RECORDS--Estancia (25-7), Morningside (23-6)
ESTANCIA--A quick history lesson: Last season, Estancia lost in the Southern Section III-AA championship to Pomona, 48-45, regrouped and beat Pomona, 64-40, in the Southern California Division III regional championship. The Eagles went one step further, defeating Fremont Washington, 82-72, to become state champions. Estancia is trying to duplicate the feat after losing an overtime thriller to Morningside, 95-85, in the sectional championship last Saturday. Estancia Coach Tim O'Brien said he will make two changes in the rematch. "I'll substitute a little earlier than I did the first time," he said. "We'll also put a little more defensive pressure on them in the backcourt just to try and slow them down a little. I don't want to get into an up-and-down game with them. I don't want the score in the 90s again." O'Brien is well aware that Morningside has averaged 94.5 points per game in two regional playoffs. "They scored 45 points in the last 11 minutes against us the last time we played," O'Brien said. Matt Fuerbringer, who's averaging 28 points in the postseason, sat out nearly half the last game because of foul trouble.
MORNINGSIDE--Morningside's full-court press, a combination of a one-two-two or man coverage, has taken its toll in regional play. "We've gotten some easy baskets as a result of our press," said Morningside Coach Carl Franklin. "Our offense is predicated on our defense." Morningside elects to press generally after every basket it makes, leading O'Brien to say, "That means they're pressing the whole game if they're averaging over 90 points a game." Stais Boseman, Morningside's talented junior forward, had 27 points the last time the teams met and is coming off a 19-point performance against Lemoore in the semifinals. Morningside made seven of 18 three-point attempts in the first meeting, and O'Brien claims half of those came from the NBA's three-point range at the Sports Arena. "It's true, we were shooting a step early," Franklin said. "I think the fact that we were down (by 11 points) had something to do with that. We got caught up in the excitement of the game and we were trying three-pointers just to get back into the game. Fortunately, we made a lot of them."
KEY TO THE GAME--Estancia has to control the tempo, Fuerbringer has to stay out of foul trouble and Jim Faulkner needs to regain his shooting touch. Morningside's press must be effective and Boseman needs another big game.
CONSENSUS--History will repeat and so will Estancia.
P Name Ht. Avg. F Matt Fuerbringer 6-7 19.2 F Ty Schisler 6-4 5.5 C Jeff Byrne 6-6 6.5 G Joe Edson 5-11 6.2 G Jim Faulkner 6-4 12.0
Coach: Tim O'Brien
P Name Ht. Avg. F Dwight Curry 6-4 11.4 F Corey Safford 6-7 10.2 C Pauliasi Taulava 6-9 4.5 G Stais Boseman 6-4 17.7 G Dominic Ellison 6-0 17.3
Coach: Carl Franklin