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No Sweat for Harvard

Division III: Wolverines coast to third consecutive title, 84-64.

March 07, 1997|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

IRVINE — Ho-hum. Harvard-Westlake High won another Southern Section boys' basketball title. Yawn.

That was the demeanor of the state's top-ranked team after the Wolverines beat Morningside, 84-64, Thursday night in the Division III-A championship game at the Bren Center in front of 931.

Shake hands, put on your new "CIF Champs 1997" T-shirt and thank the folks for coming. No dog piles at midcourt. No teary eyes. No "We did it, man" exaltations.

After winning three consecutive section titles, what else could it be but business as usual?

"This is great and all but we've been here before and our goal is to get back to [the state final]," said Wolverine guard Rico Cabrera, who scored 22 points, including 16 in the first half.

Harvard-Westlake (32-1), which won its first three playoff games by an average of 43 points, was never threatened.

Six-foot-10 twins Jason and Jarron Collins were double-teamed often and the Monarchs rarely gave either of them a clear shot under the basket.

It didn't matter.

Jarron Collins had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Jason Collins added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Three Monarchs, including two starters, had four fouls in under three quarters. With the Monarchs collapsing on the twins, the Wolverines went to Cabrera and Ryan Smiley, who had 15 points.

Morningside (22-6), which won its previous 18 games, made just 34% of its shots. The Wolverines shot 56%.

Lee Denmon had 22 points for the Monarchs, Jonathan Hubbard added 19 and Joe Myers had 12.

The Wolverines, who beat Morningside, 75-53, in last year's championship game, missed seven consecutive shots after Cabrera nailed a three-pointer on the game's opening possession.

Morningside played tough in the lane, sending the Wolverines to the line seven times in the first quarter. Harvard-Westlake made 10 of 14 free throws and led, 23-10, after one quarter.

Morningside's Denmon hit four baskets, including consecutive three-pointers, to pull the Monarchs to within 35-27 with 3:25 to play in the half.

Harvard-Westlake responded with a 13-4 run, including six points from Cabrera, to close out the half with a 48-31 lead.

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Southern Section Championship Games

TODAY

* Girls Div. IV-A, Div. II-A and Div. I-A

at the Pyramid, Long Beach State

4:30 p.m.: Cerritos Valley Christian (26-2) vs. Bell-Jeff (28-1)

6:15 p.m.: Moorpark (25-2) vs. Brea Olinda (26-3)

8 p.m.: Buena (25-2) vs. Crescenta Valley (28-2)

* Boys Div. V-AA

at Bren Center, UC Irvine

4:30 p.m.: Santa Clara (21-4) vs. Pasadena Poly (27-0)

SATURDAY

* Girls Div. III-A, Div. III-AA and Div. I-AA

at the Pyramid, Long Beach State

1 p.m.: Bishop Montgomery (23-4) vs. Nordhoff (23-4)

2:45 p.m.: Muir (21-7) vs. Alemany (23-4)

8:30 p.m.: Oxnard (16-11) vs. Lynwood (19-10)

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