The Preps : SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BASKETBALL REGIONALS : Division IV Boys : Whittier Christian to Play San Diego Coronado

Times Staff Writer

Whittier Christian High School, after winning the Southern Section 2-AA basketball championship Saturday, enters the Southern California Regionals today as the third-seeded team in Division IV.

Whittier Christian (22-6) will play San Diego Coronado (11-14) at La Habra High School in a first-round game tonight at 7:30.

Whittier Christian, led by 6-foot-7 center Scott Ferguson (19 points and 11 rebounds a game) and 6-4 forward Paul McKinley (21 points, 9 rebounds), may not have too great a challenge in Coronado, the only team in the division playoffs with a losing record. Derek Wastila, a 6-5 junior center, leads Coronado with 14 points a game.

Wastila is supported by 5-6 guard Tim DeWitt, 6-3 forward Jesse MacNeill and 6-2 guard Tom Mitchell, who was the San Diego Section player of the year in water polo last fall.


“When you’re facing these unknown teams, you are always a little hesitant in what to say to the kids,” Whittier Christian Coach Bob Brown said. “But I feel good. I feel we got a real good seeding for the first round.”

In other Division IV play:

Orange Lutheran (23-4) vs. El Cajon Christian (14-11) at Granite Hills High: Orange Lutheran, which defeated Whittier Christian twice en route to the Olympic League title this season, qualified for the regionals as an at-large entry after losing, 78-54, to 2-A champion Santa Clara Saturday.

Orange Lutheran, coming off its worse performance of the season Saturday when it shot just 32% from the field after averaging 55% all season, will meet a good shooting team.

El Cajon Christian, which defeated Coronado, 70-60, Saturday for the section Division IV title, is especially capable at the free throw line. Saturday it converted 21 of 22 free throws.

Its top player, 6-1 guard David Jeremiah, is a three-year starter who averages 21.6 points. In one game this season, he made 10 three-point shots.

Darrell White, a 6-5 senior forward, averages 20 points for Coronado. Other starters are 6-3 forward Tim Barkett, 6-foot junior guard Brad Fox and 6-10, 215-pound center Dan Tate.

Tate, though intimidating in size, rarely scores in double figures. He scored just two points in Saturday’s victory.