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PREP ROUNDUP : Buena Park Uses Zone Defense to Stifle Western

Buena Park used an effective 2-3 zone defense that kept Western from scoring a field goal in the second quarter and went on to a 52-40 victory Thursday night in the semifinals of the Fullerton basketball tournament at Fullerton High.

Buena Park (6-1) started a wide-body front line of Angel Barrios, Brian Baylor and Chris White that Western found difficult to penetrate. Western made only four of 21 shot attempts in the first half and fell behind, 20-11.

Buena Park’s trademark under Coach Ed Matillo has been a man-to-man defense, but the fourth-year coach has changed his techniques with four football players on the team.

“We’re a bigger, more physical team this year and don’t match up very well with smaller teams, so we’ve got to go to the zone,” Matillo said.

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Western (5-2) repeatedly got only one shot against its taller opponent and guard Chris Jackson was the Pioneers’ only effective shooter. Jackson scored 23 points before fouling out with about a minute to play.

Buena Park will try to win its first tournament championship in 10 years at 7:30 tonight when the Coyotes meet undefeated Saddleback (7-0) in the title game.

The inside play of Barrios (nine points, seven rebounds), Baylor (nine points, seven rebounds), White (seven points, seven rebounds) and Gavin Molinar (three points, five rebounds) was more than Western could handle.

Western did manage to get close in the fourth quarter, 44-40, by creating nine turnovers with its half-court trap.

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Buena Park will be hurt by the loss of returning starting guard Chris Stone, who has been ruled academically ineligible for the season.

Saddleback 71, Fullerton 68--Forward Jason Register made four free throws in the final minute of play to help the Roadrunners (7-0) hold off a late Fullerton comeback. Saddleback made only 12 of 22 free-throw attempts in the last quarter. Register finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds.


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