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SOUTHERN SECTION GIRLS' BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

Division I-a

February 13, 1996|MARTIN HENDERSON

Defending champion: Mater Dei.

Top teams: Mater Dei (22-2), Ventura Buena (23-1), La Crescenta Crescenta Valley (25-1), Thousand Oaks (22-5).

Dark horse: Marina (21-4). The Vikings could face a very mortal second-seeded Buena in the semifinals. They can't look too far ahead, though, because they will face an athletic Cerritos team in the second round. The winner of that game could reach the final.

Top players: Sonya Bryant (Marina), Kirsten Cappel (Marina), Rasheeda Clark (Chino), Natasha Combs (Capistrano Valley), Jennifer Detmer (Thousand Oaks), Rhonda Gondringer (Mater Dei), Nicole Greathouse (Buena), Michelle Greco (Crescenta Valley), Tanzenika Holmes (Westminster), Jenny Jennings (Capistrano Valley), Renee Kimoto (Huntington Beach), Amirah Leonard (Crescenta Valley), Monique Mathews (University), Natalie Nakase (Marina), Allison Napier (Century), Melody Peterson (Mater Dei), Marie Philman (Edison), Phouangmaly Pravongviengkham (Huntington Beach), Aprile Powell (Century), Kristin Schult (Westminster).

Notes: Buena senior guard Eboni Conley, one of the section's best players, is out for the season. Ventura won state titles in 1983 and '84, and four section titles, including '93 and '94. . . . Century opens against an at-large team, Downey, which beat the Centurions, 60-39, in the first round last year. Downey is led by 6-foot-7 center Rhonda Smith (20 points, 15 rebounds). . . . Huntington Beach, with the worst record in the Sunset League (11-14), was the sixth team from the league to make the playoffs. . . . Thousand Oaks has lost to two Orange County teams, University, 61-51, and Capistrano Valley, 45-38, in consecutive games early in the season. . . . One of Chino's four losses is to Ocean View, 54-44. . . . Crescenta Valley beat Westminster in a Las Vegas tournament game, 72-68. . . . Edison has won seven in a row. . . . Westminster is the only team in the section to beat Woodbridge, 61-59. The only other team to beat Woodbridge is ranked No. 1 in the nation. . . . If University can get past Capistrano Valley in the first round, the Trojans will host Buena in the second. "That's a lot better than going up to Buena and getting beat," Coach Bob Bernal said. "That's about as good as we could have gotten."

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