A tough start to the North Coast Section basketball playoffs gets no easier for Empire large-school teams in today's quarterfinals.
Five teams won opening-round games. But only the Montgomery boys and girls host contests Friday night.
The Vikings play a doubleheader in their gym. The pairing worked in the first round, and both squads want to take advantage before likely facing road games — should they win Friday.
"It's great. You don't want to go on the road this time of year unless you have to," said Montgomery boys coach Tom Fitchie.
Going on the road in Friday's quarterfinals are the Analy boys, and Santa Rosa and Casa Grande girls.
A measure of the difficulty teams face in winning away section playoff games can be found in Empire large-school results from the opening round. Eight teams were one-and-done, with six playing away from home.