SEEDS OF DISRESPECT?
His team is ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, No. 11 in a national poll and is the defending Southern Section Division II-A champion.
So it is not difficult to judge the reaction of Inglewood High Coach Patrick Roy when he learned his boys' basketball team was seeded only third in the II-A playoffs. The Sentinels (23-3) will play host to Villa Park in their opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"It was somewhat of a shock when I first heard it," Roy said. "When you have two nationally ranked teams like Inglewood and Dominguez and neither one is seeded No. 1, it's somewhat of a surprise."
Tustin, ranked No. 3 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, is the top-seeded team and Dominguez, ranked No. 4 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, was seeded second. So that means Inglewood and Dominguez, two of the top four teams in the state, could conceivably have to meet in the division semifinals.
Roy is trying to take the situation in stride. "Cal-Hi has us No. 2, but the CIF has it's own way of doing things and we have to just go out and play," he said.
On the bright side, the Sentinels have a 14-game winning streak and Roy said 6-foot-7 standout Paul Pierce has become more focused for the playoffs since he recently announced his decision to attend the University of Kansas in the fall.
"I think it's definitely been a big weight off his shoulder," Roy said. "Instead of worrying about where he's going, he can concentrate on basketball and his education."
Despite the disappointment of not being seeded higher, Roy said, the Sentinels are eager to start the playoffs.
"I don't know if we're fully ready at this particular time, but we'll just try to improve with each game and see what happens," he said.
Inglewood was not the only South Bay boys' team that was seeded third in the playoffs.
Redondo was seeded third in III-AA, along with Serra in IV-A and Rolling Hills Prep in V-A. Their playoff openers will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Redondo (19-6), which finished second in the Ocean League, received a first-round bye and will play host to either Paso Robles or Alemany in a second-round game.
Serra (14-11), which finished tied with St. John Bosco for the Del Rey League title, will take on either Bell-Jeff or Mojave in a first-round matchup in Gardena.
Rolling Hills Prep (19-1), which won the Express League, received a first-round bye and will play either Imperial or Praise Temple in the second round.
Two-time defending champion Banning is the top-seeded team in the City Section 3-A Division playoffs that start at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Pilots (16-8), led by guard Brian Jones, will play host to either Bravo or Westside Alternative in their opener.
Other first-round games of note: Carson (15-9) visits Chatsworth (19-4) in 4-A and Gardena (11-10) visits Garfield (11-13) in 3-A.
Three girls' teams from the South Bay have been seeded in the Southern Section basketball playoffs and another is listed among the top teams in the City Section playoffs.
At the top of the list is Bishop Montgomery (20-4), which won the Del Rey League title and is seeded No. 2 in Division III-AA. Morningside (17-6), the second-place finisher in the Ocean League, is seeded third in III-A and Camino Real League champion St. Mary's (20-4) is seeded fourth in IV-AA. All three teams will play host to playoff openers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Bishop Montgomery will play Gladstone (9-12), which finished third in the Montview League, in a first-round game; Morningside will take on either Moorpark or Rosary in a second-round matchup, and St. Mary's will play either Big Bear or Bishop in a first-round game.
Pacific League champion Narbonne (15-7) has been seeded second in City 3-A. The Gauchos will play host to Bell (6-19) in their playoff opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
In other first-round games Friday night, Banning is at Marshall in 4-A and Gardena travels to Hamilton in 3-A.
A FAST START
The official start of the 1995 prep track season isn't until Feb. 27, but the Morningside High boys' and girls' teams were impressive last week at the Sunkist Invitational indoor meet at the Sports Arena.
The boys, who won their third consecutive Division III title last year, won their heats and posted the fastest time in the 1,280-yard and mile relays. The Monarchs were led individually by Michael Turner, who finished third in the triple jump with a leap of 46-3 1/4, and sprinter William Turner, who was third in his heat of the 50-meter dash in six seconds.
Morningside's girls, who have won five consecutive Division III titles, were led by the 640-yard relay team that won their heat in the event's fastest time. The Monarchs also had the third-fastest overall time in the mile relay and Sonny Butler finished third in her heat in the 50-meter dash.
In addition to Morningside, three other South Bay athletes won events at the meet. Derek Loudenback of Mira Costa produced the fastest overall time in winning his heat of the rated 880-yard run in 2 minutes 1.3 seconds, Vicky Anwuri of Bishop Montgomery won her heat of the 500-yard run in 1:11.4 and Reynda King of St. Mary's won the triple jump in 36-5 1/4.
Gardena also won its heat in the 640-yard relay in 1:17.5.
AND THE WINNER IS. . .
For senior Simone Ferrara of South Torrance High, it was a choice between soccer and track. Soccer won out.
Ferrara signed a national letter of intent last week to play soccer for former UC Irvine Coach Marine Cano in the fall. Cano formerly coached at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Ferrara, a forward who was an all-league selection in soccer the past two seasons, is also one of the Southern Section's top middle-distance runners.
Ferrara is leaving open the option of also competing in track at Irvine but says soccer will probably be her primary focus.
She will run track this spring and will concentrate on the 800-meter run. She finished eighth in the rated mile in 5:49.8 during the high school portion of the Sunkist Invitational indoor meet.
The Cal State Dominguez Hills women's basketball team will try to secure a berth in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. tournament when it visits Cal State San Bernardino tonight and Grand Canyon on Saturday night.
Two victories could clinch a spot in the four-team tournament for the Toros (16-5, 4-3 in conference), who are tied for second in the CCAA with San Bernardino and Cal State Los Angeles after going 1-1 in conference games last week.
A loss in either game this week could set up a must-win situation for the Toros in their regular-season finale, Feb. 25 at Cal State L.A.
The tournament chances for Grand Canyon (9-14, 3-4) could significantly improve with a victory over Dominguez Hills.
Dominguez Hills is coming off a lopsided 93-61 road defeat Monday against Western New Mexico at Silver City. The Toros were led by forward Faye Hagan with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Hagan, a 5-foot-8 junior, averages a CCAA-leading 19.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, and guard Pam Kirkwood averages 16.3 points and a team-leading 9.5 rebounds.
Senior Tanya White is in good position to move up to No. 2 on Loyola Marymount's all-time women's basketball scoring list when the Lions (5-16, 2-8 in West Coast Conference play) play host to San Diego on Friday night and San Francisco on Saturday night.
White, a 6-1 forward, enters the San Diego game 26 points behind former Loyola standout Kristen Bruich with 1,118 points. White, who is also third on the school's all-time rebound list with 616, averages a team-leading 17.4 points and 8.6 rebounds this season.
If White doesn't reach the milestone against either San Diego or San Francisco, she will have the opportunity to accomplish the feat in a nonconference game Monday night against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
It will be a tune-up for the state playoffs when the Harbor College women's basketball team plays host to Trade Tech in its regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Harbor (28-5, 12-1 in South Coast Conference play), which has held steady in the rankings at No. 2 in Southern California and No. 5 in the state, recorded one of its biggest routs of the season in a 106-51 win over rival El Camino last week and defeated Compton, 95-88, on Monday.
The Seahawks have been led by sophomore guard Michelle Duckworth, who averages 27.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in SCC games, and sophomore forward Rayjanette Lampkin, who averages 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds.
Harbor, which won its first state championship last season, will open defense of its title when it plays host to an undetermined opponent in the first round of the state playoffs Tuesday night.
COVERING ALL THE BASES
After losing to Moorpark, 9-5, on Sunday in the Western State Conference tournament, the Harbor baseball team will compete in the eight-team Golden West Classic on Friday and Saturday.
The Seahawks (8-1), ranked No. 6 in the state in a preseason poll, will play at Cypress at 10 a.m. and at Long Beach at 2 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, they visit Golden West at 10 a.m. and Orange Coast at 2 p.m.
Harbor's most difficult competition could come from Cypress, which is ranked No. 7 in the state.
The Seahawks, who won three out of four games in the WSC tournament, have been sparked on offense by freshman third baseman Steve Rawson and sophomore catcher Lawrence Norris. Rawson, who played at Redondo High, leads the team with three home runs and Norris has two, including a grand slam.
A MOUND OF TALENT
The Cal State Dominguez baseball team has been living up to preseason expectations with its play.
The Toros, who were ranked as high as No. 9 in preseason polls, started the week at 4-0-1 after winning a series against Chico State. Dominguez Hills will play Cal State Stanislaus in a scheduled three-game series Friday and Saturday in Carson. There is a single game at 2 p.m. Friday and a doubleheader at noon Saturday.
The Toros have been sparked by the pitching of reliever Tony Velasquez and starter Scott Veeder. Velasquez, a senior, had an 0.84 earned-run average and nine saves last season and already has two saves this season. Veeder, a senior, has won his only decision.
It may have been a first for the Loyola Marymount men's volleyball program when it won the Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne tournament last week.
At the very least, it was the first time in recent years that the Lions have won a tournament. Loyola (3-5) defeated Lewis of Illinois in five games in the first round of the tournament and defeated host Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne in five games in the championship match.
The Lions, who play host to Cal State Northridge in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at 7:05 tonight, have been led by senior outside hitters Jason McEntee and Wes Schneider. McEntee had 36 kills in the title match against Indiana-Purdue.