first_imgThe 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. center_img 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!last_img read more