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CIF STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS | DIVISION II BOYS

Shasta Outclassed by Dominguez, 85-52

March 22, 1997|MARK STRODER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

ANAHEIM — There's one question the Compton Dominguez team and Coach Russell Otis didn't have a good answer for after beating Redding Shasta, 85-52, in the Division II championship in front of 7,262 Friday night at the Pond.

Why doesn't Dominguez move up to Division I where it belongs?

"We were going to move up before the season started, but we figured we'd stay in Division II so both Crenshaw and us would have a chance to win a state championship," said Otis, whose team outscored Southern Section playoff opponents, 400-196, and state playoff opponents, 387-249, in winning its second straight Division II state title.

"We played everybody in the preseason anyway," said Otis, whose team beat defending Division I state champion Crenshaw and Santa Monica Crossroads, among others. "We have one of the toughest schedules in the state. I don't know what else we can do."

"Hopefully we'll move up next year," said junior center Tayshaun Prince, who scored 13 points. "I hope we get a shot at Crenshaw and Mater Dei. They wouldn't be any problem for us. We're going to be even deeper next year."

The Dons are returning three starters and many talented subs next season from a team that went at least 12 deep this year.

Dominguez (29-5) had all the answers against undermanned Shasta (22-8), which reached the finals despite finishing third in the Eastern Athletic League of the Northern Section.

Dominguez, taking full advantage of superior size and quickness, took charge of the game early by forcing 16 turnovers en route to a 47-27 lead at the half.

Shasta guard Wayman King committed seven first-half turnovers against Dominguez's relentless full-court pressure.

Junior forwards Jason Thomas and Michael Carson led Dominguez with 10 first-half points.

The Dons built a 20-point lead despite limited playing time from star guard Kenny Brunner, who committed four fouls in the first half.

Thomas finished with a game-high 20 points. Brunner finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Chris Wardall led Shasta with 18 points.

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