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Championship Weekend

Girls' basketball playoffs: Top-ranked Narbonne has Palisades hurdle to clear in City final.


Harbor City Narbonne hopes to be recognized as the top girls' basketball team in the nation at season's end.

First, however, the Lady Gauchos must prove they are the best team in the City Section.

They get their opportunity Friday night when they play defending champion Palisades in the City championship game at the Great Western Forum.

Southern Section finals in nine divisions are Friday and Saturday at the Pyramid in Long Beach.

All finalists--and the semifinalists in Southern Section Division III-AA--will participate in the Southern California regional of the state tournament.

Here is a look at each championship game:



HARBOR CITY NARBONNE (29-0) vs. PALISADES (20-2), Friday at Forum, 6 p.m.: Narbonne senior Ebony Hoffman and junior Loree Moore have helped the Lady Gauchos meet every challenge this season. Palisades needs April Freeney to have a dominating game to stop Narbonne's run to the title.


FRANKLIN (15-12) vs. MARSHALL (15-12), Saturday at Loyola Marymount, 1 p.m.: Marshall, led by Sirushi Demirchyan, defeated Carson in the semifinals and has made several appearances in a final. Alma Mejia leads Franklin, which beat Dorsey to reach its first final.



LYNWOOD (26-4) vs. LONG BEACH WILSON (28-4), Friday at 6:30 p.m.: Four Lynwood players, including Laconia Hatcher, scored more than 10 points in the Knights' semifinal victory over El Toro. Lynwood will need that balance and a great defensive effort to stop a Wilson team that features senior forward Dawn McCullouch and sophomore guard Tarika Campbell. McCullouch and Campbell led the way in the Bruins' 58-49 semifinal victory over top-seeded Chino Hills Ayala Wednesday night.


RIVERSIDE J.W. NORTH (26-3) vs. FULLERTON TROY (27-3), Saturday at 8:15 p.m.: Shandrika Lee leads top-seeded North, which defeated San Clemente in the semifinals. Troy, a semifinal winner over Huntington Beach Edison, features defensive ace Katie Hardeman, who has shut down some of the best players in the division.


REDONDO UNION (26-5) vs. BREA OLINDA (25-5), Friday at 8:15 p.m.: Redondo's full-court pressure and Stephanie Wong's scoring have been the key for the Seahawks in the playoffs. The question is whether that will be enough against the defending state-champion Ladycats, who got 27 points from center Chelsea Trotter in a 73-46 victory over Norco Wednesday.


GARDEN GROVE PACIFICA (22-7) vs. LAGUNA HILLS (17-13), Saturday at 1 p.m.: Laguna Hills, with playoff victories over second-seeded La Puente Bishop Amat and third-seeded Newbury Park, will try to complete its run against a Pacifica team led by forward Dominique Valencia and guard Diana Barreras.


FULLERTON ROSARY (22-9) vs. BISHOP MONTGOMERY (24-3), Saturday at 6:30 p.m.: High-scoring Maggie Barnett leads Rosary, which beat top-seeded Mission Hills Alemany to reach the final. Lauren Ervin and Noel Quinn are two of the top players for Bishop Montgomery.


MORRO BAY (20-6) vs. CERRITOS VALLEY CHRISTIAN (23-6), Saturday at 2:45 p.m.: Karena Bonds has led defending-champion Morro Bay back to the final. Susie Boogaard scored 30 points for Valley Christian in its semifinal victory over Oak Park.


PLAYA DEL REY ST. BERNARD (24-5) vs. SANTA ANA CALVARY CHAPEL (19-7), Friday at 4:45 p.m.: Alex Kendricks is one of several scoring threats for top-seeded St. Bernard. Richel Werdel paced Calvary Chapel to a semifinal victory in overtime against Orange Lutheran.


PACIFIC HILLS (19-7) vs. LONG BEACH ST. ANTHONY (22-8), Friday at 3 p.m.: Jenique Tyler scored 29 points to lead unseeded Pacific Hills to a 50-45 semifinal victory over Pasadena Poly on Wednesday. Junior guard Shawn Matthews scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half in St. Anthony's 49-43 semifinal victory over Palos Verdes Chadwick.


PILGRIM (26-2) vs. HEMET BAPTIST CHRISTIAN (20-1), Saturday at 11:15 a.m.: Amber Cunningham is the top scorer for Pilgrim, which beat Serra in the semifinals. Baptist Christian defeated Victor Valley Christian, Big Pine and Rolling Hills Prep to reach the final.

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