The Valley Christian High girls' basketball team was ready to play Santa Ynez in the Southern California Division IV regional final Saturday at Cal State Fullerton.
The game, however, was postponed because the Pirates were unable to make the trip to Fullerton from Santa Ynez because of closures on U.S. Highway 101 caused by heavy rains.
The delay did nothing but help Valley Christian Tuesday night as the Crusaders rolled to an 86-76 victory at Mayfair High to earn their first berth in a state championship.
Senior forward Jodi Parriott and sophomore center Tandee Taylor combined for 76 points for Valley Christian (24-3), which will play Moraga Campolindo (31-3) in the State Division IV final at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.
Tuesday's victory was the first in three tries against Santa Ynez (31-2) and ended the Pirates' 22-game win streak. Santa Ynez eliminated the Crusaders in the first round of the 1992 regional and beat Valley Christian in the semifinals last season.
"We were ready to play Saturday, but the extra time gave us a chance to dissect even more game film and prepare," said the USC-bound Parriott, who had 46 points despite fouling out with two minutes to play.
Valley Christian led, 44-40, at halftime and opened the third quarter with an 18-4 run to take a 62-44 advantage. Santa Ynez never got closer than 10 points again. Parriott and Taylor had all but two of the Crusaders' field goals in the second half.
"We were pumped up for Saturday," Taylor said. "The postponement probably helped us even more. We were able to work on our press and we had a really good practice Monday."
* The Dominguez and Artesia boys will also play in State championships games in Oakland this weekend after notching victories in the Southern California regional finals Saturday at the Anaheim Arena.
The Dons will make their first appearance in a state final and Artesia will play for the fourth time in six seasons. Dominguez (32-2) plays Mountain View St. Francis (26-8) in the Division II final at 8 p.m. Friday. Artesia, which won state titles in 1990, 1992 and 1993, will meet Walnut Creek Northgate (33-2) in Division III at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
James Brown and Kenny Brunner scored 14 points each to lead Dominguez to a 69-45 victory over J.W. North in the Southern California final. James Jones, who had 10 rebounds, and Jason Thomas added 10 each.
"If we're going to Oakland, then I want to win," Jones said.
Senior Tommy Prince said the trip will realize a season-long goal and will be his first visit to the Bay Area city.
"I've never been to Oakland, but we've wanted to be there since Day 1," Prince said.
The Dons needed to overcome a sluggish start and a seven-point first-half deficit to beat North, which had played its last six postseason games on the road.
Dominguez, which trailed, 22-15, in the second quarter tied the score at halftime, 24-24, and opened a 46-34 lead at the end of the third quarter. Dominguez sealed the victory with an 18-0 run after the Huskies had climbed to within eight points early in the fourth quarter.
"I think both teams were fatigued," Dominguez Coach Russell Otis said. "It was a long season. They were a little more fatigued than we were because they had to travel all week."
Artesia had to hold on for a 55-54 victory over Harvard Westlake to advance to the state championship. The Pioneers, who rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit, led 55-48 with 49 seconds remaining but missed the front end of three one-and-one situations in the final minute.
The Wolverines rebounded a missed free throw with 7.1 seconds remaining, but Artesia's Jonathan Nelson blocked a three-point attempt by Jason Collins at the buzzer to preserve the victory. Nelson had 14 points and nine rebounds. Teammates James Lee and Dajuan Wilson scored 12 and 10 points each.
* Former Dominguez High and Compton College basketball player Wun Versher is in his first season as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
The 24-year-old Compton native will make his Southern California debut with the Globetrotters at 7:30 tonight at the Long Beach Arena. He will also play Saturday at 2 and 4:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Arena and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the L.A. Sports Arena.
The 6-foot-4 Versher earned All-Southern California Athletic Conference honors at Compton and helped the team earn a berth in the state semifinals in 1991. He played at Arizona State in 1992 and 1993, graduating with a bachelor's degree in recreational management.
He received an invitation to the Globetrotters' training camp last fall at Moorpark College and was chosen to play in a tour of South America.
"I would like to help change the negative image people have about Compton and now, as a Globetrotter, I can offer inspiration to members of my community," Versher said. "There's a certain responsibility that comes with being a role model for today's youth, and the rewards come from helping to make a difference in people's lives."
The Cerritos College men's basketball team suffered a 91-87 defeat to Hartnell in the quarterfinals of the state community college tournament March 9 at UC Irvine.
Darius Rutledge had 28 points and 21 rebounds for Cerritos (32-2), which suffered its other loss to eventual state champion Ventura during the regular season.
Rutledge finished the season with 393 rebounds to break the record of 377 set by Bob Horn in 1970. The 6-foot-6 sophomore from Downey High and teammate Wayne Allen were selected to play for the South in the North-South all-star game. Rutledge started and had a team-high seven rebounds; Allen came off the bench to score 10 points and grab five rebounds.
* The scoreboard at the Long Beach City College baseball field will be dedicated to Joe Hicks before the Vikings' South Coast Conference game against Compton Saturday. Hicks, who coached at Long Beach from 1950-75, died of cancer in 1991 at age 64.
Hicks won three state titles, seven Southern California championships and 13 conference titles at Long Beach. He also coached at Azusa Pacific University from 1981 to 1984 and at El Camino College between 1984-88.
Information: (310) 420-4237 or (310) 420-4243.
Long Beach/Southeast Prep Basketball Top 10
Selected by Times Sportswriters BOYS
Rank, School, League Record 1 Dominguez (San Gabriel Valley) 32-2 2 Artesia (Suburban) 29-3 3 Long Beach Poly (Moore) 21-11 4 St. John Bosco (Del Rey) 20-9 5 Centennial (Ocean) 18-14
Rank, School, League Record 1 Valley Christian (Olympic) 24-3 2 Long Beach Poly (Moore) 25-5 3 Lynwood (San Gabriel Valley) 18-6 4 Cerritos (Mission Valley) 21-6 5 Downey (San Gabriel Valley) 22-6