first_imgJunior forward Demar Derozan has had a breakout season, averaging 22 points a game and in the playoffs, he’s been phenomenal. In last Friday’s 75-68 win over La Mirada, Derozan scored 27 points, including nailing a 15-foot jumper with 42 seconds left that gave Compton a 69-65 lead. However, what makes the Tarbabes so tough to beat is the fact that Derozan has help in the form of 6-10 junior forward Edgar Garibay, who’s averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds. “Edgar had finally come into his own and he’s doing what he does best and that’s score and play defense,” Thomas said. “But with him, Demar and Taylor all playing in the same game, I think it’s going to be great for the fans. It’s going to be a battle of the superstars.” In the other semifinal, the Pioneers are hoping to continue their quest toward winning a second consecutive state title after winning it all in Division III last season. They’ve been nothing short of spectacular in the postseason, thanks to the talented trio of senior forward James Harden, junior guard Malik Story and sophomore power forward Renardo Sidney. Harden, who’s signed with Arizona State, was also named to the McDonald’s All-American team over the weekend while both Story’s and Sidney’s games have risen in their three playoff victories, including an 83-73 victory over Jordan in the quarterfinals. The Dons, however, are also playing great and nobody exemplifies that more than Illinois-bound guard Quinton Watkins, who had his third consecutive big game in the playoffs against Thousand Oaks on Friday night. Watkins scored a season-high 29 points as Dominguez never trailed in a 68-60 win. Matt Dewaal also played well in the victory, scoring 14 points to go along with 17 rebounds and six blocks. “Given their history of winning championships, I would think Dominguez is the favorite tonight,” Artesia coach Loren Grover said. “Watkins is a tremendous player and they can all really shoot the ball. I think in the second half of the season, they have really stepped up their game, especially on defense. “And their coach, Russell Otis, is really experienced in games like this and he’s going to make sure they’re ready for us. I think the game is going to be a dog fight.” Here’s a look at the other local playoff game tonight: DIVISION I-A Los Alamitos (25-4) vs. M.L. King (27-3) at Citrus Hills High, 7:30 p.m. The Griffins came within an eyelash of losing to Etiwanda in the quarterfinals, but they escaped with a 49-47 win when Xavier Mudd missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer. Still, Los Alamitos proved it could win a grind-it-out, defensive-minded game as well as an up-tempo one. After scoring 36 points in the second round, Cameron Jones was held to just seven against the Eagles, but expect that number to go up tonight. Senior forward Clint Amberry played one of his best games against Etiwanda, scoring 21 points and was the emotional leader on the floor. Ben Villa can be reached at [email protected] or (562) 499-1338. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When the CIF realigned divisions this season, it wanted to make sure the best teams played each other in the playoffs and judging by tonight’s match-ups, it looks like it got its wish. The CIF Southern Section Division I-AA semifinals get underway tonight at 7:30 p.m. with two potentially great games locally. Compton’s game, however, is an especially big one for its first-year coach Tony Thomas, who felt his team should have earned at least a three or four seed after winning the Moore League title and beating the Dons twice this season. But a win tonight for the Tarbabes would validate them as one of the elite teams in Southern California. “We do have a chip on our shoulder and when the playoffs started, one of our goals was to make it to the final four and we’ve done that,” Thomas said. “Now we have to beat Mater Dei to reach the finals. If there is one thing that scares me about them, it’s their height. “They have a lot of tall guys at every position and we have to do a good job at rebounding the ball and eliminating their second chances. It should be a great game, though. There’s going to be a lot of Division I talent on the floor and a lot of scouts and coaches in the stands.” McDonald’s All-American Taylor King, who’s going to Duke next season, leads the Monarchs. The 6-foot-8 senior forward is averaging 25.9 points and 11.1 rebounds, but the Tarbabes have their fare share of big- time talent on their squad as well. center_img In one semifinal, top-seeded Mater Dei (28-3), which is ranked 13th in the nation by USA Today, will play fifth-seeded Compton (26-3) at Dominguez High. The other semifinal pits second-seeded Artesia (27-2), which is ranked 12th by USA Today, against third-seeded Dominguez (22-7) at Gahr High. last_img

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