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Mater Dei Happy to Host Semifinal


Top-seeded Mater Dei (28-2) is seeking to advance to its sixth consecutive Southern Section championship game in boys' basketball when it plays Antelope Valley (23-6) at 7:30 tonight in a Division I-A semifinal at Ocean View High. The Monarchs have an 18-game winning streak.

"We're playing real well right now," Coach Gary McKnight said. Antelope Valley "beat a very good Rowland team that everyone thought was the favorite to get to the semifinals," he said. "I'm just happy we're not going to Antelope Valley."

Le'Tre Kelly of Antelope Valley scored 47 points and had 29 rebounds in two playoff games last week.

The Monarchs want to dictate the tempo of the contest, McKnight said.

"This is not a game where you can have a bad night and come out and win," he said.

At Villa Park, Coach Kevin Reynolds was looking to win another coin flip. Reynolds' luck ran out, however. The Spartans (23-4) will face Compton (24-5) at Compton Dominguez High in a Division II-AA semifinal at 7:30 tonight. Reynolds figures the setting for the game is worth a couple extra points for Compton, which won its first Moore League title since 1978. The Tartar Lions are led by league MVP Jeff Tretagnier, a 6-4 guard/forward who averages 19 points and seven rebounds.

"At this point, there are no easy games," Reynolds said. "This time we are going in as the underdog. We're the No. 3 seed; Compton is the No. 2 seed."

For Villa Park to win, Reynolds said, the Spartans will have to dictate the tempo, much the same way they did against Inglewood. "We need to slow the game down and rebound," he said.

The biggest obstacle Woodbridge could face tonight in the other Division II-AA semifinal is a long trip to play San Bernardino Pacific at tiny, aging San Gorgonio High in San Bernardino at 7:30 p.m. It is a gym that other Orange County teams have found unfriendly in the past.

On paper, Pacific does not match up well with the Warriors. The Pirates are led by 6-1 senior guard Bobby Burries, who averages 25.3 points. Chaun Ballard, the 6-4 sophomore forward, averages 16.8 points. Demond Huff, the 6-9 junior center, has been inconsistent but scored 14 points in a 63-60 victory over archrival Cajon.

Woodbridge is led by 6-10 center Chris Burgess, 6-6 forward Brandon Beeson and 6-foot guard Peter Martinelli. The Warriors have won 17 in a row.

Fourth-seeded Brea Olinda will have its hands full with Lakewood Artesia at 7:30 tonight at Valencia High in a Division II-A semifinal. The top-seeded Pioneers (28-2) haven't experienced much of a drop-off in performance by using an eight-man rotation this season. Their losses were to Long Beach Poly, the top-seeded team in Division I-AA, and Harvard-Westlake, the top-seeded team in Division III-A.

Brea Olinda (26-3) has won a school-record 20 in a row. They are led by the county's fourth-leading scorer, Sean Wink (20.4 points), and the county's second-leading rebounder, Jason Skrifvars (14.5). Guard Chris McMillian averages 17.1 points.

Third-seeded Sonora (26-3) hasn't really been tested during the playoffs, winning by an average of 23.7 points. No Raider playoff opponent has scored more than 49 points. Their semifinal opponent at 7:30 tonight at Compton College, second-seeded Dominguez, has scored 99 or more points in each of its three playoff victories. The Dons' smallest margin of victory has been 44 points. Dominguez has not lost a playoff game at Compton College, where it sometimes practices, in four years.

Sonora Coach Mike Murphy, a seven-year veteran, seems undeterred. "I feel this is the best team I've had so far," he said. "In the past, we have had three really good players and two young kids coming up. This year we have five exceptional players and a good bench that can maintain the level of play."

The Raiders are led by forward Ben Jones, who is averaging 16.1 points.

Here's a look at playoff semifinals in the other sports

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