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Friday, March 25, 2011
State Basketball: Div. III boys, La Verne Lutheran vs. Bishop O'Dowd

By Blair Angulo


Matchup: La Verne Lutheran (25-5) vs. Oakland Bishop O'Dowd (25-6), Saturday, 2:45 p.m.

How they got here: Lutheran: beat University City, 60-58; Orange Lutheran, 75-58; Harvard-Westlake, 61-45; La Caņada, 57-47 to win the Southern California Regional.

Bishop O'Dowd: beat Foothill Sacramento, 72-49; Sacred Heart Catholic, 74-61; San Marin, 52-49; El Cerrito, 50-32 to win the Northern California Regional.

Key Players: Grant Jerrett, a junior who has committed to Arizona, is Lutheran's top threat at 17.3 points per game. The center has a strong skill set in the paint and can sink jumpers from any spot along the baseline. Guard C.J. Cooper, who will play at Texas El Paso next season, compliments Jerrett well. Brandon Ashley, a top forward prospect in the 2012 class, leads Bishop O'Dowd with a 13.7 points average. Teammate Richard Longrus isn't far behind at 11.8.

What to expect: The intrigue lies in the juicy Jerrett-Ashley matchup. ESPNU rates Jerrett as the top forward in the 2012 class; Ashely comes in at second. Jerrett is the sixth-best prospect; Ashley is the seventh-best. They're both listed at 6 feet 8 and a bit over 200 pounds. With it being such a close call up front, their teammates might make the difference. La Verne Lutheran won the Division V state championship last year. Bishop O'Dowd seeks redemption after falling to Gardena Serra in the Division III title game last year.