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State Basketball Championships

March 22, 2003|Mike Bresnahan,Martin Henderson

Today at Arco Arena,

Sacramento

*--* BOYS

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DIVISION I

Westchester (31-3) vs. Oakland Tech (23-5), 8 p.m.

It's a rematch of last season, when Westchester defeated Oakland Tech in the state championship, 80-75. The Comets made it to the final this season by surviving Fairfax's attempt to slow the tempo in a 43-41 victory last Saturday in the Southern California Regional final. The winning basket came with 12 seconds left on a dunk by Trevor Ariza (16 points, seven rebounds) after he received a perfect pass from Scott Cutley. Westchester will try to stop Oakland Tech senior Leon Powe, a 6-foot-8 center who has signed with California. Powe had 17 points and 12 rebounds in a 60-48 victory over Sacramento Valley in the Northern California Regional final last Saturday.

DIVISION III

North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (29-6) vs. Sacramento Foothill (32-2), 2:45 p.m.

With Bryce Taylor leading the way, the Wolverines return to the state final for the first time since Jason and Jarron Collins took them there in 1997. Sophomore guard Ed White made five of six three-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points to lead Harvard-Westlake past Lakewood Artesia, 80-62, last Saturday. Foothill has won 24 consecutive games and used its full-court press to hold San Jose Archbishop Mitty to two second-quarter points in a 52-35 victory last Saturday. Sam Kirby led the way with 17 points.

DIVISION IV

San Diego Horizon (31-1) vs. Hercules (25-8), 11:15 a.m.

Horizon, the defending state champion in Division IV, came back from a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes to defeat Bakersfield Garces, 59-56, last Saturday. The Panthers scored the last 11 points of the game. Jared Dudley had a game-high 25 points and Alan Wiggins added 16. Hercules, in only its second season as a varsity program, went 3-21 last season.

-- Mike Bresnahan

*--* GIRLS

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DIVISION I

Lynwood (31-1) vs. San Jose Archbishop Mitty (32-2), 6 p.m.

It's easy to see why Lynwood is favored to win its second consecutive state title and third overall behind guards Sade Wiley-Gatewood, Kameca Simmons and Brandi Kimble, who are averaging 58.5 points among them. Few teams are as quick or as deep, but beating Lynwood boils down to having guards who can withstand the defensive pressure and having a big center. That's how Canyon, Texas, defeated Lynwood, 56-49, on Dec. 20. Mitty has Jenna Green, a 6-4 center averaging 11 points and eight rebounds and Khalilah Daniels, a 5-11 senior forward who averaged 14 points and was the most valuable player of the tough West Catholic Athletic League, which has two teams playing for state titles.

DIVISION III

Torrance Bishop Montgomery (26-7) vs. San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (25-8), 1 p.m.

Senior Noelle Quinn is trying to lead the Knights to a fourth consecutive state title. Quinn, a 6-0 guard headed to UCLA, is averaging 28 points, Nykia Peace is averaging 18 and Roney Friend is averaging 11. The Knights have been to six of the last eight Division III state title games and have won five of the last seven. They beat Sacred Heart Cathedral, 48-38, in the 2001 state final. Cathedral finished second in the West Catholic Athletic League, which also includes Division I finalist San Jose Archbishop Mitty and Central Coast Division III runner-up San Jose Presentation. Jennifer Green, a 5-10 senior center -- one of only two seniors on the team -- is averaging 11.7 points and sophomore guard Georgia Onyemem is averaging 11.3.

DIVISION IV

La Jolla Country Day (27-4) vs. Stockton St. Mary's (32-3), 9:30 a.m.

La Jolla Country Day has won the last two state titles but in Division V. The Torreys are stepping up in competition, but that didn't slow them against L.A. Marlborough in the Southern California Regional final last Saturday, when they won their 19th in a row, 62-42. Candice Wiggins, a 5-11 junior guard, is averaging 30.2 points and 15.2 rebounds. Stockton St. Mary's has won two state titles in the last three years, including a 51-47 victory last season over Redondo in Division II. The Rams, with 27 victories in a row, are led by Dominique Banks, a 5-8 senior averaging 21.5 points, and Jacki Gemelos, a 5-10 freshman averaging 16 points.

-- Martin Henderson

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