SIMI VALLEY UPDATE--The top-seeded Pioneers have compiled a 79-8 record over the past three years with center Don MacLean and forward Shawn DeLaittre in the lineup. MacLean (6-feet 10-inches) averages 33 points and 12.8 rebounds per game and has a single-game high of 52 points this season. DeLaittre (6-5) averages 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds and has a single-game high of 33 points. Point guard Butch Hawking, son of Coach Bob Hawking, averages 8.6 assists per game. The Pioneers handed Mark Thornton, Capistrano Valley coach, the worst loss of his seven-year career two years ago in the playoffs, romping to a 97-69 win at Pepperdine University. MacLean and DeLaittre both scored 30 points in the win, and DeLaittre is expecting a similar performance. "They are a lot like they were two years ago," he said. "They've got a 7-foot center and they're slow. They're pretty easy to go around."
CAPISTRANO VALLEY UPDATE--The third-seeded Cougars have beaten four playoff teams by an average margin of 18.8 points per game. Sophomore forward Scott McCorkle has averaged 20 points in the playoffs and scored a career-high 35 points against Santa Barbara in the semifinals. But the Cougars' 7-foot center, Jim Waikle, has virtually disappeared in postseason play, scoring only two points in his last two games. "Jim hasn't given us anything in our last two games," Capistrano Valley coach Mark Thornton said. "He's the key to this ballgame. He has to play well against MacLean if we hope to win. He doesn't have to score, just play good defense." The Cougars had problems executing against Santa Barbara's full-court press, and Thornton said he expects Simi Valley to use the same pressing tactics.
KEY TO THE GAME--Simi Valley is essentially a two-man team, and if MacLean or DeLaittre gets into foul trouble, the Pioneers are in deep trouble. Also, some suggest that the Pioneers have played a weak schedule and the lack of quality competition could hurt them. Capistrano Valley must get more production from Waikle or it could be a long evening. Bob Purdy, Santa Barbara coach, played both teams and picked Simi Valley for an easy win because of the advantage MacLean has over Waikle. But he also said not to discount Capistrano Valley because of its fine shooting.
CONSENSUS--Granted, Capistrano Valley can shoot as well as any team in the Southern Section, but the Cougars won't be able to contain either MacLean or DeLaittre. It won't be close. Simi Valley will win the 4-A title in convincing fashion.