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PREP BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT PREVIEW : Estancia a Favorite in Laguna Beach Event

Estancia High School, the top-ranked team in The Times’ Orange County preseason poll, is among the favorites to win the 21st Laguna Beach Invitational basketball tournament that begins today at Laguna Beach High School.

Estancia features Torrey Hammond, Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Haas from last year’s team that won the Southern Section 3-AA championship.

Top-seeded Lynwood was 31-3 last year and runner-up in the 5-AA division. Lynwood’s top player is forward Juaquin Hawkins and the Knights have two outstanding sophomores in Nathan Ware and Rodney Malloy.

Other top players competing in the tournament include Dan Bathey (Santa Margarita), Josh Borella (Laguna Beach), Doug Hesse (Corona del Mar), Melvin Johnson (San Clemente) and Dashon Quiette (St. John Bosco).

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Lynwood is the defending champion. The title game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The first-round pairings: Today: 3 p.m.--Brea-Olinda vs. Pacifica; 4:30--Fallbrook vs. St. John Bosco; 6--Lynwood vs. Whittier; 7:30--Torrance vs. Santa Margarita. Tuesday: 3 p.m.--San Clemente vs. Savanna; 4:30--Chino vs. Estancia; 6--Corona del Mar vs. Warren; 7:30--Laguna Beach vs. Fountain Valley.

Five of the top 10 teams in The Times’ Orange County preseason basketball poll are entered in the second Trabuco Hills tournament scheduled to begin Tuesday at Trabuco Hills High School.

Tustin, the second-ranked team in the poll, is among the 12 teams in the field. Tustin has four returning starters, including all-Southern Section selection David Beilstein.

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Also entered is third-ranked Marina, fourth-ranked Mater Dei, fifth-ranked Capistrano Valley and eighth-ranked Mission Viejo.

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

The first round pairings: Tuesday: 6 p.m.--Mater Dei vs. Mission Viejo; 7:45--Marina vs. Trabuco Hills. Wednesday: 4:30 p.m.--Capistrano Valley vs. Foothill; 6:15--Los Alamitos vs. University.

Long Beach Jordan, Tustin, J.W. North and Rancho Buena Vista have first-round byes.

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Western, featuring guard Tom Barraza, is the top-seeded team in the 25th Garden Grove Tournament that begins today at Garden Grove High School.

Defending champion Loara did not return to the tournament. The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday.

The first-round pairings: Today: 6:30 p.m.--Bolsa Grande vs. Buena Park; 8--Western vs. Santa Ana Valley. Tuesday: 6:30 p.m.--Magnolia vs. Garden Grove; 8--Laguna Hills vs. Fullerton.

Servite, the defending State Division III champion, is the top-seeded team in the Valencia Tournament that begins today at two sites.

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Esperanza, with three three-year starters, is the second-seeded team. Guard Joe Foss led Esperanza to a 30-5 record in summer play.

Servite is the defending champion. The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Valencia High School.

Today’s first-round pairings:

At Esperanza: 6 p.m.--Katella vs. El Modena; 7:30--Esperanza vs. La Habra. At Valencia: 6 p.m.--Rancho Alamitos vs. Troy; 7:30--Valencia vs. Sonora.

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Kennedy, Sunny Hills and Woodbridge are among the entries in the 16-team Cerritos-Gahr Tournament scheduled to begin Tuesday at two sites.

Sunny Hills has three all-league players from last year’s team that won the Freeway League title. Center Brett Mitchelson and forward Terry Mann are the Lancers’ top players.

Long Beach Millikan, featuring forward Pat Thacker, is the top-seeded team in the tournament. The championship game is scheduled for 7:30 Saturday.

The first-round pairings:

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Tuesday at Gahr: 6 p.m.--Pioneer vs. Kennedy; 7:30--La Mirada vs. Gahr. Tuesday at Cerritos: 6 p.m.--Gahr JV vs. Woodbridge; 7:30--Santa Fe vs. Cerritos. Wednesday at Gahr: 6 p.m.--El Rancho vs. Antelope Valley; 7:30--Paramount vs. LB Wilson. Wednesday at Cerritos: 6 p.m.--Sunny Hills vs. Banning; 7:30--Centennial vs. LB Millikan.

Co-favorites Huntington Beach and Irvine will meet in the second round of the Daily Pilot Tipoff Classic at 7:30 tonight at Newport Harbor High School.

Huntington Beach defeated La Quinta, 105-71, in the first round with Mustapha Abdi scoring 22 points. Irvine beat Saddleback, 84-70, with forward John Molle scoring 38 points.

The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday. The second-round pairings:

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Today: 5:50 p.m.--Saddleback vs. La Quinta; 7:30--Irvine vs. Huntington Beach. Tuesday: 5:50 p.m.--El Toro vs. Costa Mesa; 7:30--San Dieguito vs. Newport Harbor.


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