El Camino, Santa Monica Meet in Playoff Opener


For the second consecutive season, the El Camino College basketball team will play Santa Monica College to open Southern California Regional playoff action.

The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Santa Monica College.

The 17th-seeded Warriors (18-13 overall) placed fourth in the five-member South Coast Conference with a 2-6 record. Santa Monica (21-11, 6-4) is the third-place team from the Western State Conference Southern Division. The 16th-seeded Corsairs defeated El Camino, 95-73, Dec. 21.

"They really hammered us," El Camino Coach Ron McClurkin said. "No matter what we did that night we couldn't do a thing. They got fast breaks and they really beat us bad. They just tore us apart."

Sophomore guard Donald Smith leads Santa Monica with an 18.7 points-per-game average. Freshman guard Jason Shea is averaging 6.5 assists.

Keishaun Darthard has led El Camino in scoring all season. The 6-foot-4 guard averages 17.9. Freshman forward Steve King averages 12.2 points and sophomores Michael Houck and Darius Dubose each average 11.6 points. Dubose, a 6-0 guard, has been out because of a knee injury for the past six weeks, but is expected to play Saturday.

"He's going to make a difference," McClurkin said of Dubose. "He's a good shooter and he plays defense with more intensity than a lot of the other guys. He's not as tall, but he's quick, intense and he can shoot."

McClurkin said it will take a team effort to pull out a victory.

"We'll have to shoot a lot better than we have been and we'll have to rebound," he said. "I think we're playing a lot better now than we did when we lost to them in December."

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