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Rule changes possible after private schools take 17 of 20 state finals slots

The state high school basketball champions in all 10 divisions were private schools, something the California Interscholastic Federation may seek to address.

March 26, 2011|Eric Sondheimer
  • Grant Jerrett and La Verne Lutheran High defeated Terrence Daniel and Oakland Bishop O'Dowd, 64-59, in private-schools battle in the state Division III boys' basketball championship game on Saturday.
Grant Jerrett and La Verne Lutheran High defeated Terrence Daniel and Oakland… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

Reporting from Sacramento

A state basketball advisory committee is expected to make a proposal that could deal with the issue of the growing number of private school teams reaching the state finals in almost every division, according to Marie Ishida, executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation.

Seventeen of the 20 teams that traveled to Sacramento this weekend were private schools, and for the first time, all 10 state champions were private schools.

"I think the committee is going to be coming up with criteria and ideas" in the next few months," Ishida said.

But complicating any proposal is that sections in Southern California have switched to placing teams based on competitive equity while Northern California is using a school's enrollment as its primary criteria. Ishida said there could be a need to have all the sections proceed with a standard criteria.

Two-sport standout

L.A. Windward sophomore Charles Dawson, who scored 12 points in the Division IV final, was the Southern Section eight-man football player of the year. He's an outstanding defensive back and receiver.

Celebrity watch

UCLA Coach Ben Howland and Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar were in the audience for the Division III final watching Oakland Bishop O'Dowd 6-foot-8 junior Brandon Ashley. Romar might have more money in his recruiting budget because he had a courtside seat.

Moment of concern

Xavier Jones, a starter for La Verne Lutheran, had to go to the hospital Saturday after a defibrillator implanted in his chest went off in the first quarter of his team's Division III championship game.

Jones has a condition that causes thickening of the heart. He alerted Coach Eric Cooper that the device had been activated and was removed from the game. Jones was reported to be doing fine, Cooper said.

Freshman contributor

Not unnoticed by Santa Maria St. Joseph Coach Ed Torres in his team's 53-42 victory over Bishop O'Dowd in the girls' Division III final was the contribution of 5-foot-6 freshman guard Kaitlyn Flowers, who didn't score but had a team-high eight rebounds.

"I never thought our freshman guard would be the leading rebounder in the state championship game, but Kaitlyn did a great job in the effort areas — diving for loose balls, taking charges and rebounding," Torres said.

Times correspondent Steve Galluzzo contributed to this report.

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