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Ocean View Plays Host to Tournament of Champions

<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

Defending champion Westchester High School is the top-seeded boys’ basketball team in the 17th Tournament of Champions beginning today at Ocean View High School.

Westchester (2-0) is ranked sixth nationally by USA Today and is the top-ranked team in the state, according to Cal-Hi Sports magazine. Forward Zan Mason, a 6-foot 8-inch forward, and point guard Sam Crawford return for the Comets.

Mason was named the state’s junior player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports and has signed a national letter of intent with UCLA. Crawford was named the most valuable player of the tournament last year after leading Westchester to a 74-72 overtime victory over El Toro in the final.

Mater Dei, the only team to win three consecutive tournament titles (1983-85), returns to the tournament after a 2-year absence. Mater Dei (5-1) is led by guard Dylan Rigdon and forward Andy Karich.

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Ocean View (4-0) has three starters--forward Todd Norman and guards Mike Frohn and Greg Evans--returning from a team that finished 18-7. The county’s third entry, Capistrano Valley (1-2), has struggled with forward Scott McCorkle ill.

The 10-team tournament will have an international flavor with Merrimac High of Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, competing for the first time. Merrimac finished third in the Queensland State of Australia last year with a 33-2 record.

Among the other top players scheduled to compete are guard Dijon Bernard of Dominguez, forward Eddie Scott of Morningside, forward Glenn Baham of Serra and forward Bruce Bowen of Fresno Edison.

The tournament, traditionally one of the best on the West Coast, is being hosted by Ocean View for the first time. San Dimas High was the host for 16 years.

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The championship game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Long Beach Poly High School is the top-seeded team in the seventh Irvine World News tournament beginning today at four locations.

Among the county teams seeded in the 32-team tournament are Marina (second), Saddleback (third) and Irvine (fifth).

Saddleback, which won the Newport-Mesa tournament with a double-overtime victory over Mater Dei, features 6-7 center Malru Dottin and 6-2 guard Craig Marshall. Irvine opened its season with an 89-46 victory over Marina.

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Defending champion Santa Ana was not seeded and opens play against Long Beach Wilson at Christ College Irvine. Woodbridge, last year’s runner-up, is seeded sixth but has struggled with early-season losses to Fountain Valley and Servite.

Among the top players schedule to compete are center Jamaal Duff of Foothill, guard Mike Gully of Long Beach Millikan, guard Chris Sheff of Laguna Hills, forward Ralphael Molle of Irvine, guard Jim Barker of Kennedy, forward Keith Walker of Brea-Olinda, center Cherokee Parks of Marina, center John Lloyd of Dana Hills, forward Oscar Wilson of Santa Ana and forward Mustaf Abdi of Savanna.

The championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in UC Irvine’s Bren Center.

El Modena and Estancia high schools are the favorites in the eight-team La Quinta tournament scheduled to begin today.

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El Modena has three returning starters, including 6-4 forward Robbie Pietsch. Estancia’s best player is 6-2 guard Mike Curtis. Other top players scheduled to compete are guard Andy Thompson of Huntington Beach, forward Mark Johnson of Cypress and forward Scott Campbell of La Quinta.

The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday.

Sunny Hills High School is the favorite to win the second El Dorado tournament, which begins Tuesday in the Golden Hawks’ gymnasium.

Sunny Hills (3-1), which features forwards Marcus Hopkins and Walter Mitter, finished third last week in the Santa Ana tournament.

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The championship game of the 8-team tournament is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday.


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