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SoCalHoops High School News

State Regional Finals: Boys SoCal & NorCal
Division IV Recaps--(Mar. 12, 2001)

Obviously we couldn't possibly have seen all of these games, but we did manage to get to a few on Saturday.  We thought it would be interesting to see the same games from differing perspectives, and we've therefore excerpted from each of the local papers who cover the teams that played in these games (to the extent there was any coverage at all, i.e., in D-III we found it difficult to find much from the SoCal Regional final).  We've provided full links to each of the papers so you can continue to get more coverage and to see what else each paper has in the way coverage of teams from their region, including the girls teams.  It's a great way to do some research on the teams in the finals.  We obviously haven't linked to every story from every site which may have written about these games, but we've generally selected as much as we could find that was available, and in Division IV, in the Southern Regionals, there was literally nothing except what we found from the Bakersfield perspective.  The final in this division will take place at Arco Arena on Saturday March 17, at 11:15 a.m. at Arco Arena and will see a matchup between defending state champion Crossroads v. St. Mary's.

SoCal Regional Final
Crossroads 66, Garces 52
NorCal Region Final
St. Mary's 79, Monte Vista Christian 63
LA Times

Crossroads 66, Garces 52--Isaiah Fox scored 33 points and grabbed 22 rebounds to lead Crossroads of Santa Monica. Keith
Villalovos and Kyle Shiloh both added 14 points as the Roadrunners advanced to their fifth state appearance.

Crossroads out-Foxes Garces, 66-52, in regional finale

By KEVIN EUBANKS
staff writer
Bakersfield Californian

INGLEWOOD — One loss is normally a minor setback in the course of a season, but the loss that Garces suffered on Saturday was far more important than that.

The Rams entered the CIF Division IV boys basketball Southern Regional championship game undefeated, but a big Santa Monica-Crossroads team not only handed Garces its first loss of the season, but it put an end to the Garces season with a 66-52 final at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood.

Garces (30-1) could simply not find an answer for 6-foot-10, 280-pound Isaiah Fox of Crossroads (25-5). Fox finished the game with 33 points on 14-of-24 shooting and 22 rebounds, two less than the entire Garces team combined.

Garces was led by Keith Villalovos and Kyle Shiloh, each with 14 points, with 6-10 freshman center Robert Swift coming off the bench for 13 points and nine rebounds.

Santa Monica-Crossroads 66, Garces 52 Crossroads 16 16 22 12—66 Garces 14 13 12 12—52 CROSSROADS (25-5) Locke 2, Abrahams 11, Brown 6, Rush 5, Richards 9, Fox 33. Totals 27 10-20 66. GARCES (30-1) Villalovos 14, Robles 5, Norris 6, Shiloh 14, Swift 13. Totals 19 10-23 52. 3-point goals—Crossroads 2 (Abrahams 2), Garces 4 (Villalovos 2, Shiloh 2).  Total fouls—Crossroads 18, Garces 20. Fouled out—Abrahams. Technicals—none.

Fresno Bee

Garces began the day as the state's only undefeated team but ended it as the Southern Region Division 4 runner-up.

The Rams (30-1) fell to Isaiah Fox-led Crossroads (Santa Monica) 66-52 at the Forum to become the Central Section's first casualty. 

Oakland Tribune

St. Mary's counts its way to state

Panthers advance to title showdown against Crossroads  

By David Schoen
Staff writer

STOCKTON -- Eight down, one to go. 

The St. Mary's High boys basketball team started a countdown at the beginning of the Bay Shore Athletic League playoffs. It began at nine and with each victory the Panthers crossed off a number in descending order. 

Saturday evening, the top-seeded Panthers dismantled Monte Vista Christian of Watsonville 79-63 in the CIF NorCal Division IV finals at Delta College. And written on their locker room chalkboard afterwards was a simple message.  

No.1 vs. Crossroads, STATE. 

"We've been counting down, and now we've got one more to go," said Panthers junior John Sharper, who put on a shooting exhibition with 26 points  against Monte Vista Christian. "We haven't been thinking about nothing else." 

St. Mary's (30-4), which has won 15 straight games, will be making its first state championship appearance on Saturday, 11:15 a.m. at Arco Arena in Sacramento. Crossroads of Santa Monica is the alma mater of NBA player Baron Davis and features Arizona-bound standout Isaiah Fox.

Don't expect the Panthers to be intimidated, however.  

"Last year we came very close," junior Chase Moore said. "A lot of people thought we wouldn't be good, but we proved them wrong and we went further. Now we plan to win state."

The Panthers picked apart Monte Vista Christian (24-10) with surgeon-like precision, exploiting their overwhelming quickness advantage against the bigger Mustangs. Junior guard DaShawn Freeman had 11 points, eight steals and six assists while Moore added 18 points and nine rebounds. Terrence Boyd came off the bench and scored all 10 of his points in the second half and Simon Knight chipped in with nine points and eight boards. 

St. Mary's forced 23 turnovers and essentially ran the Mustangs in circles. Monte Vista Christian featured a tall front line of 6-foot-6 Michael White, 6-5 J.T. Tipton and 6-4 Rudy Lopez, but they were rendered largely ineffective by the Panthers speed. 

"Our game plan is to run, run, run," Sharper said. "We run them as much as possible. If they're big, we run even faster."  

Sharper nailed his first four shots and had 11 points in the first quarter. If not for some outstanding shooting by the Mustangs, St. Mary's would have led by more than just 20-16 after the first quarter. 

After Tipton's 3-pointer made it 22-21 early in the second, the Panthers went on an 11-1 to take control of the game. Sharper scored on left-handed scoop through traffic and then nailed a 3-pointer with 3:20 left to put St. Mary's up 31-22. On the next possession, Sharper found Knight open for a baseline jumper that made it 33-22. 

Moore heated up in the third quarter, scoring eight points as the Panthers began to pull away.  Monte Vista Christian closed to 64-54 with 4:50 left on a Tipton bucket, but St. Mary's was too much down the stretch. 

"Nobody's really that happy," Freeman said. "We've still got one game left."

Contra Costa Times

DIVISION IV St. Mary's 79, Monte Vista Christian 63

STOCKTON -- When a team is 29-4 and ranked first in the state in its division, a game plan of "doing the same thing we do night in and night out" should prove to be effective.

That's what coach Jose Caraballo wanted his Panthers to do when they took the court at San Joaquin Delta College. They did, and it worked.

Using their tough pressure defense and up-tempo offense, the Panthers beat Monte Vista Christian-Watsonville to capture the school's first-ever CIF Division IV North Regional championship.

The win also gives St. Mary's (30-4) another first -- a chance to play for the state championship.

"This has been our goal all year long," St. Mary's forward Chase Moore said. "We came real close last year and this year we wanted to prove to everybody that we were legit. It feels great."

St. Mary's will face Crossroads-Santa Monica (25-5) next Saturday at 11:15 a.m. at Arco Arena. Crossroads defeated Garces-Bakersfield 66-52 in the South Regional final.

"I can't wait until next Saturday," Panthers point guard John Sharper said. "I'm sure that I will be nervous, but we've been playing hard teams all year and we're just going to do our best."

If Sharper was nervous against the Mustangs, he sure didn't show it. He scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in the first period to ignite the Panthers to a 20-16 lead after the first eight minutes.

MVC managed to stay close and trailed 37-30 at the half. But in the third period, the Panthers pulled away by following their game plan of "doing what we do best."

"They were just hitting everything in the first half and we knew we wanted to step up the defense," Moore said. "We wore them down with our pressure and worked on getting in two shots before they got one."

Behind Moore, who scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, the Panthers went on two separate 10-3 runs to essentially put the game away by midway through the fourth quarter.

Moore also led the Panthers in rebounds with eight, and Deshawn Freeman had another strong all-around game with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.

When asked if he would have butterflies when taking the floor at Arco Arena, Moore said, "I can't have butterflies. I have to play normal and just be glad to be there. I just have to have faith in my teammates."

"What feels best (about making history) is seeing these boys accomplish their goals and reach their potential," Caraballo said.

The Swish Award
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