May 17, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Basketball in the Pacific Coast League gets an early start tonight with three games

University Coach Mike Dinneen leads his Trojans into the PCL opener tonight.

High school basketball fans, get ready for league games in December, even before Christmas.

Specifically, the Pacific Coast League has a full slate of games today, Tuesday, Dec. 18 and Friday, Dec. 21.

It appears to be the earliest that league play has started for the PCL.

Tonight’s games include Northwood (4-7) at University (9-5). University won its last three games at the So Cal Elite Gary Raya Classic while Northwood won its last two games.

Also tonight, league favorite Beckman (8-3) hosts Portola (7-6). Portola, coached by Brian Smith, is in its first year of varsity competition.

In the other game, Woodbridge (3-8) and coming off a winless week at the Gary Raya Classic, plays at Irvine (6-7).

The league slate is starting earlier because the CIF calendar was moved up this year to allow sports, including the spring sports to finish earlier.

“For the first time in my coaching career, we’re playing league games in December,” said Woodbridge Coach John Halagan.

“It’s the early (CIF) calendar and not wanting to be play three-game league games once league started,” Halagan said of the reasoning for the early start. “So athletic directors and principals decided it would be best to stretch out the league schedule and start in December rather than having three-game league weeks after January.”

All the boys games start at 7 p.m. The girls games matching the same opponents, will start tonight at 5:30.

After this week, PCL teams are in nonleague or tournament games before resuming league play Jan. 8.

The final day of school for the Irvine Unified School District before the holiday break is Friday.

UNIVERSITY WINS FINAL THREE GAMES AT RAYA CLASSIC

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.