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Boys’ Basketball : South Coast, Century Races Open in Style

Times Staff Writer

Nine Orange County league basketball races begin tonight with the spotlight on tipoffs for the Century and South Coast leagues.

The Century League will present three games at Chapman College’s Hutton Sports Center, with the first game at 4:30 p.m. Santa Ana will meet Foothill in the featured game at 6:15.

The South Coast League will present three games at UC Irvine’s Bren Center beginning at 5 p.m. El Toro will meet Irvine in the featured game at 6:45.

Santa Ana has won three consecutive league titles and has compiled a 67-17 record in the past 3 seasons, but opposing coaches are hoping the Saints’ reign will end now that center Bobby Joyce has graduated.

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Santa Ana (12-4) has one of the youngest teams in the county with five sophomores and two juniors among its top nine players. Three-point specialist Mike Zamora is the Saints’ leading scorer.

Foothill (8-7) is led by juniors Mark Wilkinson and Jamal Duff. Duff is an imposing 6-foot 7-inch, 215-pound center who figures to battle Santa Ana’s 6-3, 240-pound Oscar Wilson.

Every team in the Century League has a winning record.

In the South Coast League, El Toro (10-5) has won 7 of its past 8 games. The Chargers are led inside by senior forward Khari Johnson and outside by the perimeter shooting of sophomore Rob Johnson.

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Irvine (14-2) is coming off a 53-51 overtime loss to Corona del Mar. Irvine won the Irvine World News and Coast Christmas tournament titles.

The strength of the South Coast League is evident in the latest Orange County Sportswriters’ Assn. basketball poll, which ranked Irvine No. 3, Capistrano Valley No. 5, Dana Hills No. 9 and El Toro No. 10.

In other games tonight, Mater Dei (15-2) will face Angelus League rival Bishop Amat (12-4) in the Monarchs’ campus gymnasium.

Last year, Bishop Amat ended Mater Dei’s 55-game winning streak in the Angelus League with a victory on the same floor.

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In the Sunset League, Fountain Valley (12-2) will play host to Ocean View (10-3). Fountain Valley will match its 3-point shooters against Ocean View center Todd Norman, whom Coach Jim Harris calls “the best post player in Southern California.”


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