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COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL : Rancho Santiago, Cypress Both Play for State Berths

Rancho Santiago and Cypress can reach the men’s state basketball tournament with victories tonight in the final round of the Southern California Regionals.

Rancho Santiago (31-2), the top-seeded team, plays host to No. 8 Los Angeles City (27-5) at 7:30 p.m. Cypress (24-10), the No. 10-seeded team, is at No. 2 Ventura (30-4) at 7 p.m.

Rancho Santiago sophomore forward Erik Martin needs five points to set the Rancho Santiago single-season scoring record. He has 754 points, and Edgar Wickliffe had 758 during the 1978-79 season.

This will be the second meeting for Rancho Santiago, the defending state champion, and L.A. City this season. Rancho Santiago won the first, 109-84, in the championship game of the Rancho Santiago Holiday Tournament in late December.

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This is the second consecutive season Cypress has reached the regional finals. Last season, the Chargers lost to El Camino.

Cypress forward Eric Pauley is averaging 22 points, and had 24 as Cypress upset Antelope Valley, 75-60, in the second round Wednesday.

Canyons (21-12) is at Long Beach (29-4) and Imperial Valley (29-3) at Compton (26-6) at 7:30 p.m. in the other two Southern California Regional finals.

The four winners in Northern California and Southern California meet March 7-9 at UC Irvine in the State Tournament.

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