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Basketball Regional Championship Games

March 13, 2004

BOYS

DIVISION I

L.A. Fairfax (25-5) vs. Etiwanda (31-2), 8 p.m., Sports Arena

Neither team won a section title last week, but one of these teams will qualify to play in the state finals next weekend in Sacramento with a victory tonight. Can Etiwanda shake the jitters in the big arena? The Eagles looked impressive while winning at City Section champion Woodland Hills Taft on Thursday but didn't play well in the Southern Section Division I-A final at the Pond in a 50-34 loss to Long Beach Poly. Fairfax beat the Jackrabbits, 75-57, on Tuesday and is on a mission after losing to Taft in the City final.

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DIVISION II

Compton Dominguez (29-5) vs. Fullerton Sunny Hills (21-13), 4 p.m., Sports Arena

Dominguez, winner of five state titles since 1996 and nine section titles in the last 16 years, is playing a Sunny Hills team that just won the school's first section title ... in its first appearance in a title game since 1969. But Dominguez Coach Russell Otis, who has a deep and talented roster led by Bryan Harvey on the perimeter and LaMar Roberson inside, isn't about to overlook the Lancers in his bid to return to the state finals. "Like they say," he said, "you can't defend destiny."

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DIVISION III

Santa Margarita (29-3) vs. Compton Centennial (30-3), noon, Sports Arena

Centennial can go a long way toward erasing the memory of a fifth consecutive loss in the section finals by beating the Eagles. The Apaches took a big step in a Thursday semifinal, knocking off North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, the team that defeated them in the Division III-A final a week ago. Santa Margarita has size inside and that has given Centennial problems in the past.

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DIVISION IV

Santa Maria St. Joseph (29-3) vs. L.A. Verbum Dei (20-9), 7 p.m., Cal State Fullerton

The second-seeded teams in the top three divisions were eliminated before the final, but St. Joseph not only has reached the title game, it has a chance to be the first team in school history to play for a state title. Verbum Dei, winner of three state titles since 1995, needed a buzzer-beating offensive-rebound layup to defeat Fresno San Joaquin Memorial in a semifinal Thursday.

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DIVISION V

L.A. Price (23-7) vs. San Luis Obispo Mission Prep (21-11), 3 p.m., Cal State Fullerton

Price is going for an unprecedented fifth consecutive state title and, so far, nobody has come close to getting in its way. Mission Prep owns a two-point regular-season victory over Playa del Rey St. Bernard, which reached the Southern Section Division IV-AA final, and beat Division V-AA champion Palos Verdes Estates Rolling Hills Prep in a regional semifinal Thursday, but those merits won't put much fright into the Knights.

GIRLS

DIVISION I

San Diego (30-3) vs. Long Beach Poly (29-3), 6 p.m., Sports Arena

Against the high-powered Cavers -- Charde Houston eclipsed Cheryl Miller as the state career scoring leader -- Poly can't afford another quarter like it had Thursday in its 40-39 victory over San Clemente. The Jackrabbits didn't make a field goal in the fourth quarter and blew 12 points of a 13-point lead. San Diego destroyed Division I-A runner-up Newhall Hart, 74-43, after making eight of 11 three-point shots in the first half Thursday, when Houston scored 27. Poly, making its first regional finals appearance, is ranked third in the state and got a big effort from Judith Smith (17 points) against San Clemente. San Diego is ranked No. 9 in the state.

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DIVISION II

Fullerton Troy (32-1) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (19-11), 2 p.m., Sports Arena

Defense should rule the day. Troy has only one loss -- to San Clemente -- but didn't have an easy time against Mater Dei on Jan. 3, winning, 48-44, after going on a 9-0 run in the second half. Leading scorer Meghan McGuire is nursing a sprained ankle, but Nicole Hayman scored 22 for seventh-ranked Troy, the defending state and Southern Section Division II-AA champion, in a 62-52 victory over 20th-ranked Norco. Mater Dei is unranked in the state, but Jen Rogers scored 18 and the Monarchs and their sturdy defense are coming off a 55-48 upset of Brea Olinda, which is ranked 10th in the state.

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DIVISION III

Inglewood Morningside (31-3) vs. La Puente Bishop Amat (30-3), 10 a.m., Sports Arena

Lorie Rayford, who helped Lynwood to the state Division I title the last two years, is a win away from carrying Morningside to the championship game. This game features two teams with outstanding post players, Morningside's Rayford and Natasha Thomas, and Bishop Amat's Erin Myrick and Chasmine Jones. Bishop Amat, ranked 13th in the state, beat No. 16 Morningside, 49-42, in an Artesia tournament semifinal. Bishop Amat has averaged 55.5 points in the playoffs, Morningside 75.

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DIVISION IV

La Jolla Country Day (26-4) vs. Los Angeles Marlborough (28-3), 5 p.m., Cal State Fullerton

Daughters of former professional athletes take center stage. Country Day is led by Stanford-bound Candice Wiggins, daughter of the late Alan Wiggins, who as a second baseman helped the San Diego Padres to the 1984 World Series. Marlborough counters with Abi Olajuwon, daughter of former NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon. Wiggins scored 50 points against L.A. Brentwood in an 85-59 win Thursday to get her fifth-ranked team to its fourth straight regional final. Olajuwon, a 6-2 sophomore, is a force inside and senior guard Emily Tay's perimeter game will keep Country Day's defense honest.

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DIVISION V

San Luis Obispo Mission Prep (18-7) vs. Visalia Central Valley Christian (24-3), 1 p.m., Cal State Fullerton

Mission Prep, which defeated Valley Christian, 63-29, for the Central Section title last week behind 6-4 Kate Suderman's 24 points, returns to the title game following Coach Jay Cowitz's death in the off-season.

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