Whitney Boys Play Bel-Air Prep for Small Schools Title

Whitney of Cerritos and Bel-Air Prep, teams with their minds on this season but an eye toward the future, will play tonight at 7:30 at Santa Monica College for the Southern Section Small Schools boys' basketball championship.

Whitney (21-5) starts five juniors and has just two seniors on the roster, although it is experienced.

The Wildcats lost to Needles in the quarterfinals last season. This season, they beat third-seeded Silver Valley of Yermo in the quarterfinals and No. 1 Ventura Temple Christian in Tuesday's semifinals.

Bel-Air Prep Coach Tony Venditto has two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore as starters, and the Bruins responded by going 18-8, with five of the losses against higher-divison teams.

Bel-Air, with 6-foot-3 inch center Dana Gustafson as its tallest player, will be at a height disadvantage tonight against Whitney's 6-4 Chris Barnes, 6-2 Matt Bowley (15 points, 11 rebounds per game) and 6-0 James Justice.

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