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SOUTHERN SECTION BOYS' BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

Division Ii-a

February 13, 1996|PAUL McLEOD

Defending champion: Compton Dominguez.

Top teams: Dominguez (25-2), Tustin (23-3), Inglewood (23-3), Lakewood Artesia (21-5).

Dark horse: Brea Olinda. The Wildcats don't get much respect. While other so-called "big name" county teams were in league races that went down to the final week of the season, Brea Olinda quietly wrapped up the Orange League title by a whopping three games and hasn't lost since December. The Wildcats host Los Altos (18-8), an at-large pick from the Miramonte League.

Top players: Kenny Brunner (Dominguez), James Jones (Dominguez), David Lalazarian (Tustin), Towan Oliver (Buena Park), Rickie Sander (Dominguez), Jason Thomas (Dominguez), Sean Wink (Brea Olinda).

Notes: No doubt about it, a Tustin-Dominguez rematch is what everyone is looking for, with Dominguez, one of the state's top-ranked teams, again getting the nod over the Tillers. The Dons beat Tustin in the final last season, 77-59. The big question for Tustin is how competing in the weak Golden West League, in which only the Tillers had a winning record, has prepared it for the next couple of weeks. The way the division is bracketed, though, the Tillers don't figure to have much of a problem until the semifinals, where they will likely play third-seeded Inglewood (23-3), the Bay League champion. Two of Inglewood's losses were to Dominguez. Lalazarian, who has been shooting more from the perimeter this season, averages nearly 25 points, second best in the county. . . . Ocean View (12-15) squeaked into the playoffs on the strength of its 62-57 league playoff victory over Servite on Saturday, a game that decided the Golden West's third-place representative. The Seahawks' opponent Friday night is El Monte Mountain View (16-8), which won the Mission Valley League. . . . Artesia (21-5), despite having two key players transfer midway through the season, won the Suburban League and will play host to El Dorado (13-13), which finished fourth in the Empire League. . . . Laguna Hills (17-8), led by center Matt Houser and forward Mike Scaglione, drew perhaps the most difficult game of the opening round at Bellflower (21-4). The Buccaneers are tough at home. . . . Los Amigos (15-11), finished strong in the Garden Grove League, wound up second and earned the right to play Buena Park (13-13), an at-large team from the Freeway League. The Coyotes have lost six of their last eight games.

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