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JUST PREPS

Boys' State Tournament At Pond Of Anaheim

March 20, 1997

DIVISION I

Alameda St. Joseph (31-3) vs. Crenshaw (26-3), Saturday, 8 p.m., Fox Sports West 2

St. Joseph makes its third appearance in a state final in the 1990s, having won the first two in 1991 and '92 during the Jason Kidd era. The Pilots have a new potential star in sophomore forward Blandon Ferguson, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds in a 76-65 victory over Oakland Fremont in the Northern Regional final. St. Joseph has won 19 games in a row. Crenshaw, the defending champion, is coming off an impressive come-from-behind victory over Santa Ana Mater Dei and is 7-0 in state title games since 1983. Despite having nine new players, Coach Willie West has Crenshaw on a 17-game winning streak. Senior guard Alastair Faux leads the team in scoring, averaging 25 points. Kevin Bradley, another senior guard, averages 18.

DIVISION II

Shasta Redding (21-7) vs. Compton Dominguez (28-5), Friday, 8 p.m.

How good is defending Division II champion Dominguez? The Dons, making their third consecutive appearance in a state final, defeated Division I finalist Crenshaw, 101-90, in a tournament game at UCLA in January. It was the last time Crenshaw lost. Dominguez has scored 100 or more points six times since then. Juniors Tayshuan Prince, a center, and Jason Thomas, a forward, are among the best players in the state. Prince scored 24 points in Dominguez's 78-63 victory over Oceanside El Camino in the Southern Regional final. Redding, coming off a 57-44 victory over Vacaville, is the first Northern Section team to make it to a Division II final. The Wolves are led by 6-foot-3 forward Ricky Ray. Chris Wardall, a 6-9 center, provides size up front.

DIVISION III

San Mateo Hillsdale (30-0) vs. North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (34-1), Saturday, 3 p.m.

Hillsdale is going to be tested by defending champion Harvard-Westlake, the top-ranked team in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. The Wolverines are led by identical 6-10 twins Jason and Jarron Collins. Jason averages 20 points and 11 rebounds; Jarron averages nine points and 14 rebounds. The two led Harvard-Westlake to a 64-38 victory over Southern Section Division I champion Mater Dei in a tournament at Las Vegas in December. Hillsdale, making its first appearance in a state final, is trying to become the first Northern California team since 1993 to finish unbeaten. The Knights, whose tallest player is 6-4, had four players score in double figures in a 61-42 Northern Regional final victory over Arcata.

DIVISION IV

Sacramento Encina (15-20) vs. Santa Monica Crossroads (30-3), Saturday, 11:45 a.m.

Encina's record is deceiving because it includes 15 losses by forfeit for the use of an ineligible player. The Bulldogs saved their season by qualifying for the playoffs and winning their first Northern Regional title with a 60-48 victory over San Rafael. They will have their hands full against Crossroads, which has been unchallenged in the postseason while averaging 78 points. The key has been the play of senior point guard Baron Davis, who was his usual self Saturday in scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 57-45 victory over Santa Ana Calvary Chapel in the Southern Regional final. The Roadrunners, who last won a state title in 1987, have won 24 games in a row.

DIVISION V

Modesto Christian (32-0) vs. San Diego Horizon (30-1), Friday, 4:15 p.m.

Each school is making its first appearance in a state final. Neither was challenged in the regional finals. Modesto used a 25-7 run to beat Fremont Christian, 80-56; Horizon routed Pasadena Poly, 70-49, behind 20 points from forward Detrick Watts. Like Hillsdale in Division III, Modesto Christian is trying to become the first undefeated team from Northern California since Palo Alto in 1993. Horizon is trying to become only the second school from the San Diego Section to win a state title.

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