Four days ago, the Simi Valley High School boys' basketball team was facing an apparently unpleasant situation--a Southern Section 4-A semifinal game against Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo, the No. 1-seeded team and winner of three previous playoff games by an average of 26 points. Little hope, most said.
That was hardly the case. Simi Valley routed Capistrano Valley Tuesday, 97-69.
Pasadena Muir beat Compton Dominguez in the other semifinal, 58-56, and will play Simi Valley for the 4-A championship tonight at 7 in the Sports Arena.
Both teams will carry 27-2 records into a game that seemed improbable a week ago.
Simi Valley, a sleeper through the playoffs, embarrassed highly touted Capistrano Valley. The Pioneers held Nathan Call, one of the best point guards in Southern California, to nine points.
Coach Bob Hawking has no reservations about letting his team go on about its business in the title game, despite the presence of Muir's scoring and rebounding star, 6-8 center Stacey Augmon.
"We have respect for anyone we play, and Muir is a fine team," Hawking said. "We'll go out and play our brand, and if it doesn't work, so be it."
That may be the only way to attack Augmon, who scored 32 points against Dominguez and "has been seeing two or three guys around him all year," according to Mustang Coach Mike O'Connor.
"We've seen (triple-teaming) all year," O'Connor said.
Augmon averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds this season, and it is highly unlikely that Simi Valley will be able to contain him. Muir, however, must tend to the rather tall problems provided by Don MacLean and Shawn DeLaittre.
O'Connor may need two Stacey Augmons to handle the talented sophomores. MacLean, a 6-8 center, is averaging 21 points and 14 rebounds, and DeLaittre, a forward, 15 and 9.
Muir has 6-7 sophomore Wayne Womack up front with Augmon, forwards LeRoy McCullough and Kejohnna Owens, and point guard Derek Brown.
In addition to MacLean and DeLaittre, Simi Valley relies on guards Todd Johnson and Mike Hankins, and small forward Tippy Wilcox.