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Boys' basketball: Regional title games expected to be tight

The Southern California Regional championships on Saturday at Citizens Business Bank Arena and Colony High in Ontario should produce plenty of close games. The rundown:

Open Division: Mater Dei vs. Westchester, 8 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Stanley Johnson has been driven about winning a fourth state title, so he will be very tough to stop for Mater Dei. The Monarchs are at their best when M.J. Cage and Rex Pflueger are also contributing on offense. Westchester can play very good defense and won't be intimidated by the arena setting. The Comets are a veteran group, led by Elijah Stewart. If their trapping defense can do what other playoff teams have done against the Monarchs, beware.

Division I: Chino Hills vs. Corona Centennial, 4 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The site is close to both schools. The pace will be quick, and if Centennial can make its three-pointers, it can win. But Chino Hills hasn't lost to any team other than Mater Dei for more than two months. It deserves the favorite's role.

Division II: St. John Bosco vs. Compton, noon at Citizens Business Bank Arena. This final could be the most entertaining of all. The stars are going to come out. It's Daniel Hamilton, Tyler Dorsey and Vance Jackson against Isaiah Bailey, Kyron Cartwright and Iziahiah Sweeney. There will be dunks, fastbreaks, three-point bombs and lots of spurts. It could go either way.

Division III: Chaminade vs. Santa Margarita, 8 p.m. at Colony. Chaminade hasn't been tested yet in the state playoffs, but Santa Margarita is well coached and knows how to play well in big games from being in the Trinity League. Jack Williams of Chaminade will need to provide leadership and intense play to get his team to Sacramento.

Division IV: Bishop Montgomery vs. Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 4 p.m. at Colony. No one should be underestimating Cantwell-Sacred Heart. This team wins on defense, making some threes and rebounding. The problem is Bishop Montgomery's guards, Stevie Thompson Jr. and Justin Bibbins, are as good as they come and will be tough to stop. The Knights are young, so we'll see if they can close out a victory when the pressure is on.

Division V: Renaissance vs. View Park, noon. View Park has made it this far even though it lost its coach in the opening week of the season. The players have come together, and with 6-foot-11 Chance Comanche in the middle, anything is possible. Renaissance has been getting lots of contributions from 5-9 guard Marquise Mosley.

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

 

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