The Miller and Etiwanda girls basketball teams will host CIF Division I state playoff games tonight – a season that exists for an increasing number of San Bernardino County and Inland Valley basketball teams. The No. 2-seed Rebels will host No. 15 Los Angeles Dorsey tonight while No. 5 Etiwanda will take on No. 12 Perris After pouring their hearts and souls in to the CIF-Southern Section season and making that the main goal, the teams are faced with a post-postseason. How much effort and emphasis can be placed on a tournament that is normally just a bonus round? “It’s anti-climatic after this,” Ayala coach Mel Sims said after winning the section championship on Saturday night. “This is what you work for right here. The rest is icing on the cake.” The Norco girls, for example, were crushed after their loss to Miller in the sectional finals. The Cougars had their sights on a CIF-SS title, but came up five points short. Now, they’ve been given the No. 3 seed in D2 and could have a potential matchup at Ayala, which plays Sanger Thursday, on Saturday. Ten local teams advanced to the state playoff level, with No. 16 Kaiser boys – which plays at No. 1 Los Angeles Fairfax – and No. 11 Arroyo Valley – which heads to No. 6 Los Alamitos – playing tonight in D1 as well. All games tip off at 7 p.m. The state tournaments are filled with more area teams than ever, making for a bit of an unusual dilemma. The winner of that game would play at Pauley Pavilion on March 17 with a trip to the state finals in Sacramento on the line. In the past, that line of thinking just hasn’t been realistic for area teams. Diamond Ranch won a first-round state playoff game last year. There are some powerful area teams that certainly seem capable of replicating that feat tonight. But any team making a run at the state title – Miller and Ayala being the leading local candidates to do so – would be practically unprecedented. The 1986 Chino girls basketball team was the D2 state runner-up. Before that, the Banning boys finished second in 1982. Those are the only two area teams to reach the state basketball finals. But with the record success for girls basketball in the area – this year had more CIF finalists than ever – is it time for area girls teams to start setting their sights higher? Tonight’s games should start to provide the answer. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Here are the top transfer-related stories in Friday’s newspapers and online…Manchester United are set to seal a £46million deal for Benfica’s teenage midfield sensation Renato Sanches. Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira was in London on Thursday night to complete the move. Sanches, 18, is under contract at Benfica until 2021 and has a buy-out clause of nearly £60m, but it is understood the club are willing to sell for £31m up front with £15m in add-ons. (Daily Mail)Manchester City have added Arsenal forward Theo Walcott to their list of potential summer signings. Incoming manager Pep Guardiola is a keen admirer of the 27-year-old and he has asked City to monitor Walcott’s situation closely as he faces a crossroads in his career at Emirates Stadium. (London Evening Standard)Chelsea winger Willian is a £50million target for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande. Guangzhou boss and former Brazil national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has targeted Willian after signing their countryman Paulinho from Spurs last summer and another South American, Colombia’s Jackson Martinez, in February. (Daily Mirror)Southampton keeper Fraser Forster has admitted he is flattered by Chelsea’s interest in him. The Blues have the giant 28-year-old in their sights if Belgian Thibaut Courtois decides he wants to leave this summer. Forster has just two years left on his current contract at Southampton and has yet to sign a new deal. (Daily Mirror)Claudio Ranieri is monitoring Southampton’s Victor Wanyama as a possible replacement for N’Golo Kante. Leicester boss Ranieri is set to lose his PFA Player of the Year nominee this summer, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Arsenal all huge admirers. (Daily Mirror)Swansea City will move to re-sign Joe Allen from Liverpool this summer, setting up a potential reunion with Brendan Rodgers. Allen will enter the final year of his contract at Anfield at the end of June and preliminary talks are currently not even planned over a renewal. Swansea were keen to sign their former academy player on loan in January and will make him one of their top targets again when the window re-opens. (Daily Mirror)Leicester are facing a big fight to sign the NEW Jamie Vardy. The Foxes want whizkid Charlie Coppola, who plays for non-league Lewes. But Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have joined the race for the striker, 16, who can also play as a wide man. (The Sun)Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is interested in rising Atletico Madrid star Borja Baston. The 23-year-old striker is currently on loan at Eibar, for whom he has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season. (Daily Mirror)Newcastle are targeting a summer move for Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs. The north Londoners are ready to listen to offers for Gibbs this summer amid a growing likelihood that he will not be at the club next season. (Football Insider)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Leicester transfer news: Juventus eye N’Golo Kante as Paul Pogba replacementChelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United ready to move for Barcelona star Sergio BusquetsRoberto Mancini: Inter Milan signing Manchester City star Yaya Toure will be toughSlaven Bilic confident ‘Liverpool target’ Aaron Cresswell will stay at West HamLiverpool transfer news: Is this the goalkeeper to replace Simon Mignolet?Transfer news: Lazio and Sampdoria ready to offer former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner a career lifelineTransfer news: Borussia Dortmund expected to beat Liverpool and Tottenham to signing of starlet DembeleTransfer report: Blow for Tottenham and West Ham as Barcelona join chase for prolific striker Alexandre LacazetteTransfer news: Barcelona defender Marc Bartra set to spark summer transfer fight between Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham