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Sure Things Missing From Regional Playoff

L.A. Fairfax-Long Beach Poly and Woodland Hills Taft-Mission Viejo openers are symbolic of why the Division I race is wide open this year.

March 08, 2004|Dan Arritt; Martin Henderson | From Times Staff Reports

When the Southern California Regional high school boys' basketball playoff pairings were released Sunday, it confirmed what many already knew: Division I is wide open.

To illustrate this, check out these first-round games scheduled for Tuesday:

* Los Angeles Fairfax (23-5), which finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the Southland by The Times, must travel to No. 6 Long Beach Poly (28-3).

* Woodland Hills Taft (27-2), which upset Fairfax to win the City Section Championship division on Saturday, will play host to Mission Viejo (26-5), the Southern Section Division I-A champion.

Taft Coach Derrick Taylor said it didn't matter that the second-seeded Toreadors and Diablos were the only title winners pitted against another championship team.

"When you get to this point, everybody's good," he said. "It doesn't make a difference. If you truly are going to be the Southern California representative, you have to beat three good teams."

Oceanside El Camino Real (30-2), trying to become the first San Diego Section team to win a Division I state title, is the top-seeded team in the division.

Other top-seeded teams are Compton Dominguez (27-5) in Division II, Santa Margarita (27-3) in Division III, Santa Maria St. Joseph (27-3) in Division IV and L.A. Price (21-7) in Division V.

The regional semifinals are Thursday and the finals are Saturday at the Sports Arena. The state finals are March 19-20 at Arco Arena in Sacramento.

-- Dan Arritt

The road to the state girls' championship probably will go through two defending champions from the Southland.

Lynwood was named the top-seeded team in Division I, and Fullerton Troy was chosen the top-seeded team in Division II for the Southern California Regional that begins Tuesday.

Lynwood (26-2), which has won the last two state titles behind Tennessee-bound guard Sade Wiley-Gatewood, faces Newhall Hart (28-2) and high-scoring junior Ashlee Trebilcock in the first round.

The second- and third-seeded teams, Long Beach Poly (27-3) and San Clemente (26-4), will play road games. Poly plays at Central Section champion Fresno Clovis West (21-7), and San Clemente is at Los Angeles Crenshaw (28-1), which ended Narbonne's four-year reign as City Section champion.

Other top-seeded teams are Fullerton Troy (30-1) in Division II, La Puente Bishop Amat (28-3) in Division III, La Jolla Country Day (24-4) in Division IV and San Luis Obispo Mission Prep (16-7) in Division V.

The regional semifinals are Thursday and the finals are Saturday at the Sports Arena and Cal State Fullerton. The state finals are March 19-20 at Arco Arena in Sacramento.

-- Martin Henderson

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