The Serrano High School boys basketball team has made plenty of history in recent years, winning three consecutive Mojave River League championships. Beginning this week, the Diamondbacks can try to re-write the history books a little more. Following an opening bye, it plays the winner of Banning and Nogales in the second round. Nogales has already beaten Serrano this season. “Nogales gave us one of our three losses,” Browning said. “We played them in the first round of the El Rancho Tournament and they hit a ton of 3s. I think the fact that we’ve lost to them will keep us from looking ahead.” Serrano is led by the University of University of Penn-bound Harrison Gaines (20 ppg), Durrell Norman (16 ppg) and James Tonic (13 ppg). The only other county team that is seeded No. 1 is De Anza League champion Twentynine Palms (24-2), led by sophomore Montreal Harris. The Wildcats have an opening bye and will play the winner of Hillcrest Christian and Mesrobian at home on Friday night in a D4-A second-round game. Prior to the 2004-2005 season, Serrano hadn’t won a league title in 20 years. Now, Serrano (23-3) has won three in a row. Coach Mike Browning’s team enters the CIF-Southern Section Division III-A playoffs seeded No. 1. The Diamondbacks have never gotten past the second round of the playoffs. It’s no easy road for Serrano, though. The other top-four seeded county boys teams are Colony, which is seeded third in D2-AA, and Ontario Christian and Hesperia Christian, which are seeded second and third, respectively, in D4-AA. Colony is the defending section champion, but has been without star Stedman Merritt for several games for reasons which coach Jerry De Fabiis has not disclosed. Another county team that may not be at full strength for its first playoff game is San Gorgonio. The Spartans play Wednesday against Murrieta Valley in a D2-AA wild-card game. However, the bulk of San Gorgonio’s starting lineup – including star Alex Jacobs – did not suit up for the San Andreas League finale against Arroyo Valley, which the Spartans lost 70-39. San Gorgonio coach Ty Stockham issued a “no comment” when asked why so many key players were missing. Asked Sunday night about the status of the missing players, San Gorgonio athletic director Matt Maeda said he “did not think” the absent players would return. Added Maeda: “I think the (junior varsity-dominated) team you saw Friday night will be the team you see play on Wednesday.” Redlands, the Citrus Belt League champions and winners of 18 of its last 19 games, hosts the San Gorgonio-Murrieta Valley winner on Friday. If given his druthers, Terriers coach Brad Scott would like a better draw. “We’re seeded fifth, but it’s no big blessing, because those are two good teams,” Scott said. “But we have to beat everyone to go anywhere anyway, so we’re not totally angry at the draw. We’re happy to be seeded fifth and to be playing at home in the first round.” Colony (21-6) hosts the San Bernardino-Great Oak winner in D2-AA first-round play on Friday night. In D4-AA play, No. 2-seeded Ontario Christian (20-5) hosts the Sage Hill-Redlands Adventist winner on Friday night in second-round play while and No. 3-seeded Hesperia Christian (19-4) hosts the Desert Chapel-Mountain View winner on Friday night in second-round play. Drawing top seeds on the girls’ side are Miller (25-2) in D2-AA and Ayala (24-3) in D2-A. “Ever since the CIF polls have come out, we’ve been No. 1, so nothing has changed,” Miller coach Mel Wilkins said. “We’re excited about being seeded first and we hope we can adhere to it.” Miller will open at home against the winner of the St. Bonaventure-Los Alamitos wild-card game, while Ayala opens Saturday at home against Empire at-large team Katella. Cajon (26-0) is seeded third in D2-A, two slots lower than Ayala. The Cowgirls open Saturday at home against Golden No. 3 team Quartz Hill. “We’ve been ranked there (third) all year, so it’s what I expected,” Cajon coach Mark Lehman said. “I think it’s a good place for us and a fair ranking.” Other top-four seeded county teams are Colony (14-12), which is seeded third in D3-A; and Arrowhead Christian (21-5), which is seeded second in D4-AA. Arrowhead Christian has an opening-round bye and will play the Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian-Cerritos Whitney winner on Saturday in the second round. “We’ve been ranked second all season and so I’m not disappointed,” ACA coach Barbara Grainge said. “We have an opening-round bye and play at home on Saturday night, so that’s good.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!