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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Chaminade Must Find Any Edge

III-A:Eagles and Bishop Montgomery appear to be evenly matched in championship game.

March 07, 1998|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It's the matchup that was planned from the start: Top-seeded Chaminade (26-1) against No. 2-seeded Bishop Montgomery (21-6) in the Southern Section Division III-A boys' basketball final.

It will be their first meeting since Chaminade upset Bishop Montgomery, 62-60, in a first-round game last year.

On paper, the teams match up well. Each has a formidable front line which includes starters 6 feet 4 or taller. Both teams rely on balanced scoring with three starters averaging in double figures.

Also in common: Schedules that included Pasadena Blair and St. Francis.

Based solely on matchups with those common opponents, Chaminade appears to have a slight edge.

Chaminade routed Blair, 79-39, in the first round of playoffs and twice defeated St. Francis in Mission League play, 70-58 and 84-47.

Bishop Montgomery handled Blair, 59-43, in its seventh game of the season and rolled over St. Francis, 80-57, in the first round of playoffs.

Asked to pick a winner, St. Francis Coach John Jordan gave the nod to Chaminade.

"I think Chaminade has the edge in experience," Jordan said. "Bishop Montgomery is very good, but they're awfully young."

Bishop Montgomery starts two freshmen, a sophomore and two juniors.

"Bishop Montgomery plays really good man-to-man defense and it will be a good matchup body-wise," Jordan said.

"They're both solid teams, but I think with Chaminade's experience and they're playing so well right now in the playoffs. . . . You have to root for the league guys."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Southern Section Basketball

* WHERE: At the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim

* DIRECTIONS: 101 East to 5 South. Exit on Katella Avenue, turn left. Follow signs to The Pond, which is northeast of Anaheim Stadium and east of the 57 freeway.

* TICKET INFORMATION: $8 general admission at box office. $4.50 for student presale. Parking is $7.

DIVISION III-A

* WHO: Bishop Montgomery (21-6) vs. Chaminade (26-1)

* WHEN: Today, 11:15 a.m.

* WHO TO WATCH: Marvin Perez, a 6-foot-4 junior forward for Bishop Montgomery who averages 14 points, has a penchant for the three-point shot. Inside, the Knights get points from 6-5 forwards Brian Pruitt, who is averaging 13.5 points, and Tony Booker, who is at 13.2. Chaminade's attack is balanced as well, with forward Scott Long averaging 14.4 points, center Scott Borchart at 13.1 and guard Justin Beach at 12.8.

* FAST FACT: Unseeded Chaminade upset No. 3-seeded Bishop Montgomery, 62-60, in the first round of the playoffs last season.

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