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Magnolia Beats Brea Again, Eyes League Title

TIMES STAFF WRITER

When Magnolia stormed onto Brea Olinda’s court 16 days ago and came out a 79-70 winner, many figured the Sentinels had caught the Wildcats on an off-night.

But Magnolia’s 88-81 victory Friday night was certainly no fluke and it not only gave the Sentinels (19-3, 6-0) a sweep of the season series but put them on track for their first Orange League boys’ basketball title since 1994.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Feb. 1, 1998 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday February 1, 1998 Orange County Edition Sports Part C Page 11 Sports Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Magnolia basketball--Because of incorrect information provided, Magnolia center Anthony Zaragoza was misidentified in a boys’ basketball photo in Saturday’s edition of The Times Orange County.

“As far as I’m concerned, they have won the league,” said Brea Olinda Coach Gene Lloyd, whose Wildcats (18-4, 4-2) have won the last three league championships.

Sentinel Coach Al Walin knows there are still four league games remaining, but he was still in the mood to celebrate his team’s 12th consecutive victory.

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“I’ll certainly take the two-game cushion,” he said. “These kids have met every challenge they’ve faced so far this year.”

Magnolia’s flashy forward Eric McGhee led his team with 24 points, but he was hardly a solo act. All five Sentinel starters--McGhee, Paul Cabico, Zamiro Bennem, Asi Faoa and Anthony Zaragosa--scored in double figures. Faoa, who got into early foul trouble, scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, and Zaragosa had a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

That was good enough to counter the 18 points and 19 rebounds by Wildcat center Jeff Mason and 24 points by forward Rick Carlson.

“They proved they are a more balanced team than we are and that they are not a one-man team,” Lloyd said.

In another Orange League game:

Savanna 72, Anaheim 56--Will King scored 28 points and Craig Smith added 14 to lead Savanna (10-12, 4-2). Tru Nguyen led Anaheim with 21 points.


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