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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Boys' Basketball Notebook

February 13, 2001|JOHN KLIMA

St. Bonaventure's first Tri-Valley League championship since 1988 has come with a price. The Seraphs will enter the playoffs with guard Chris Saunders, the team's best player and floor leader, not at 100%.

Saunders, who averages 18 points, has been bothered by a hip injury suffered against Nordhoff midway through the season. He did not start in a loss at Oak Park and played sparingly in a 82-55 victory at Carpinteria that clinched the league title.

"The main thing is that he can't get hurt anymore than he is," Seraph Coach Gil Kim said. "It's a deep muscle bruise. If he can bear the pain, he can play on it."

With Saunders out, guard Steve Tarin has assumed a more prominent role. Tarin scored a season-high 27 points in the victory over Carpinteria.

"It's his time to step up," Kim said. "We can't replace Chris, but we can step it up without him."

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