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Orange County Prep Review : Woodbridge Finds Road a Cozy Place

March 09, 1987|Tom Hamilton

By now, long bus trips are nothing new for the Woodbridge High School boys' basketball team.

The Warriors, champions of the Southern Section's 2-A division, traveled four hours to play Righetti in a quarterfinal playoff game at Hancock College in Santa Maria. Four days later, they made a two-hour trip to Apple Valley to meet Victor Valley in the semifinals.

So it should come as no surprise that Woodbridge will be packing its bags again this week for the Southern California Division II regionals.

Woodbridge (25-5) will meet Fresno Washington (25-3) at 7:30 Wednesday night in the opening round at either McLane High or Bullard High in Fresno. That means a five-hour bus trip for Woodbridge.

"I drove over to the Southern Section office with our athletic director (Dave Cowen) on Sunday, and we were trying to figure out who we would play," said Bill Shannon, Woodbridge coach. "I figured Saugus was closer to Fresno than us, and we were closer to San Diego than Saugus, so that's how we would be paired.

"It all made sense, but then my A.D. says, 'I'll bet you that we play the Fresno team and Saugus plays the San Diego team.' "

Cowen was right. Saugus (22-9) will be host to Oceanside (21-7) at 7:30 Wednesday night at Masters College in Saugus. The winners will meet in the finals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

"I don't know anything about Washington, but we're going to make this a positive experience for the kids," Shannon said. "We could complain about having to travel again, but we're going to have a fun trip to Fresno."

Shannon said Woodbridge lost money traveling to Santa Maria and Apple Valley for playoff games.

"The Southern Section pays 45 cents per mile and it was $855 for the team bus to go to Santa Maria," he said. "We'll get $2 a mile to go to Fresno, and the State CIF is picking up the hotel tab for 15 players and two coaches."

Woodbridge got into the traveling mode during the preseason when the Warriors competed in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic in December.

"When I entered us into the tournament, I figured it would be beneficial to play some great teams in a national tournament," Shannon said. "I didn't realize at the time the tournament would get the kids used to traveling."

As expected, Mater Dei (28-1) was seeded second and received a first-round bye in the Division I boys' regional. The Monarchs will play the winner of Tuesday's Fresno Edison-Granada Hills game Thursday night in Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym.

Edison (24-2) plays host to Granada Hills (19-4) at Fresno City College. Edison has won 10 straight games and captured its 14th Yosemite Division title in the Central Section on Saturday night. Mater Dei defeated Fresno, 81-74, in the regional semifinals last season.

Fairfax (25-0) is the No. 1 seed and received a first-round bye. The Lions, led by Sean Higgins, Chris Mills and J.D. Green, are ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today.

Fairfax plays host to the winner of Tuesday night's San Diego Morse-Santa Monica game Thursday at Santa Monica College.

In the Division I girls' regional, Huntington Beach Edison (30-1) is seeded second and received a bye in the first round. The Chargers play host to the winner of Tuesday night's Reseda-Mission Viejo game Thursday at Huntington Beach High. Mission Viejo (28-2) plays host to Reseda (15-2) at El Toro High.

Three-time defending state champion Point Loma is the No. 1 seed. The Pointers (31-0) have won 55 straight games and tuned up for the regionals with a 52-39 victory over Vista for the San Diego Section 3-A title.

All-American forward Terri Mann scored 28 points, had 18 rebounds and blocked 4 shots in the title game.

The Division I boys' title game is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Sports Arena. The Division I girls' championship game is at 6:15 p.m. The winners advance to the state championship game March 21 in the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Arena.

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