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Prep Basketball Roundup : Top-Seeded Fairfax Beats Washington, 79-66

Junior Chris Mills, returning after a 2 1/2-game layoff because of a strained right knee, scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and teammate J.D. Green added 19 points to lead top-seeded Fairfax High School to a 79-66 win over Washington in the first round of the City 4-A basketball playoffs Friday night at Fairfax.

The Lions (22-0) jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never trailed, but Washington (10-11) stayed close most of the game.

“We played very inconsistent,” Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said. “We didn’t move the ball around very well . . . but we made the plays we had to.”

Sean Higgins had 14 points and 9 rebounds for Fairfax, giving the Lions’ outstanding front line 64 of the team’s 79 points.

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In other City games:

L.A. Manual Arts 58, Westchester 57--Jemarl Baker’s 20-foot jumper with five seconds to play gave the Toilers, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, the 4-A win at Manual Arts. In all, Baker, a senior guard who sat out the first quarter while still recovering from strained ankle ligaments, had 19 points in the second half and the last 8 of the game and 5 steals in the fourth quarter for Manual Arts (15-6).

Manual Arts’ Wayne Williams scored 11 in the second half, and Fred Rhodes also had five steals in the last quarter.

Westchester is 13-9.

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Crenshaw 89, Wilmington Banning 55--The second-seeded team in the 4-A led at halftime, 36-23, and never looked back as John Staggers scored 31 points and Cornelius Holden had 22 points and 14 rebounds at Crenshaw.

The Cougars, the defending City and state Division I champions, are 17-4. Banning is 4-16.

El Camino Real 79, San Pedro 78--Sean Davis scored 30 points, and Brent Lofton added 20 to lead El Camino Real, the fifth-place finisher in the Valley League, to the upset win at Harbor College. San Pedro is the Marine League champion.

El Camino Real is 8-13. San Pedro, which got 20 points from Dana Johnson, is 16-6.

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L.A. Dorsey 58, Woodland Hills Taft 54--Despite 23 points from City scoring champion Kevin Franklin, Taft (15-7) lost the 4-A game at home. Dorsey is 15-5.

SOUTHERN SECTION Long Beach Millikan 72, Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 56--St. Paul opened the 5-A game at Millikan with a 10-0 spurt, but Millikan, the second-seeded team, then outscored the Swordsmen, 37-15, in the next two quarters.

Shawn Williams scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the final three quarters, and Craig Gordon had all 14 of his 14 in the second half for Millikan (22-3). St. Paul, which scored six points in the second quarter and 9 in the third, finishes at 13-9.

Long Beach St. Anthony 87, Long Beach Wilson 74--Junior Darrick Martin had a triple-double--44 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists--at Wilson to lead St. Anthony (16-10) in the 5-A game. Twenty-six of his points came in the second half.

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Wilson is 18-8.

Santa Ana Mater Dei 64, Fountain Valley 42--The top-seeded Monarchs (25-1) opened defense of their 5-A title by jumping to a 15-2 lead and rolled to the win at Rancho Santiago College as center LeRon Ellis scored 26 points. Fountain Valley is 12-11.

Mater Dei played without starting forward Kevin Rembert, its second-leading scorer, who was out with strained knee ligaments. However, he is expected to play in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game against St. Anthony.

Ventura 57, Glendale 55--Reserve Nate Hantgin hit a two-foot shot with three seconds to play at Glendale to give Ventura (20-5) the win over the 4-A’s fourth-seeded team. Glendale finishes at 20-4.

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Nogales 74, Santa Ana Foothill 68 (OT)--With the 4-A game tied at the end of regulation, 67-67, Nogales (18-8) outscored Foothill (14-12), 7-1, in overtime for the win at Foothill.

All five Nogales starters scored in double figures, led by Bobby Whitlock’s 18.

Rolling Hills 84, Montebello 70--Doug Gehr scored 31 points, and Cameron Terry had 30 to lead Rolling Hills, the top-seeded team in the 3-A and No. 1 in the state in Division II. The Titans are 23-3.

George Koochof scored 37 points for Montebello (14-8), including 16 of the team’s first 19.

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Oxnard Santa Clara 70, Covina Northview 50--The Saints (19-4), the top-seeded 2-A team, led 52-26 after three quarters and cruised to the win at Santa Clara. Seniors Dan Jones (26 points) and Fred Santana (20) led the way.

Northview is 12-13.

Walnut 77, Norwalk 69--The Mustangs, making their first playoff appearance since 1975, got 24 points from center James Essex and 22 from guard Greg Johnson in the 2-A game at Walnut to improve to 19-4.

Jim Buentillo scored 26 for Norwalk (14-9).

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Whittier Christian 64, Ventura St. Bonaventure 42--The 1-A’s top-seeded team got 23 points from Mike Goodcase and Eric Martin to improve to 24-1 in the win at home. St. Bonaventure finished 15-8.

Beaumont 59, Santa Ynez 57--Center Steve Haskin scored 27 points to lead the upset of Santa Ynez, the third-seeded team in the 1-A. The Cougars advance with an 18-7 record, while Santa Ynez is 19-3.

Hesperia Christian 79, Norwalk Pioneer Baptist 23--The top-seeded team in the Small Schools Division rolled at home as forward Mark Loomis scored 14 points to pace a balanced attack.

Hesperia is 20-2, Pioneer Baptist 11-5.

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