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February 16, 1995|MITCH POLIN

SEEDS OF DISRESPECT?

His team is ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, No. 11 in a national poll and is the defending Southern Section Division II-A champion.

So it is not difficult to judge the reaction of Inglewood High Coach Patrick Roy when he learned his boys' basketball team was seeded only third in the II-A playoffs. The Sentinels (23-3) will play host to Villa Park in their opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"It was somewhat of a shock when I first heard it," Roy said. "When you have two nationally ranked teams like Inglewood and Dominguez and neither one is seeded No. 1, it's somewhat of a surprise."

Tustin, ranked No. 3 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, is the top-seeded team and Dominguez, ranked No. 4 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, was seeded second. So that means Inglewood and Dominguez, two of the top four teams in the state, could conceivably have to meet in the division semifinals.

Roy is trying to take the situation in stride. "Cal-Hi has us No. 2, but the CIF has it's own way of doing things and we have to just go out and play," he said.

On the bright side, the Sentinels have a 14-game winning streak and Roy said 6-foot-7 standout Paul Pierce has become more focused for the playoffs since he recently announced his decision to attend the University of Kansas in the fall.

"I think it's definitely been a big weight off his shoulder," Roy said. "Instead of worrying about where he's going, he can concentrate on basketball and his education."

Despite the disappointment of not being seeded higher, Roy said, the Sentinels are eager to start the playoffs.

"I don't know if we're fully ready at this particular time, but we'll just try to improve with each game and see what happens," he said.

THREE-FOR-ALL

Inglewood was not the only South Bay boys' team that was seeded third in the playoffs.

Redondo was seeded third in III-AA, along with Serra in IV-A and Rolling Hills Prep in V-A. Their playoff openers will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Redondo (19-6), which finished second in the Ocean League, received a first-round bye and will play host to either Paso Robles or Alemany in a second-round game.

Serra (14-11), which finished tied with St. John Bosco for the Del Rey League title, will take on either Bell-Jeff or Mojave in a first-round matchup in Gardena.

Rolling Hills Prep (19-1), which won the Express League, received a first-round bye and will play either Imperial or Praise Temple in the second round.

Two-time defending champion Banning is the top-seeded team in the City Section 3-A Division playoffs that start at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Pilots (16-8), led by guard Brian Jones, will play host to either Bravo or Westside Alternative in their opener.

Other first-round games of note: Carson (15-9) visits Chatsworth (19-4) in 4-A and Gardena (11-10) visits Garfield (11-13) in 3-A.

ADD PLAYOFFS

Three girls' teams from the South Bay have been seeded in the Southern Section basketball playoffs and another is listed among the top teams in the City Section playoffs.

At the top of the list is Bishop Montgomery (20-4), which won the Del Rey League title and is seeded No. 2 in Division III-AA. Morningside (17-6), the second-place finisher in the Ocean League, is seeded third in III-A and Camino Real League champion St. Mary's (20-4) is seeded fourth in IV-AA. All three teams will play host to playoff openers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Bishop Montgomery will play Gladstone (9-12), which finished third in the Montview League, in a first-round game; Morningside will take on either Moorpark or Rosary in a second-round matchup, and St. Mary's will play either Big Bear or Bishop in a first-round game.

Pacific League champion Narbonne (15-7) has been seeded second in City 3-A. The Gauchos will play host to Bell (6-19) in their playoff opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

In other first-round games Friday night, Banning is at Marshall in 4-A and Gardena travels to Hamilton in 3-A.

A FAST START

The official start of the 1995 prep track season isn't until Feb. 27, but the Morningside High boys' and girls' teams were impressive last week at the Sunkist Invitational indoor meet at the Sports Arena.

The boys, who won their third consecutive Division III title last year, won their heats and posted the fastest time in the 1,280-yard and mile relays. The Monarchs were led individually by Michael Turner, who finished third in the triple jump with a leap of 46-3 1/4, and sprinter William Turner, who was third in his heat of the 50-meter dash in six seconds.

Morningside's girls, who have won five consecutive Division III titles, were led by the 640-yard relay team that won their heat in the event's fastest time. The Monarchs also had the third-fastest overall time in the mile relay and Sonny Butler finished third in her heat in the 50-meter dash.

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