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SOUTHERN SECTION BOYS' BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

Division Iv-a

February 13, 1996|PAUL McLEOD

Defending champion: Los Angeles Verbum Dei.

Top teams: Verbum Dei (10-0, league only), Santa Monica Crossroads (21-8), Oxnard Santa Clara (20-4), Los Angeles Baptist (19-5).

Dark horse: Calvary Chapel (21-4). The Eagles soared this season, lost to city rival Mater Dei by only 10 points and have most of their key players back from last season, when they advanced to the division quarterfinals.

Top players: Ambro Blackwell (Mojave), Michael Daniels (Gardena Serra), Kevin Falconer (Calvary Chapel), Brian Fay (Burbank Providence), Randy Gomez (Montebello Cantwell Sacred Heart), Deon Williams (Verbum Dei).

Notes: Verbum Dei defeated Serra (11-14) in last year's final, 87-81, in overtime. . . . There are many "have" and "have not" teams in this division. Five teams have losing records. Brethren Christian (7-14), led by 6-2 forward Jacob Brown (12.5 points, five rebounds) and 5-11 forward Dan Muilenburg (eight points, five rebounds) might be in over its head Friday night at second-seeded Santa Clara. Calvary Chapel drew last year's runner-up, Serra, led by 6-5 forward Michael Daniels (11.6 points, 10.5 rebounds). It's a rematch of last year's quarterfinal game, won by Serra, 101-62. And just how well the Olympic League prepared the Eagles for the playoffs, only time will tell. . . . Orange Lutheran (11-12), led by 6-4 center Jason Kemner (20 points, 15 rebounds), might have the best first-round matchup. The Lancers will host Riverside Notre Dame (15-8), which finished third in the Skyline League. If Orange Lutheran wins, it most surely will play defending champion Verbum Dei, which opens by playing host to Village Christian (13-12).

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