On Feb. 28, Compton and St. John Bosco played in a consolation game of the Southern Section Open Division playoffs. St. John Bosco won, 58-52. It was a meaningless game. Both schools ended up getting selected for the Southern California Regional Division II playoffs.
On Saturday, everything changes. The two schools will play for the Division II regional championship at noon at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The winner advances to the state championship game next weekend in Sacramento.
"It took a long way to get here," Compton Coach Tony Thomas said.
Thomas wasn't pleased that his team was chosen for the Open Division playoffs while Moore League champion Long Beach Poly wasn't. Now his team gets a chance to win a Division II state title, and the Tarbabes are very dangerous behind their trio of Isaiah Bailey, Iziahiah Sweeney and Kyron Cartwright.
Bailey is headed to Fresno State. Cartwright signed with Loyola Marymount but asked for his release after the coaching change at Loyola Marymount and now has a visit scheduled for Providence.
They'll be going against the St. John Bosco trio of Tyler Dorsey, Daniel Hamilton and Vance Jackson.
Playing in an arena setting could challenge the Braves. They rely a lot on three-point shots, and they don't always fall in an arena setting.
In the end, both schools may need help from the role players to earn a trip to Sacramento.