By Bill Tamburrino
The basketball tournament season is over. The only tournament that really matters will commence at the end of the regular season.
Cross-league games, which are arranged to make money and keep the money in the North County, are done. Having the girls varsity and boys varsity play opposite sites on the same night actually hurts the gate in most cases. However, when the boys freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams all traveled in the same bus to a game, Ramona had a built-in crowd and, according to boys’ varsity coach David Reichner, that was a big factor in his victory over Mt. Carmel.
Non-league games, which coaches schedule either to improve their teams or to improve their teams’ records, are over.
It is now time for league action. League play used to be the most important part of the season. Teams actually played the tournament and non-league games to get ready for league play. Not so any more. League play in the San Diego Section of the CIF is as important as the Jerry Springer Show. League standings are just as important
Now it is time for the Valley League to start its five-week schedule. In the Valley League there are six teams. At one time leagues were formed according to the size of the schools. Then, when the energy crisis was blown out of proportion, teams were aligned geographically (but Ramona still played Oceanside in every sport). Now the leagues are aligned supposedly by strength of competition which is ridiculous. Ramona’s football team was in Division I. Our girls basketball team is in Division II. The boys basketball team is in Division III, boys soccer is Division I, and wrestling is Division III.
Enrollment-wise Ramona is a Division III school. Wrestling is the only winter sport that goes by enrollment which is ironic. A 106-pounder is a 106- pounder!
Reichner’s team is in a good position to return to the playoffs after a three- year absence from post season play. The team is the 126-ranked Division III team in the state; it is 51st in San Diego Section overall and 12th in San Diego’s Division III. Sixteen teams go to the playoffs.
Valley Center is the smallest school in the Valley League but its boys basketball team is Division II with a 6-9 record and ranked 16 in D2.
There are three Division III teams in the Valley League. Del Norte is 10-5 and ranked fifth in D3. Ramona is 8-7 and ranked 12th, Oceanside is 5-11 and ranked 18th.
Mission Vista is 5-11 and ranked 11th in Division IV. Orange Glen is 13-3 and ranked third in Division IV.
It is ludicrous that in one league there are three divisions but it is better than the old Avocado League that had Division I, II, III, and IV teams in it.
Comparing apples to oranges, the Bulldogs figure to be third in the Valley League on paper. The games are not played on paper. Ramona has a shot at the league title.
Coach Dan Marshall’s Lady Bulldogs are ranked 77th in the state for Division II schools. They are the 24th-ranked team in the San Diego Section and are ranked fourth in Division II. Their playoff picture is very good. They are 12-6.
The only other Division II team in the Valley League in girls basketball is Valley Center which is 2-12 and ranked 20 in D2.
Three Valley League
girls teams are in Division III. Orange Glen is 5-8 and ranked 13th. Del Norte is 11-5 and ranked sixth. Oceanside is 5-9 and ranked 15th.
Mission Vista is in Division V. It is 3-7 and ranked 10th in D5. What is a Division V school doing in a league with the fourth-ranked team in Division II? No good answer.
Reichner posted on the boys basketball’s website that he would like to see North County Conference go back to
same-gender tripleheaders in league play. His main reason is that it would help build esprit de corps in the program — a point well taken. However, after running that thought by several administrators and Marshall, I decided I favor the current system, but would offer a change.
The main reasons for girl/boy doubleheaders are gate and supervision. Currently, the girls at RHS are a better draw than the boys. That may be because the girls play more home games before league play or have been enjoying more success in recent years. Under the current practice, the student body gets to see both varsity games on the same night. The spirit squads get to cheer at both varsity teams on the same night and the community gets to see both varsity teams play.
Supervision is also a concern. With two varsity teams at the same location, more administrators from both schools can be on hand to solve any problems that might occur. Not as many administrators or security personnel are needed at a JV doubleheader with earlier start times.
Marshall suggested going back to tripleheaders with the boys junior varsity playing before the varsity games one night, and the girls junior varsity playing on the other night. Let’s say on Wednesday the boys JV plays the first game, then the boys varsity plays the second game, and the girls varsity the third. On Friday the girls JV would be followed by the girls varsity and then the boys varsity. Alternate so that each varsity team gets to have its JV team the same amount of Fridays. The frosh teams and the JV team not playing on a Friday would play on the road.
Show up at a basketball doubleheader during Valley League play and see what you favor.