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Southern Section Basketball Playoffs : Mater Dei Takes On St. Anthony, Martin : Monarchs Will Try to Cool Off Hot Guard and His 31-Point Average

Times Staff Writer

Mater Dei High School will try to contain one of Southern California’s hottest players tonight when the Monarchs meet St. Anthony and its high-scoring guard, Darrick Martin, at 7:30 in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section 5-A division basketball playoffs at Long Beach City College.

Martin, 15, a junior, has scored 30 or more points in 11 consecutive games and is the all-time leading single-season scorer in Long Beach. He is averaging 31 points and has scored 40 or more points five times this season.

“He’s an excellent perimeter shooter and good penetrator,” said Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight. “He’s a combination point and off guard.”

Mater Dei guard John Boyle will be assigned to defend Martin, although McKnight said LeRon Ellis, a 6-foot 11-inch center, would try to keep Martin from driving for easy shots.

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“One individual isn’t going to contain Martin,” McKnight said. “We’ll need a good defensive effort from the whole team if we hope to slow him down. I don’t think one player is going to beat us.”

Mater Dei (25-1) opened the playoffs with a 64-42 victory over Fountain Valley. The Monarchs have allowed an average of 40.5 points in their last two games.

“I was very pleased with the way we played against Fountain Valley,” McKnight said. “We were very intense for four quarters. We played like we did in Arkansas,” he added, referring to the King Cotton Classic in Pine Bluff, Ark., in January, in which the Monarchs finished second.

Kevin Rembert, a 6-5 forward, sat out last week’s game with a strained knee. Doctors performed an arthrogram to see if he had torn cartilage but he didn’t, and he has been cleared to play.

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Mike Hopkins, a junior guard, has received a release to begin practicing after he missed three weeks because of an ankle injury, but McKnight said he doubted that Hopkins would play again this season.

St. Anthony (16-10) finished second in the Camino Real League and was eliminated by Mater Dei in the quarterfinals last season. Mater Dei won the teams’ last meeting, 72-63.

In other 5-A division games:

Ocean View (18-6) vs. St. Monica (19-6) at Santa Monica High: St. Monica, a private school with an enrollment of 750, has Brian Williams, one of the state’s premier centers. Williams, who is 6-10, averages 18 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 17 points, had 16 rebounds and blocked 9 shots in a first-round victory over Alemany. Guard Jason Matthews, who has signed with the University of Pittsburgh, averages 27 points. Ocean View relies on forwards Ricky Butler and Desi Hazely. Guard Doug Rice scored 18 points in the Seahawks’ first-round victory over Bishop Amat.

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Marina (22-4) vs. Lakewood (18-7) at Long Beach Millikan High: Guard Duane Cooper (19.1 points) and center Milton Robinson (13.8 points) are Lakewood’s leading scorers. However, the play of sophomore cousins Brian and Victor Camper since midseason has turned the Lancers into contenders for the championship. Cooper has signed with USC. Marina celebrated the return of center Mark Georgeson and forward Steve Guild after a two-week absence with a 62-55 victory over Loyola in the first round. Guild scored 16 points and Georgeson 19.

Long Beach Millikan (22-3) vs. Servite (14-11) at Cal State Fullerton: Second-seeded Millikan’s only losses this season were by one point to St. Anthony and Long Beach Wilson and by two points to Lakewood. Two-year starters Shawn Williams (16.8 points) and Ken Jarvis (16 points) are the Rams’ leading scorers. Millikan lost point guard Marlon Marshall with a broken kneecap a day before the playoff opener against St. Paul. For Servite, forward Tony Smalley scored 18 points in the Friars’ victory over Bosco Tech in the first round.

In 3-A:

Etiwanda (25-3) vs. Corona del Mar (23-6) at Orange Coast College: Forward Barry Howard, who has signed with the University of Washington, is Etiwanda’s leading scorer with a 17.5 average, and guard Dion Tolbert averages 17 points. Both are three-year starters. Corona del Mar forward Chris Burns, who limited Valencia’s Dennis Burbank to nine points in the second round, will guard Howard. The Sea Kings have allowed an average of only 48.5 points in the playoffs. Markus Muller-Stach anchors the offense with a 21-point average.

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Palos Verdes (19-6) vs. Magnolia (20-5) at Cypress College: Palos Verdes set a school record by allowing opponents an average of only 42 points a game in the regular season with a tight 1-2-2 zone. The Sea Kings lost starting guard Justin Marsh when he was dismissed for disciplinary reasons before the playoffs, and Coach John Mihaljevich never substituted against Ridgecrest Burroughs in the second round. Forward Jason Taylor, who is 6-3, is the team’s tallest starter and leading scorer with an 11-point average. Magnolia upset third-seeded Ganesha, 85-72, in the second round, when center Mark Lyon scored a career-high 35 points and forward Mike Goff scored 20.

Tustin (21-5) vs. Saugus (19-9) at College of the Canyons: Saugus has been the surprise of the playoffs; it entered as a wild-card team and upset second-seeded Katella in the first round. Forward Rusty Morse averages 16.7 points, and forward Jeff Dorst is the team’s leading rebounder with an average of 6.9. Point guard Greg Weber averages 4.5 assists. Tustin forward Rog Middleton is Orange County’s leading percentage shooter, hitting 70%. Middleton and center Leo Parker have taken turns leading the Tillers in the playoffs. Middleton scored 27 points in the first round against Buena Park and Parker scoring 21 against Morningside in the second round.

In the 2-A:

Woodbridge (22-5) vs. Righetti (19-6) at Hancock College: Righetti’s best player is Han Kardel, a 1985-86 All-Southern Section forward. Kardel, a stocky 6-4 power forward, averages 22.8 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Cary Sapp averages 12.4 points, and point guard Shan Martin averages 9 points and 8 assists. Martin was the starting quarterback on the Warriors’ football team. Woodbridge forward Adam Keefe, one of the state’s best juniors, averages 22.2 points and 12.8 rebounds. Forward Vince Bryan, who has signed with Brigham Young University, is averaging 19 points in the playoffs.

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