The opening game in the Pacific League is also the first meeting this season for the neighboring rivals. Carson (8-4) was a pre-season favorite but has sputtered. Banning (9-3) was supposed to be a question mark but is coming off the championship of its own tournament. The key match-up may be at point guard, where Banning has had problems. Carson is getting good play at the point from junior Issy Washington. Another junior, 6-6 Anthony January, leads in scoring. When he and 6-6 Earl Cooper are clicking, the Colts play well. Colt defensive pressure may bother Banning's ball handlers. Very little seems to bother 6-4 Eric Cooper, who was MVP of the Banning Tournament and can score inside and out. Leaper extraordinaire Joe Johnson is also playing well.
4:30 p.m. Friday at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
San Pedro vs. Narbonne
This Eastern-Marine League match caps a tough week for Narbonne, which faces title contender San Pedro after opening league play Wednesday against the other league favorite, Jordan. San Pedro center Curt (Dr. Dunk) Jones is coming off a hot series in late December, and gives the Pirates a potent one-two punch combined with super-quick guard Otis Livingston. Jure Sestich and Zlatko Josic provide solid outside shooting. Narbonne depends on a young, relatively short cast. Forward Jay Frazier has been the early leader.
4 p.m. Friday at Narbonne.
Compton vs. Chadwick
Chadwick continues to take on the big boys and this should be one of its toughest challenges. Compton, a competitive 4-A school, boasts standout 6-4 forward Darren Posey and guard Barry Heads and has overall team quickness. Chadwick, playing on the 1-A level this year, has beaten several 4-A schools including Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes and has a deep, talented team led by forwards Jon Hall, Terry Maag and James Johnson and guards Jeremy Kaufman and Steven Gill. Johnson, a 6-4 junior, was most valuable player of the Miraleste Hilltop Classic.
7:30 p.m. Friday at Chadwick.
Serra vs. St. Bernard
This early season match-up of Camino Real League favorites is a rare Saturday contest, providing a playoff atmosphere. Both teams are somewhat smaller than in the past but have talent at every position. Darryl May directs things for Serra (9-3). The first option is to get the ball to burly 6-5 Mark Sutherlin but May, Zarak Cannady and junior Keith Malone can all run and score as well. St. Bernard (6-4) has played an extremely tough schedule and has a deceptive record, having lost one-and two-point games to highly ranked teams. Errol Talley and Kirkland Howling lead the attack up front, with Reggie Howard handling the ball and talented sophomore David Whitmore off the bench.
7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Bernard.