Compton Dominguez, Torrance Bishop Montgomery and Los Angeles Price will try to defend division titles this weekend at the state high school basketball championships at Arco Arena in Sacramento.
Dominguez is going for its third consecutive Division II championship and will be without 7-foot-1 center Tyson Chandler, who injured an ankle in the Southern California Regional semifinals.
Bishop Montgomery is trying to be part of a unique double. The Knights not only can win their second consecutive championship, they can combine with the Bishop Montgomery girls to become the only school to win back-to-back boys' and girls' titles.
Price is trying to win its second consecutive Division V title.
Santa Ana Mater Dei and Santa Monica Crossroads are no strangers to state championship games.
Mater Dei, which has won three titles, lost in the 1999 final to Oakland Fremont.
Crossroads last appeared in a final in 1997, when the Roadrunners won the Division IV title.
A look at each championship game:
SANTA ANA MATER DEI (32-2) vs. MODESTO CHRISTIAN (34-3), Saturday at 8 p.m.: Guard Cedric Bozeman and center Jamal Sampson have achieved great success at Mater Dei, but they have not been able to lead the Monarchs to a state title. They were sophomores two years ago when Oakland Fremont defeated the Monarchs, 50-45, in the final. Mater Dei's quest for its first title since 1995 has been buoyed by the outstanding play of guard Ricky Porter, who stepped up with big games in the regional semifinal against Upland and final against Fresno Clovis West. Forwards Mike Strawberry and Harrison Schaen are other key players for the Monarchs. Modesto Christian defeated defending state champion Concord De La Salle, 72-53, to advance to the final. The Crusaders are experienced and are led by Kentucky-bound forward Chuck Hayes, who had 26 points and 11 rebounds in the regional final. Richard Midgley had 19 points and David Paris, son of former NFL offensive lineman Bubba Paris, had 11 points and 16 rebounds. Modesto Christian's three losses came by a total of four points.
COMPTON DOMINGUEZ (30-4) vs. MOUNTAIN VIEW ST. FRANCIS (22-9), Friday at 8 p.m.: Despite losing their coach before the season and their most dominating player at the end, the Dons are in position to win their fifth Division II title in six years. Chandler was not available in the regional final as Dominguez defeated Redondo Union, 62-57, to advance to the final for the sixth time. St. Francis beat Dominguez in the 1995 championship game--the only time the Dons have lost a final. Junior forwards Bobby Jones and Darius Sanders have stepped up their games in Chandler's absence and the Dons have received strong play from guards Keion Kindred and Tony Bryant. Guard Montell Williams scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter against Redondo Union. St. Francis is led by 6-9 Dave Chiotti, who scored 21 points in the regional final against Hayward, and 6-5 Troy Bienemann, who had 10. Point guard Hakeem Gilliard had 18 points in the regional final.
TORRANCE BISHOP MONTGOMERY (29-2) vs. SAN FRANCISCO RIORDAN (26-8), Saturday at 2:45 p.m.: Bishop Montgomery won the title last year in its first state-final appearance. USC-bound twin guards Errick and Derrick Craven lead a team that beat San Diego St. Augustine by 20 points in the regional final. Errick Craven scored 24 points, Derrick Craven had 18 and Kenny O'Doyen had 12 in the victory. The Knights also feature UC Irvine-bound guard DeVaughn Peace. Riordan starts four juniors, including Marquise Kately, who had 39 points and 12 rebounds in a 70-46 victory over McAteer in the regional final. Riordan outrebounded McAteer, 51-16.
SANTA MONICA CROSSROADS (22-5) vs. BERKELEY ST. MARY'S (30-4), Saturday at 11:15 a.m.: Crossroads center Isaiah Fox, who will attend Arizona, is the marquee player for the Roadrunners, who reached the final with a 66-52 victory over Bakersfield Garces. The 6-10 Fox had 33 points and 22 rebounds, and Joe Abrahams added 11. Junior guard John Sharper of St. Mary's scored 28 points in the regional semifinals and 26 in the final. Chase Moore, who scored 18 points and had eight rebounds in the regional final, is St. Mary's top frontcourt player.
LOS ANGELES PRICE (32-3) vs. OAKLAND ST. ELIZABETH (23-12), Friday at 4 p.m: Guards Chris Alexander and Andrew Howard and forward Jermaine Jamerson played key roles the last two seasons for Price, which won the state title last year. Alexander, who has signed with Cal State Fullerton, scored 21 points and Jamerson had 19 as Price beat Reedley Immanuel, 69-59, in the regional final. St. Elizabeth features Santa Clara-bound guard Bakari Altheimer, who is averaging 27 points in the state playoffs. Altheimer made 11 of 19 shots and scored 28 points in the Mustangs' 60-39 victory over Capital Christian in the regional final. St. Elizabeth won the 1996 state title.
Harbor City Narbonne was undefeated last season and was recognized by several national polls as the No. 1 team in the country.
The ride was not as smooth this season for the Lady Gauchos, but they could still be recognized as mythical national champions if they repeat as state titlists Saturday at Arco Arena in Sacramento.
Narbonne and Torrance Bishop Montgomery are trying to win their second consecutive state titles in divisions I and III, respectively.
Here is a look at each of the championship games:
HARBOR CITY NARBONNE (27-3) vs. BERKELEY (27-5), Saturday at 6 p.m.: These teams have played in the final three times in the last four years. Narbonne defeated Berkeley in 1998 but was forced to vacate the championship because of recruiting violations. Last season, Narbonne beat the Yellowjackets, 64-52, to complete a 34-0 season. Narbonne is led by Tennessee-bound senior guard Loree Moore, who took over last year's final. Narbonne is also big and skilled in the frontcourt with 6-footers Amber Pruitt, Wilnett Crockett and Jamie Funn. Lisa Willis is outstanding from the perimeter and freshman Camille Lenoir is already an impact player. Narbonne lost its opener to Lynwood and stumbled at Ventura Buena, but tore through the Southern California regional and avenged its loss to Lynwood with a 67-41 victory in the final. Berkeley defeated Oakland, 55-40, in its regional final. Senior guard Robin Roberson had 14 points, and senior forward Gelater Fullwood and junior forward Natasha Bailey each had 12. However, the Yellowjackets made only 15 of 60 shots.
HANFORD (30-2) vs. PLEASANTON AMADOR VALLEY (27-3), Friday at 4 p.m.: Hanford defeated Lakewood Artesia to advance to its first state championship game. Hanford is led by 6-5 center Shawntinice Polk and 6-1 guard Amy Parrish. Amador Valley is in the final for the third consecutive year. The Dons lost to Brea Olinda in 1999 and 2000. Senior guard Mia Fisher leads Amador Valley.
TORRANCE BISHOP MONTGOMERY (28-6) vs. SAN FRANCISCO SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (28-2), Saturday at 1 p.m.--Bishop Montgomery won the state title last season and appeared to have the talent to win four in a row. But center Lauren Ervin and guard Brittney Thomas transferred to Artesia, seemingly leaving Bishop Montgomery without enough to return to the state final. The Knights have rallied behind sophomore guard Noelle Quinn, who scored 20 points in a 60-51 regional final victory over Fullerton Rosary. Bishop Montgomery made 18 of 21 free throws, including 14 of 16 in the fourth quarter. Sacred Heart is led by Tessa Moon, who scored 20 points in a 47-41 regional final victory over Martinez Alhambra.
LA JOLLA BISHOP'S (24-6) vs. STOCKTON ST. MARY'S (35-1), Saturday at 9:30 a.m.--Center Lindsay Killus made 10 of 12 shots and scored 24 points in The Bishop's School's victory over Oak Park in the regional final. The Knights also feature senior guards Brianna and Mallone Winn. Defending state champion St. Mary's, which defeated Playa del Rey St. Bernard in last year's final, is led by senior guard Michelle Cozad, who scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds in a regional final victory over Kentfield Marin Catholic.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (28-5) vs. SAN LORENZO REDWOOD CHRISTIAN (24-6), Friday at 2 p.m.--Guard Candice Wiggins, daughter of former major league player Alan Wiggins, scored 32 points and guard June Brubaker made six three-pointers in Country Day's regional final victory over San Luis Obispo Mission Prep. Senior guard Leah Thornton had 24 points for defending state champion Redwood Christian in the regional final against Ripon Christian.