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Southern California Basketball Championships

March 15, 2003|Mike Bresnahan and Dan Loumena

BOYS

DIVISION I

Westchester (30-3) vs. L.A. Fairfax (28-3), 8 p.m. at Long Beach Arena

We've seen this before. The Western League rivals meet for the fourth time this season and eighth time in the last two years. Westchester, 5-2 against Fairfax in the last two seasons, defeated the Lions last Saturday in the City Championship, 66-56. Led by UCLA-bound forward Trevor Ariza, the Comets are hoping for a repeat of last year, when they beat Fairfax for the City title and then won the state championship.

DIVISION II

Santa Ana Mater Dei (33-2) vs. Inglewood (24-9), 4 p.m. at Long Beach Arena

Can anybody stop Mater Dei? Needing a nudge, the Monarchs got it Thursday, finding themselves trailing Lakewood Mayfair after the first quarter, 13-7, before going on a 45-18 run over the next two quarters in a 70-59 victory. Ray Reed has been a one-man show for Inglewood, scoring 23 points in Thursday's 61-58 victory over Bellflower St. John Bosco, as well as 25 and 30 in two previous playoff games.

DIVISION III

Lakewood Artesia (30-2) vs. North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (28-6), noon at Long Beach Arena

Artesia, thankful to be here after a slim 49-48 victory over La Jolla, will rely on its stingy defense and guard Kejuan Johnson, who scored 17 points to lead the Pioneers in the low-scoring victory Thursday. Harvard-Westlake will counter with Bryce Taylor, who scored 34 points in a 74-62 victory over Compton Centennial.

DIVISION IV

San Diego Horizon (30-1) vs. Bakersfield Garces (35-1), 7 p.m. at CS Fullerton

Horizon is looking to repeat as state champion but first must win a rematch of last season's regional final, which it won, 68-65. Garces' main weapons are 7-foot center Robert Swift and high-scoring guard Kyle Shiloh. Horizon counters with San Francisco-bound swing player Alan Wiggins and 6-8 center Jared Dudley.

DIVISION V

L.A. Price (31-2) vs. Reedley Immanuel (28-3), 3 p.m. at CS Fullerton

In another regional final rematch, Immanuel will be seeking to avenge last season's 73-61 loss. Price, meanwhile, is seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive state title even though star guard Derrick Williams hasn't returned to the lineup since injuring a knee in the final regular-season game. Billy Grayson, Schuyler McKay and Darren Morrison have shared the scoring load in his absence.

-- Mike Bresnahan

and Dan Loumena

*

GIRLS

DIVISION I

Lynwood (30-1) vs. Harbor City Narbonne (24-6), 6 p.m. at Long Beach Arena

This might sound familiar ... in a rematch of last season's regional final, defending state champion Lynwood is the odds-on favorite. The Knights beat Narbonne, 52-33, last year and followed that up with a 61-45 victory over the Gauchos in January. If Narbonne can contain Lynwood catalyst Sade Wiley-Gatewood, it still must deal with LaJoyce King, Brandi Kimble and Kameca Simmons. Narbonne, which beat Lynwood two years ago in a regional final en route to a second consecutive state title, is led by Jamie Funn.

DIVISION II

Fullerton Troy (29-2) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (23-6), 2 p.m. at Long Beach Arena

Can Mater Dei pull off another shocker? The Monarchs overcame 14- and 16-point deficits in two of their three previous playoff victories. Troy, with only one senior starter in 6-1 Amanda Livingston, has been playing like a veteran team and is coming off a 58-46 victory over battle-tested Redondo. Mater Dei is led by sophomore Jen Rogers, who had 25 points in a 66-57 victory over Bakersfield North in the other regional semifinal.

DIVISION III

Torrance Bishop Montgomery (25-7) vs. San Diego Mission Bay (23-2), 10 a.m. at Long Beach Arena

Noelle Quinn is trying to lead Bishop Montgomery to a fourth consecutive state title, but Mission Bay offers a formidable test with 6-4 center Amber Sprague and point guard Amanda Rego, both juniors. The Buccaneers handled La Puente Bishop Amat, 55-50, in a regional quarterfinal and dispatched Lakewood Artesia, 65-60, in a semifinal. Sprague and Rego averaged 21.5 and 19 points, respectively, in those victories.

DIVISION IV

La Jolla Country Day (26-4) vs. Marlborough (26-5), 5 p.m. at CS Fullerton

Country Day is seeking a third consecutive state title. The Torreys have a bonafide go-to player in Candice Wiggins, last year's Division V state player of the year who scored 38 points in the state championship game, and balance with Marissa Rivera and LaToya Cunningham. Marlborough, which has never been this far in the playoffs, will counter with point guard Shaina Zaidi, Emily Tay, Alexandra Chen and 6-3 freshman Abi Olajuwon.

DIVISION V

San Luis Obispo Mission Prep (23-5) vs. Visalia Central Valley Christian (24-3), 1 p.m. at CS Fullerton

Mission Prep won its seventh consecutive Central Section championship by handing Central Valley Christian a 64-43 defeat a week ago. The Royals, who are led by 6-4 Katherine Suderman, are seeking their first state championship after runner-up finishes in 1998, '96 and '89. Mission Prep moved to the Central Section in 1996-97 after winning six titles and playing in seven Southern Section finals between '89 and '96.

-- Dan Loumena

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