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SoCalHoops State Tournament

D-III SoCal & NorCal Regionals:
Semifinals Results & Brackets--(Mar. 11, 2002)

Aside from being laid up with the flu for a couple of days last week, there's been an incredible amount going on in basketball everywhere which kept us from posting this yesterday, the day after the Saturday semifinals.  But better late than never.   The finals are now set, and we'll see a matchup of Westchester and Long Beach Poly this coming Saturday at the Long Beach Arena.  Game time is 12:00 p.m.   The winner will advance to Arco Arena to the State Finals, meeting the NorCal champion.

What we've done, as with the first round, is to update the bracket (below) and are also post complete results by culling together the highlights from the pros who write about this stuff for a living, providing as many perspectives of the same game as possible, which, in some divisions means from about three or four different newspapers (with links of course back to the original newspaper source).  Here's what happened.

SoCal Division III Regionals NorCal Division III Regionals

Bishop Montgomery 62, Palm Desert 45, 
Compton Centennial 53, Wash. Union 49


Sacred Heart Cathedral 62, Del Norte 49
Riordan 69, Foothill 66 (OT)

Round 1
March 6
7:30 p.m.
SoCal Round 2
March 9
7:30 p.m.
SoCal Finals
March 16
12:00 p.m.
LB Arena
State Finals,
March 23
2:45 p.m.
NorCal Finals
March 16 -
12:00 p.m.
UC Davis Rec.
Round 2,
March 9
7:30 p.m.
NorCal Round 1
March 6
7:30 p.m.
Kearny 49
* Bishop Montgomery 89
  Palm Desert 45

@ BHMS 7:30 p.m.

Bishop Montg. 62

Bish. Mont.



    Sacred Heart



Sacred Heart 62

@ Kezar 7:30 p.m.

Del Norte 49
 * Sacred Heart 64
@ Kezar Pavilion
7:30 p.m.
Anderson 48
Palm Desert 60
* St. Augustine 45
Natomas 57
Del Norte 59
Washington Union 66
Bishop Amat 63
  Washington Union 49


Compton Centenn. 53

Riordan 69

@ Foothills HS

Foothills HS 66 (OT)

Riordan 64
Enterprise 59
*Compton Centennial 63
Bakersfield East 51
Piner 62
Foothill 68


Bishop Montgomery 62, Palm Desert 45

From the LA Times
By Peter Yoon

Bishop Montgomery used a 12-2 run late in the third quarter to take a 45-33 lead and turn a tight game into a blowout. Fred Washington had 23 points and Brandon Peace had 15 to lead Bishop Montgomery (27-6), the defending state champion. The Knights will play Compton Centennial next week in the finals. Bishop Montgomery, which led, 26-24, at halftime, opened its lead to, 57-37, midway through the fourth quarter. The Knights held Palm Desert to 15 out of 38 field goal attempts, including 0-11 on three-point shots. The game became physical in the fourth quarter with an intentional foul on Palm Desert and a couple of minor scuffles. Referees ended the game with 5.4 seconds left to avoid any major confrontations. Josh Zazulia had 19 points for palm desert (26-6). Peter Yoon


From the Daily Breeze
Bishop Montgomery streaks to victory
By Bob Holtzman

Fans liked to compare the Palm Desert High boys basketball team to the team in the movie Hoosiers during the past season.  With bright red uniforms and strong team fundamentals, Palm Desert looked the part Saturday night in a CIF Divi sion III Southern California Regional semifinal at Bishop Montgomery. But not even Norman Dale would have stood a chance against Doug Mitchell.  The Knights' coach kept on his team at halftime and the players responded with a breakaway 62-45 victory. Bishop Montgomery plays Saturday at noon at the Long Beach Arena against Centennial of Compton, which defeated Washington Union of Fresno, 53-49, on Saturday.  “Coach (Mitchell) always tells us that you won't blow away a good team early,” said Bishop Montgomery junior Fred Washington. “But eventually, they're going to crack. That's what they did in (the second half) and we took advantage of it.” Bishop Montgomery (25-6) used a 24-6 run from 4:11 left in the third quarter to 4:53 left in the fourth quarter to take a 57-37 lead after holding just a 26-24 halftime lead.  “Their athleticism showed in the third quarter,” Palm Desert coach Don Brady said. “I think we had gotten a little tired. They have great athletes. We have good athletes who work hard. We just came up against something we couldn't stop. “It's just hard to go for the back-door layup when a guy goes up 11 feet in the air and blocks it. They executed well and they out-athleted us.” Washington led all scorers with 23 points. Brandon Peace had 15 points, making three 3-pointers in the first quarter. Josh Zazulia had 19 points for Palm Desert.  Things turned ugly when Palm Desert's Chase McQuillen was called for a flagrant foul. Ultimately, the officials called the game with 5.4 seconds remaining after a fight nearly broke out. “They were crazy out there,” Lee said. “We took their heart out. They had nothing else to do but go to the street. They thought it was a WWF match. It was just a basketball game and we showed them we're the better team.”

From the Riverside Press-Enterprise
Aztecs hit big wall in Knights
By Allan Steele

For a half, the Palm Desert boys' basketball team did everything right.  The Aztecs slowed the high-flying Torrance Bishop Montgomery offense to a crawl, played swarming defense and executed a brutally patient offense to perfection.  Two minutes into the third period, it was obvious that "doing everything right" wasn't going to be enough.  "Sometimes you just come up against great athletes," Palm Desert coach Don Brady said after the Knights rolled to a 62-45 victory in the second round of the Southern California Division 3 playoffs. "It's hard to beat athleticism when it's coached right."  The Knights (26-6) are two-time defending state champions and proved in the second half Saturday why they might win a third.  "I don't think a good team is going to crack," Bishop Montgomery coach Doug Mitchell said.  The Knights tried to push the ball, but the Palm Desert defense matched up well enough to be within 26-24 at halftime.  With a tempo change, a 10-2 run was capped by an ally-oop dunk by Fred Washington, and Bishop Montgomery was off and running.  "I thought their athleticism showed in the third quarter," Brady said. "Their defense was tenacious . . . it's hard to go for a back-door layin when a guy goes up 11 feet and blocks it."  Washington, 6-foot-5 forward, finished with 23 points, 13 in the second half. Josh Zazulia topped Palm Desert (26-6) with 19 points and Donald Brady added 11. PALM DESERT (26-6) -- Zzulia 19, McQuillen 2, Watkins 6, Brady 11, Bohm 7, Broyyles 0.  BISHOP MONTGOMERY (26-6) -- Williams 6, Howard 3, Hamilton 2, M.Washington 5, Peace 15, F.Washington 23, Lee 4.   Halftime score -- Bishop 26-24. Three-point goals -- Howard, M. Washington, Peace 3, F.Washington. Total fouls -- Palm Desetrt 18, Bishop 20. Fouled out -- McQuillen. Technical fouls -- None. 

From the The Desert Sun
Palm Desert playoff run ends
By Ed Castro

TORRANCE -- Eventually, Palm Desert High School’s boys basketball team was going to run into a team such as Bishop Montgomery -- bigger, faster and, as proven during Saturday’s game, better.  The Aztecs tried to hold their own but the Knights were too much, advancing into the State Championships’ Southern California Regional Division III final with a 62-45 win over the visiting Aztecs.   "It’s hard to put up a shot when a guy leaps 11 feet into the air and makes the block," Palm Desert coach Don Brady said after his team’s season came to an end. "They have great athletes and are well coached."  This was one game in which Palm Desert’s formula for winning wouldn’t be enough. Tough defense wasn’t good enough. Slowing the game down didn’t work. And on-and-off shooting hurt more than ever.  Bishop Montgomery, the two-time CIF Division III state champion, was lightning quick on both sides of the court. They scored on an array of explosive plays and didn’t give the Aztecs any easy looks at the basket.   "Their athleticism was too much and sometimes that was everything," Brady said. "We have good athletes. But they have great athletes and that was the difference."  Bishop Montgomery took command of the game in the third quarter. Up by a basket, 31-29, the Knights outscored the Aztecs 14-6 in the final four minutes of the quarter. That included a 10-0 run that put the Knights up 43-33, scoring on six of their eight shots from the floor.  The rally ended when Bishop Montgomery’s Fred Washington, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, converted on an alley-oop pass from Brandon Pierce.   "Their athleticism really showed in the third quarter," Brady said. "They play very tenacious defense and it was hard for us to do anything."   After Palm Desert took Bishop Amat down to the wire in the Southern Section Division III-AA title game, Bishop Montgomery coach Doug  Mitchell knew it would   be a matter of being patient with the Aztecs’ scheme.  "They’re a pretty good team and I’m being pretty honest about that," Mitchell said. "They beat some very good teams to get to the CIF final. We know about Ocean View and Mayfair. Palm Desert is a good team."  Palm Desert’s two-point deficit at the end of the second quarter turned into a 10-point hole going into the fourth. That was more than enough for the Knights to finish it off.  "What we try to do is play tough defense and wear teams down and that’s what we did to them. We wore them down," Washington said. Bishop Montgomery then ran away with the game in the opening moments of the fourth quarter. The Knights went on a 12-2 run to go up 57-37 with five minutes remaining. The run started with a pair of baskets by Brandon Williams, a quick jumper and then a basket on a putback off a miss by Washington. A dunk by Washington was next and Jason Estrada then scored on a fastbreak. Washington’s steal and layup and a another fastbreak basket by Estrada completed the run.  "It felt good because they crumbled as we took control," Washington said. "They stayed with us as long as they could, but then they just cracked. That was all they could handle."   Through that fourth quarter run, the Aztecs were 0-for-5 from the floor. They were 3-of-12 in the fourth quarter.  "I still thought we had a run left but they converted on everything and we couldn’t get any baskets," said Josh Zazulia, who led the Aztecs with 19 points. "It was tough. To see the lead go from five and six points to 10 points and then 20, it was just hard."   In the early going, Palm Desert’s gameplan worked much like it had all season. The Aztecs were patient on offense (converting on four of their 9 shots from the floor) and aggressive on defense (outrebounding the Knights 12-5) while the Knights struggled to find their shot (4-of-10 from the floor).  "In the first half, I thought we did what we wanted to do," Brady said. "But we did seem to get a little tired."  The Aztecs converted on 10 of their 16 shots from the free throw line in the first half, going 6-of-10 down the stretch of the second quarter.  Palm Desert was 0-8 from the 3-point line.  "We got frustrated with their defense," Donald Brady Jr. said. "In a game like this, there is no room to slip or not make shots. We had to take advantage of every possession and didn’t. They did."  Bishop Montgomery 62, Palm Desert 45 P. Desert 12 12 11 10 -- 45  B.M. 13 13 19 17 -- 62  Palm Desert: 15-36 FG, 15-23 FT, 45 TP. Josh Zazulia 6-14 7-11 19, DonBrady Jr. 3-7 5-5 11, Jimmy Bohm 3-5 1-2 7, Quintin Watkins 2-7 2-5 6, ChaseMcQuillen 1-5 0-0 2.  Bishop Montgomery: 22-41 FG, 11-29 FT, 62 TP. Fred Washington 23, Brandon Pierce 15, Brandon Williams 9, Marquis Washington 5, Gavin Lee 4, Jason Estrada 4, Brandon Hamilton 2. 3-pointers: Palm Desert 0-8. Bishop Montgomery: 6-10 (Pierce 3). 

Compton Centennial 53, Fresno Washington Union 49

From the Fresno Bee
Washington falls in semifinals

The Washington High boys basketball team squandered a 10-point first-quarter lead en route to a 53-49 Division 3 Southern Regional semfinal loss to Centennial in Compton on Saturday.

From the Long Beach Press-Telegram
Centennial staves spirited Fresno team
Boys basketball: Scrappy front line play key to Apaches victory.
By James Melroy, Staff writer

Usually, when discussing the success of the Centennial High boys basketball team, observers focus on either the Apaches' talented sophomore guards, or the experienced front line the team possesses.  On Saturday night, both deserved credit. After falling behind 10-0 just four minutes into the game, the Apaches rallied and were able to hang on for a 53-49 victory over visiting Fresno Washington Union in the CIF State Southern California Regional Division III semifinals.  With the victory, Centennial (29-1) advances to face Bishop Montgomery next Saturday for a chance to represent Southern California in the Division III State Finals in Sacramento.  After coming out sluggishly, the Apaches responded to their early deficit with a 24-4 run, allowing them to take a 31-18 halftime advantage. Despite his team being down early, Centennial head coach Rod Palmer said that he was not worried about his team being able to rebound from its poor start.  "I wasn't worried," Palmer said after the game. "I know that we weren't playing with the intensity that we needed. I knew once we picked that up, we'd be OK."  Spearheading the Apaches' energy were seniors Saul Lankster (10 points) and Sterling Byrd (team-high 16 points). Crashing the boards in the second period, Lankster and Byrd combined for 14 of Centennial's 18 points, most of those coming on offensive rebounds and tip-ins.  The visiting Panthers (24-6) would not go quietly, though. After chipping away for most of the third quarter Dale Graham made two free throws to tie the game at 34. The teams battled back and forth through most of the fourth quarter.  With the score tied a 44, Centennial sophomore Gabriel Pruitt made a huge 3-pointer to put his team ahead for good.  But, with 58.5 left, Ja'Vance Coleman grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to cut the Panthers' deficit to three.   Centennial ran the clock down to 34.6 before calling time out with 11 second on the shot clock. Lankster took the inbounds pass and missed a 3-pointer, but senior Darius Sanders was there for the offensive rebound and layup.  After a desperation 3-pointer by Coleman brought Washington Union to within two at 51-49, Afflalo sank a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to seal the game. 

From the LA Times
By Tim Dermody

Senior Sterling Byrd was effective all evening, scoring a game-high 18 points and pulling down 12 rebounds for Centennial. Saul Lankster also contributed during a first-half span when the Apaches climbed out of a 10-point hole. In the last two minutes, Gabriel Pruitt hit a clutch three-pointer, Darius Sanders scored on a tip-in and Arron Afflalo converted four straight free throws. "I don't care how we get it as long as we have more points on the scoreboard at the end of the game," said Centennial coach Rod Palmer. Washington Union (24-6) led 10-0 before Pruitt was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three foul shots. Down, 12-3, Centennial (30-1) made a series of impressive runs, turning the deficit into a 28-18 halftime advantage. Centennial pulled to within 14-13 after one quarter, then took command by amassing the first 15 points of the second period. Byrd scored eight points during that stretch, while Lankster added two consecutive baskets on offensive rebounds and another on a slam dunk off a steal. Washington Union managed a field goal and four free throws in an 11-minute span, but redisovered its spark early in the second half, using a 16-6 spurt to tie the game at 38-38. The game was tied at 44-44 with two minutes to play when Pruitt's three-pointer put the Apaches for good. Centennial will play Bishop Montgomery next Saturday at 12 noon at the Long Beach Arena. Sanders, who averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds in the last two games, scored five points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Afflalo finished with seven points and four assists. Tim Dermody

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