California boys and girls basketball teams look good when you check the scores of games against out-of-state foes who are now winning state titles around the country. Also, the inside scoop on why it was so slippery last Saturday in Long Beach, how Freedom High's softball team helped break a tie and more from the best prep notes column in the state. Photo at left by Kirby Lee/The Sporting Image.

•This is turning out to be a tremendous season for California boys basketball teams recording wins over out-of-state opponents who've gone on to win state championships. Our favorite is Oakland Tech's 63-54 win at the Holiday Prep Classic in Las Vegas over Dillard of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. That wound up being the only loss for Dillard in a 34-1 season that saw the team win its fourth straight Florida Class 5A state championship. And before Dillard lost to the Bulldogs, it was pushed into overtime by Eisenhower of Rialto. Florida may have an argument about who's better vs. California, but in hoops.....not a chance.

•Fairfax of Los Angeles is only No. 4 in California, but look at what the Lions did against out-of-state foes. For starters, coach Harvey Kitani's team didn't lose in an out-of-state game. Among those vanquished by Fairfax were Washington Class 4A state champ Franklin of Seattle, Hawaii state champ Iolani of Honolulu and nationally-ranked Montrose Christian of Rockville, Md. (which closed the season with a win over another, more well-known national power, Oak Hill Academy).

•The Mater Dei vs. Westchester debate about which should be No. 1 overall in the state this year depends greatly on how one views all of these out-of-state games. The Monarchs have a win over Texas Class 5A champ DeSoto and took care of St. Raymond's of the Bronx, N.Y., in the third-place game at the City of Palms tourney in Florida. St. Raymond's was in the national top 20 until this week with only two losses on the season overall. Westchester has a win over Colorado Class 5A champ ThunderRidge as well as over Patrick Henry of Minneapolis, which this weekend is going for its fourth straight Minnesota Class 3A state crown. El Camino of Oceanside also got a win over Patrick Henry at the Vegas tourney.

•On the girls side, look no further than state No. 1 Lynwood for wins over teams that have gone on to win state titles elsewhere in the country. The Knights' lone loss was to Canyon of Canyon, Texas, which won a state title in its classification, but they also have a win over Duncanville of Texas, which grabbed a state crown in a different classification than Canyon. Lynwood also has wins over Oregon Class 4A state champ Oregon City, Utah Class 4A state champ Mountain View of Orem, Florida Class 2A state champ Ribault of Jacksonville and Wyoming state champ Campbell County. When Ribault lost to the Knights, remember, that also broke the school's 106-game winning streak.

•With all the rain outside, one would have thought that all the slipping on the court during all of the games last Saturday at Long Beach Arena was a result of a leaky roof. Not so, according to venue coordinator Dean Crowley. He said the slickness that often appeared on the court was the result of condensation from the ice underneath. That arena also is home to the Long Beach Ice Dogs hockey club. Workers did a good job cleaning up any slippery spots throughout the games, but the slips were noticeable. Jen Rogers of Mater Dei said she reinjured a knee while slipping. And Fairfax guard Kevin Bell slipped just before unleashing an off-balance three-pointer that might have possibly won the game against Westchester for his team. Westchester coach Ed Azzam said, "The floor was just terrible. These are CIF championship games and they shouldn't continue to be played in conditions like this. It's not safe for the players."

•An 18-year-old gang member has been arrested in the shooting death of Inglewood Morningside freshman boys basketball coach Lee Denmon. The 23-year-old Denmon, who was the 1997 Player of the Year by the South Bay Daily Breeze, was talking with a friend in a driveway when another vehicle pulled alongside them. After an exchange of words, the driver, who was alone, pulled out a gun and started firing. Denmon was hit in the chest and died a short time later at a local hospital. It was later reported that the shooting was a case of Denmon being mistakenly thought to have been a gang member himself. Denmon played in college at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and was working toward a coaching/teaching career.

•Vanden Tops Campolindo, Sort Of: Two weeks ago, the highly-regarded Vanden of Travis AFB and Campolindo of Moraga softball teams played to a 0-0 13-inning tie. The tie-breaker, though, was contributed last week by another highly regarded team, Freedom of Oakley. That's because Vanden topped Freedom 1-0 early in the week while Freedom later downed Campolindo 3-1. Vanden's Angelica Selden pitched a 12-strikeout one-hitter against Freedom as Vanden scored in the bottom of the seventh with two outs.

•Out Of The Baseball Doldrums: Richmond won its first game in three years in a big way -- a 16-6 five-inning triumph over Castlemont of Oakland. Apparently, athletic director Roy Rogers has the team galloping in the right direction.

•Team Had A Blast: In a 22-0 baseball rout of San Gabriel, Glendora blasted six HRs by six different players. Included were two grand slams, one each by A.J. Gasperino and George Snyder. The state record for team home runs in a game, though, is nine by three different squads. It's harder to break offensive records now, with the 10-run rule ending games after five innings. On the other hand, it's easier to pitch a no-hitter.

•More Wrestling. Although not sanctioned by the CIF, there have been three girls high school state wrestling team tournaments. All have been held at Vallejo High. In the 2003 meet, a total of 210 girls wrestled from 82 different schools. San Leandro won the team title with 136 1/2 points, followed by Vintage of Napa (131) and South San Francisco (63 1/2). Vintage won the team titles in 2001 and 2002 and was going for a three-peat. Sara Fulp-Allen of Half Moon Bay, a 105-pound three-time champ, was chosen the outstanding wrestler of this year's meet. Schools from all parts of the state have been in all three state tournaments at Vallejo's High's Vic Bottari Gym, which we guess could be called the birthplace of girls wrestling in California.

•It's going to be back to boring old high school meets for L.A. Baptist girls track sprinting sensation Alyson Felix. The California prep standout qualified for and competed in the World Indoor Championships last weekend in Birmingham, England. Felix ran in the 200 meters and was second in her first heat with a time of 23.36 seconds. She was eliminated in the next round, however, winding up third in one of three semifinals. Felix clocked 23.29 in that run.

•Throw Just The Ball, Please!: Throwing and swinging for the Cabrillo of Lompoc baseball team is Tommy (Toma) Hawk. Last week, he sliced a two-run missle that led to a 9-7 win over Arroyo Grande.

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