Teams that have played for the championship three times in the last four seasons will hook up again tonight at the Sports Arena for the City Section 4-A girls' basketball title.
Top-ranked Locke, the two-time defending champion, and second-seeded Kennedy will play at 5:45 to determine which team will go to next week's Southern California regional tournament.
In 1980, Locke won the championship by defeating Kennedy, 63-47. Kennedy got revenge the next season with a 51-49 victory in the title game.
Locke was the 4-A champion again in 1982-83 by virtue of its 46-44 win over Kennedy.
The teams would have met again last season if not for Kennedy's one-point loss in overtime to Dorsey in the semifinals. The Saints then stopped Dorsey for their second straight title.
Despite the loss of Doreatha Conwell, the two-time City Player of the Year, Locke Coach Art Webb isn't surprised that his team has a chance for a third straight title.
"We felt we had the versatility to do it," Webb said. "Last year we went to Doreatha a lot, but this team is more well rounded."
Nancy Clayton, a 6-foot senior center who didn't play last year after transferring from Washington, has filled in admirably for Conwell. Clayton, who Webb calls a Division I prospect, is averaging 21 points and 17.1 rebounds a game.
Senior forward Denise Beck is a two-time All-City player. "She is our Miss Consistency," Webb said of Beck, who is averaging 18.1 points and 15.4 rebounds a game.
Locke has won 14 straight games and is 21-2 for the season. The Saints beat Kennedy in a regular-season game, 69-57. Kennedy, 21-4 overall, has won its last 13 games.
Kennedy Coach Craig Raub starts three juniors, a sophomore and a senior. The sophomore is Diane DeCree, a 6-0 forward who is averaging 20 points and 15.5 rebounds a game.
Stacy Parson, a 5-7 junior guard, leads the team with a 22.1-point average. Her 18-foot jump shot with four seconds left defeated Dorsey in the quarterfinals, 61-59.
Kennedy opened the playoffs by beating Gardena, 89-32. The Golden Cougars made it to the championship game by defeating Washington in the semifinals, 71-52.
Locke had a bye in the opening round, then crushed Banning, 64-43. The Saints reached the title game by beating Fremont last Friday, 55-35.