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PREP EXTRA / A weekly look at the high school sports
scene in the Southland

Championship Weekend

Boys' basketball playoffs: Crenshaw has eye on 17th City crown. Southern Section has five teams defending titles.


The City Section will have a new boys' champion and Lakewood Artesia, Santa Ana Mater Dei, Compton Dominguez, Gardena Serra and Price will try to win consecutive Southern Section titles this weekend when playoff finals in 11 divisions are played.

Crenshaw plays Westchester in the City Section championship game Friday night at the Great Western Forum. Southern Section finals are Friday night at Loyola Marymount and Saturday at the Arrowhead Pond.

All finalists--and semifinalists in Division III-AA--are guaranteed a spot in the Southern California regional of the state tournament that begins next week.

Here is a look at each championship game:



CRENSHAW (21-2) vs. WESTCHESTER (22-6), Friday at the Great Western Forum, 8 p.m.: Coach Willie West has top-seeded Crenshaw primed for a shot at its 17th City title. Crenshaw is led by guards E.J. Harris and Tommy Johnson and center Chris Davis. Second-seeded Westchester is in the final for the third time in four years. The Comets feature Jason Breland on a team that has used superior depth to its advantage in the playoffs.


MANUAL ARTS (16-8) vs. NORTH HOLLYWOOD (21-7), Saturday at Loyola Marymount, 3 p.m.: Mario Roberts leads Manual Arts, which won the 1999 City championship. Ken Hauser is a top player for North Hollywood, which advanced to the final with a 61-60 victory over Venice.



LONG BEACH POLY (29-2) vs. CHINO HILLS AYALA (28-2) or UPLAND (22-7), Saturday at the Pond, 7 p.m.: Missouri-bound point guard Wesley Stokes leads top-seeded Long Beach Poly, which got past Rialto to reach the final. Ayala and Upland play tonight at Cal Poly Pomona for the right to play in their first major division final.


SANTA ANA MATER DEI (31-2) vs. SIMI VALLEY (29-2), Saturday at the Pond, 8:45 p.m.: Defending champion Mater Dei is in a final for the eighth time in nine years. The Monarchs are led by senior guard Steve Scoggin and junior guard Cedric Bozeman. Simi Valley is playing in a section final for the first time since 1993.


BREA OLINDA (24-6) vs. COMPTON DOMINGUEZ (30-2), Saturday at the Pond, 2:15 p.m.: Dominguez, which defeated Redondo Union, 79-61, in a semifinal Wednesday night, considers a Southern Section championship the first step in completing its run to a mythical national title. Brea Olinda has a chance to step out of the shadow of the girls' team.


LAKEWOOD ARTESIA (28-2) vs. HUNTINGTON BEACH OCEAN VIEW (29-2), Saturday at the Pond, 12:30 p.m.: Ocean View shut down Mayfair's Josh Childress to reach the final, but the Seahawks will be tested against a team that features so many scoring threats, among them junior forward Jack Martinez.


TORRANCE BISHOP MONTGOMERY (23-5) vs. COMPTON CENTENNIAL (20-11), Friday at Loyola Marymount, 8:30 p.m.: Twins Errick and Derrick Craven have kept Bishop Montgomery at the forefront of the division all season. Centennial, with a load of transfers led by Ellis Myles, has proved in the playoffs that it can win close games.


GARDENA SERRA (15-15) vs. PLAYA DEL REY ST. BERNARD (23-6), Saturday at the Pond, 10:45 a.m.: Defending champion Serra was unseeded when the playoffs began, but Aerick Sanders led the Cavaliers back to the final against a St. Bernard team that defeated Rosamond to advance to the championship game.


ORANGE LUTHERAN (24-4) vs. SANTA MONICA CROSSROADS (21-9), Saturday at the Pond, 9 a.m.: Crossroads, led by guard Felipe Williams and center Isaiah Fox, barely defeated Milken Community in the semifinals. Top-seeded Orange Lutheran features versatile Jason Whieldon.


DOWNEY CALVARY CHAPEL (25-5) vs. LONG BEACH ST. ANTHONY (21-8), Friday at Loyola Marymount, 6:30 p.m.: Timothy Drisdom has keyed Calvary Chapel's run to its first championship-game appearance. The Grizzlies must find a way to stop Pearson Smith, who sparked St. Anthony's semifinal victory over Pacific Hills with a 23-point fourth-quarter performance.


PRICE (28-1) vs. EASTSIDE CHRISTIAN (24-4), Friday at Loyola Marymount, 4:45 p.m.: Defending champion Price has received outstanding play from Jermaine Jamerson throughout the playoffs. Ryan Meyer leads Eastside Christian.

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