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Friday, March 25, 2011
State Basketball: Div. IV boys, Windward vs. Salesian

By Blair Angulo

CIF STATE BOYS DIVISION IV

Matchup: Windward (26-8) vs. Richmond Salesian (25-11), Saturday, 11:15 a.m.

How they got here: Windward: beat Buckley, 76-55; Washington Union, 80-57; Oaks Christian, 58-52 to win the Southern California Regional.

Salesian: beat Orland, 68-20; Santa Cruz, 85-66; St. Mary's, 59-53 to win the Northern California Regional.

Key Players: Harvard-bound Wesley Saunders leads Windward with averages of 20.2 points and 10 rebounds. He, along with forward Nic Stover, the brother of UCLA center Anthony Stover, create a potent tandem up front. Salesian has been rolling ever since top player Jabari Bird was reinstated. He had been deemed ineligible due to a paperwork violation.

What to expect: These teams have been here before, so the butterflies should disappear quickly. Salesian is much better than the 25-11 record indicates. Salesian had to forfeit 16 wins before when Bird was ruled ineligible, then regained six of them upon his return. So really, Salesian is 35-1 as it chases its second state crown in three years (also won in 2009, beating Bishop Montgomery, 65-64). Windward has a state championship in its trophy case, too, ousting St. Joseph Notre Dame, 69-53, in 2009.