel

Mekhi Sidney - 5-9 Sr. G - Hyper quick, creative point guard has a penchant for the highlight reel.

Thaddeus Boudreaux - 6-1 Sr. G - Scoring guard can fill it up from midrange and deep.

Jasen Hughes, 6-4 Fr. F - Hard working interior player rebounds and scores it from multiple levels.

High Tech High CV

Nicolas Farwell - 5-11 Sr. G - Lefty scorer has solid footwork and fills it up from midrange out.

Canyon Hills

TJ Cureton - 5-9 Sr. G - Underrated and quick lead guard can score and facilitate.

Marcus McMurray -6-4 Jr. W - Long, rangy swingman prospect looks the park, game is catching up.


Tico Kirkpatrick - 5-11 Jr. G - Slippery lefty scoring guard gets buckets from each level.

Dominick Espalin - 5-10 So. G - 11th hour transfer became a potent scoring guard for the Colts.


Sammy Carmona - 6-4 Sr. W - Best athlete in D4, improved shooter and scorer.

Malaki Brotherton - 6-2 Sr. G - Grandson of Kellen Winslow Sr. has solid ball skills and frame.

Elliott Watkins - 5-11 So. G - Compact shooter and scorer is a solid game manager.


Zac Hayes - 5-10 Sr. G - Sharpshooter has come on strong for the Chieftains.

Grant Rine - 6-0 Sr. G - Crafty and heady scorer earned all-league selection.

Braden Gonzalez - 5-11 Sr. G - Gutsy guard played entire season with injured shoulder.

Valley Center

Carson Yoder

Kevin Garcia

Lincoln Zetmeir


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