St. Monica takes its 9-6 record (3-3 in the El Camino Real League) into St. Anthony to face the Saints (8-7, 3-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Mariners will try to avenge an earlier loss to the Saints.
St. Monica Coach Leo Klemm said his team wasn't ready to play St. Anthony in a 77-68 defeat and promised that his squad will be ready this time.
Key players Klemm will have to contend with are St. Anthony's 6-10, 250-pound center Jaime Cardriche and quick point guard Derek Martin.
"Our league is one of the best in the state, and they are one of the five best teams in our league," Klemm said. "They play a zone and a deliberate press. They're a mixture of quickness and size. We're aggressive and quick, and we go six or seven deep."
Klemm's club will be even deeper when guard Jason Joe returns. Joe has been out with a staph infection.
St. Anthony Coach Dan Marques said this game could be crucial for both teams. He expects the CIF to take four teams to the playoffs from the league and believes another victory over St. Monica would guarantee St. Anthony a playoff spot over St. Monica if they should tie for fourth place.
Marques said the key for his team is to stop forward Jason Matthews and All-American guard Earl Duncan. "We hope to contain Matthews and Duncan and hope one of their guys doesn't have the game of his life," Marques said.
St. Monica is coming off a 78-74 overtime loss to Serra and a 91-58 victory over Mary Star last week. After 15 games, Duncan was averaging 25.2 points and 8.3 rebounds and Matthews 22.3 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Culver City at Beverly Hills
The powerful Culver City Centaurs (16-2 overall, 3-0 in Ocean League play) invade Beverly Hills to take on the Normans (8-9, 2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Normans will try to stay in the race for the league title, but Coach Jack Dyck knows it won't be easy.
"Culver City has four exceptional scorers and they're very good outside shooters," Dyck said. "They're a team that can hurt you in quite a few directions. They can come at you and put a lot of pressure on you defensively, and offensively they're scary--they can score points in a lot of ways."
Dyck said Culver City plays an up-tempo game, applies full-court defensive pressure and likes to run on offense.
Dyck praised his guard Lionel McPherson and center Wayne Thompson for solid efforts all year. But he said that to win, supporting players will have to have a good game.
Seth Anderson and Lincoln Sneed, both 6-3 forwards, "played a good game against Inglewood, and we will need a solid game from them," Dyck said.
Dyck said he will fashion a middle-of-the-road game. "We will try to push the ball on the break only when we have a numerical advantage. If we don't, we will slow the attack."
The Normans are coming off a 42-40 overtime loss to Inglewood last Saturday in which Dyck said his team played solidly. An 18-foot jumper at the buzzer beat the Normans.
Beverly Hills is led by McPherson, averaging 16.6 points and 3.2 rebounds, and Thompson, 11.7 points and 11.1 rebounds.
Bell-Jeff at Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy, 8-5 overall and 4-0 in the Santa Fe League, will play host to Bellarmine-Jefferson (11-4, 4-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in what Murphy Coach Jim Tinker hopes will be an indication of the strength of his team.
Tinker said that Murphy's surprising win over Chaminade (35-30) last week was a confidence-builder that could give his team the momentum to win the league title.
"We just know we're so much better than what we're playing, and we are just waiting to play at that level," Tinker said. "We've made strides, and I believe last week we turned the corner for the first time. We played a tough game against Chaminade, and I thought at the beginning of the season they would be our toughest competition--and we beat them at Chaminade."
Tinker said Bell-Jeff is aggressive. He's counting on his team to take care of the ball on offense and to play an aggressive man-to-man defense.
"Basically we don't care what anyone else does but whether we can do the things to win," Tinker said.
Murphy senior forward Quinton Robinson, out with an injured knee, will add strength to the bench when he returns.
For the Nobles, Andre Gougis is averaging 11.4 points and 3 rebounds, Arthur Phillips 10.2 points and 12.3 rebounds and Kenyatta Kalisana 9.1 points and 13.4 rebounds.