Baseball: Is Division 1 or Division 2 tougher?
It's usually an easy choice as to which is the toughest Southern Section division for the baseball playoffs. It's Division 1, right? Except 12 Division 2 teams were ranked in The Times' final regular-season top 25 rankings compared to 11 Division 1 teams.
That means just like Division 1, Division 2 is going to be filled with competitive games from start to finish. That's what separates the Southern Section from the City Section, where the top teams really don't face elite competition until the semifinals.
Glendora figures to be the No. 1 seed when the Division 2 pairings are released Monday afternoon, with defending champion Encino Crespi at No. 2.
But there are lots of title contenders, including Redlands East Valley, La Mirada, Lake Forest El Toro, Cypress, Mission Hills Alemany and West Hills Chaminade.
If Crespi had a healthy Ryon Healy, the Celts would be the certain pick to win it all. But Healy hasn't pitched since an arm injury in the league opener and isn't likely to pitch in the playoffs. The fact the Celts won the National Classic and the Mission League title without him is impressive, but now it comes down to facing top pitchers in big games.
Division 2 is going to be one tough tournament to predict.
-- Eric Sondheimer