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

Participants Set Postseason Sights on Title Roles

Girls: Ventura Buena and Harbor City Narbonne appear on a collision course, but Lynwood might spoil the party.

February 15, 2001|GARY KLEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ventura Buena defeated Harbor City Narbonne this month in an intersectional basketball matchup that many expect to see repeated March 10 in the Division I final of the Southern California regional of the state tournament.

Lynwood, which defeated Narbonne in the season opener, might have some something to say about that, however.

That is only one of the many subplots at play as the City and Southern Section playoffs begin this week.

The City championship game will be played March 3 at the Forum. Southern Section finals are March 2 and 3 at the Pyramid.

Here is a look at each division:

CITY SECTION

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION

Narbonne is the defending City and state Division I champion. Few teams in the nation, and none in the City, have enough depth to offset a team that features Tennessee-bound guard Loree Moore, junior guard Lisa Willis and a group of 6-footers. Second-seeded Westchester features USC-bound Kim Gipson. Crenshaw is seeded third, Woodland Hills Taft fourth.

INVITATIONAL DIVISION

Woodland Hills El Camino Real is the top-seeded team in a division for teams ranked 17-32.

SOUTHERN SECTION

DIVISION I-AAA

Top-seeded Lynwood defeated Narbonne in its season opener and has been rolling ever since. The Knights are led by freshman guard Sade Wiley-Gatewood. Second-seeded Anaheim Esperanza went unbeaten in the Sunset League behind center Bethany Blair. Third-seeded Long Beach Poly won the Moore League and fourth-seeded Chaffey is the Mt. Baldy League champion.

DIVISION I-AA

With Lynwood forced to move into the new I-AAA division because of enrollment, San Clemente (23-3) is the top-seeded team. Moreno Valley (20-4), led by center Andrea Bills, is seeded second. Riverside J.W. North (15-10), which was inconsistent early but beat San Clemente in January, is third and Irvine (20-6) fourth.

DIVISION I-A

Top-seeded Ventura Buena (25-0), led by Tennessee-bound senior guard Courtney Young, has passed every test. But the other unbeaten team in the division, Irvine Woodbridge (25-0), is seeded fourth. Fullerton Troy (22-4) is seeded second. Ventura (19-5), which finished second to Buena in the Channel League, is third.

DIVISION II-AA

Top-seeded Brea Olinda (21-4) was defeated by Redondo Union in a division final last season. Another Bay League team, second-seeded North Torrance (22-4), will try to do the same to senior guard Jackie Lord and the Ladycats this year. Norco (23-2) is seeded third, Bellflower (19-6) fourth.

DIVISION II-A

Lakewood Artesia (24-1), led by transfers Lauren Ervin and Brittney Thomas, suffered its only defeat against Narbonne. The Pioneers are the top-seeded team in a division that also includes second-seeded Redondo Union (22-4), third-seeded Pasadena Muir (20-3) and fourth-seeded Newbury Park (20-7), all of which have first-round byes.

DIVISION III-AA

Even without Ervin and Thomas, who helped it win a state title last season, Torrance Bishop Montgomery (22-5) remains the team to beat. Fullerton Rosary (20-7) is seeded second, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (22-5) third and Inglewood Morningside (19-7) fourth.

DIVISION IV-AA

Los Padres League runner-up Morro Bay (16-5) is the top-seeded team, Tri-Valley champion Oak Park (18-6) is second, Olympic League runner-up Cerritos Valley Christian (17-8) third and Sunshine League co-champion Marymount (15-5) fourth in this 16-team division.

DIVISION IV-A

Defending champion Playa del Rey St. Bernard (15-11), runner-up to Bishop Montgomery in the Del Rey League, is seeded No. 1. Olympic League champion Santa Ana Calvary Chapel (18-8) is second, Liberty League co-champion Burbank Providence (19-2) third and Sunshine League co-champion Marlborough (17-8) fourth.

DIVISION V-AA

The top-seeded team is Coastal Life League champion San Gabriel Academy (15-5). Prep League champion Pasadena Poly (20-4), freelance Montclair Prep (22-0) and Academy League champion Downey Calvary Chapel (18-8) also are seeded.

DIVISION V-A

Defending champion Pilgrim (19-6) is the top-seeded team. Express League champion Rolling Hills Prep (21-3), freelance Thousand Oaks Oaks Christian and Victory League champion Baptist Christian (18-0) also are seeded.

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