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LBCC in Hunt for 5th State Basketball Title

March 12, 1992|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Second-ranked Long Beach City College, which has a 15-game winning streak, will try to win an unprecedented fifth state basketball title when play begins this afternoon at the San Jose State Events Center.

Other area teams that have qualified for the final eight include Cerritos and Compton colleges.

In quarterfinal action today, fourth-ranked Cerritos (30-4) plays fifth-ranked Columbia (29-7) at 2 p.m.; third-ranked Ventura (32-4) plays 11th-ranked Lassen of Susanville (26-8) at 4 p.m.; Long Beach (30-5) meets San Jose (21-10) at 6 p.m., and Compton (28-5) meets top-ranked West Valley of Saratoga (29-2) at 8 p.m. San Jose and Compton share the No. 8 ranking in the state.

The semifinals are Friday night at 6 and 8, and the championship game will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Long Beach City College, which has finished second five times, last won a state title in 1976 when Viking assistant Bill Fraser was coach. Current Coach Gary Anderson, a longtime assistant under Fraser during the 1970s and '80s, also played on the Vikings' 1970 state runner-up team that lost to Compton and on the Vikings' 1971 team that defeated Cerritos for the state title. The Vikings are led by 6-foot-9 freshman center James Bacon (9.5 rebounds a game) and sophomore guard Damaine Powell (6.6 assists).

Cerritos, which finished second to Long Beach in the South Coast Conference, defeated two-time defending champion Rancho Santiago of Santa Ana, 87-76, in regional playoff action on Saturday. Rancho Santiago defeated Long Beach in last year's championship game.

Cerritos has won three state titles and advanced to the final five times. It last won a state title in 1989. Falcon Coach Jack Bogdanovich has a 10-year record of 273-62. Cerritos is led by 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Matt Mitchell, a 63% shooter from the field; 6-foot sophomore guard Javier Zavala, who averages 5.9 assists a game, and 6-1 sophomore all-conference guard Jeff Polloreno.

Compton has won two state titles, but none since 1973. It has finished second twice, most recently in 1982. Southern California Athletic Conference most valuable player Curt Smith, a 5-10 freshman guard, averages 9.5 assists. Sophomore Jason Carmichael, a 6-4 forward, averages 18 points, and sophomore center Joe Bertrand averages 8.8 rebounds.

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