Washington Union of Fresno didn't sparkle offensively, but its stifling defense was more than enough to handle Oceanside High Saturday night in the Southern California boys' Division II Regional final at the Sports Arena.
"Quickness-wise and defensively, they are the best team we've played all year," said Oceanside Coach Bill Christopher after absorbing a 50-32 defeat. "We missed a lot of easy shots, too. Their defense had something to do with it. But we had one of those nights. There are only two halves, and I don't remember either one of them being very good."
Indeed, Oceanside (20-6) shot 36% from the field, making 16 of 44 shots. Fresno's defense forced the Pirates to shoot from the outside and only forward Junior Seau reached double figures, scoring 12 points.
Washington Union (23-0) was led by guard Tony Harris, with 15 points, and center Jervis Cole, who added 14. Washington Union advances to the State final at Oakland next Saturday.
In the girls' Division II game, Oceanside El Camino survived turnovers and some abysmal free-throw shooting to hold off Washington Union of Fresno, advancing to Oakland with a 64-58 victory.
El Camino, averaging nearly 87.6 points a game, increased its record to 27-1, despite missing 12 of 18 from the foul line.
Washington Union (20-5) trailed, 53-35, after three quarters, but made the game respectable in the last quarter, outscoring El Camino, 23-11.
El Camino's highly recruited guard Sharon Turner lived up to her reputation, scoring 29 points and dishing out 10 assists. Center Vicki Evans added 16 points, connecting on 7 of 9 shots from the field.
For Washington Union, forward Yvette Roberts was sensational, accounting for 34 points and 15 rebounds.
Forward David Bonilla scored 19 points, passed out 10 assists and grabbed six rebounds, and teammate Ray Vargas, a 6-foot center, added 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Avenal's advance in boys' Division III with a 74-61 victory over San Diego Lutheran (21-5). Center David Bean was the prime mover in Lutheran's offense, scoring 24 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Avenal is 22-2.
In the girls' Division III game, guard Liz Toma scored 18 points, but it wasn't enough as La Jolla Country Day was blitzed by Woodlake, 62-40. Woodlake (26-1) had four players in double figures, led by forward Irene Robles with 14.