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THIS WEEK: LANCASTER, PALMDALE PREPARE FOR KEY CLASH.

Byline: Gerry Gittelson Daily News Staff Writer

The Lancaster and Palmdale high school boys' soccer teams will know a lot more about where they stand on Wednesday, when the two Golden League frontrunners collide at Lancaster High at 6 p.m. Both are 4-1-1 in conference.

``It's going to be a dogfight,'' Lancaster coach John Cox said. ``This game will determine the league championship, because the winner will be in sole possession of first place and gets to control their own destiny.''

Highland beat Lancaster 2-0 in their last meeting, but Lancaster was without key defender Nathan Martinez, a starting sweeper. Martinez's absence had a domino effect, according Cox, whose team will different look for Wednesday.

``Last time I changed up the whole lineup,'' Cox said. ``That was not a good idea.''

Cox also said playing at Lancaster should give his team the advantage.

Highland features high-scoring Rafael Garcia, while Lancaster counters with Billy Wright and Eric Sundberg. Wright missed the first six games but has 14 goals and two assists for the 12-3-3 Eagles. Sundberg has 18 goals, three in league play. Garcia scored two goals in 4-0 victory over Quartz Hill last week, giving him 20.

Cox is less focused on Highland than he is about his own team.

``The problem last time is we were overly concerned about what Highland had,'' Cox said. ``We tended to focus on Highland's talent. We just have to out there and play the way we always play and not change anything.''

Lancaster, coming off a 3-0 win over Palmdale, is counting on its defense to hold down Garcia and Co. The Eagles have yielded four goals in league.

A grip on the Golden League: Highland hosts Palmdale in the biggest wrestling match of the season on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Golden League championship is on the line, as both are 4-0.

Highland is vying for its seventh straight league title. Palmdale has come in second the last two years.

The premier matchup pits Highland's John Garfinkel (42-1) against Mike Clark, the league's other premier 160-pounder. Garfinkel is coming off Saturday's 14-9 loss to state champion Ryan Kane of Temecula at the Canyon Springs tournament in Murrietta. Garfinkel, the Daily News No. 1 wrestler (all weight classes), was sick with the flu.

``Wednesday's match will determine the league championship,'' Highland coach Mike Young said.

Highland beat Palmdale 46-24 at the Rebel Classic at Quartz Hill High in December.

CALENDAR

TODAY

Boys' basketball: Boron at Desert Christian 7:30 p.m.; Highland at Lancaster 7:30 p.m.; Palmdale at Quartz Hill 7:30 p.m.; Desert at Rosamond 7:30 p.m.; Antelope Valley at Littlerock 7:30 p.m.; Vasquez at Mojave 7:30 p.m.

Girls' basketball: Boron at Desert Christian, 6 p.m.; Desert at Rosamond, 6:30 p.m.; Lone Pine at Bethel Christian, 6:30 p.m.; Lancaster at Highland, 7:30 p.m.; Quartz Hill at Palmdale, 7:30 p.m.; Littlerock at Antelope Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Girls' soccer: Lancaster at Highland, 6 p.m.; Quartz Hill at Palmdale, 6 p.m.; Littlerock at Antelope Valley, 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY

Boys' soccer: Highland at Lancaster, 6 p.m.; Palmdale at Quartz Hill, 6 p.m.; Antelope Valley at Littlerock, 6 p.m.

Prep wrestling: Palmdale at Highland 7 p.m.; Antelope Valley at Lancaster 7 p.m.; Quartz Hill at Littlerock 7 p.m.

Girls' basketball: Littlerock at Lancaster 7:30 p.m.; Quartz Hill at Highland 7:30 p.m.; Antelope Valley at Palmdale 7:30 p.m.

Boys' soccer: L.A. Baptist at Paraclete

Girls' soccer: Frazier Mountain at Desert Christian, 4 p.m.; Littlerock at Lancaster, 6 p.m.; Highland at Quartz Hill, 6 p.m.; Antelope Valley at Palmdale, 6 p.m.

FRIDAY

Boys' basketball: Big Pine at Bethel Christian, 6 p.m.; Littlerock at Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.; Quartz Hill at Highland, 7:30 p.m.; Palmdale at Antelope Valley, 7:30 p.m.; Boron at Trona, 7:30 p.m.; Vasquez vs. Bishop at Quartz Hill High, 7:30

Girls' basketball: Big Pine at Bethel Christian, 4:30 p.m.; Boron at Trona, 6 p.m.; Lone Pine at Desert Christian, 6:30 p.m.; Village Christian at Paraclete, 7 p.m.

Boys' soccer: Lancaster at Littlerock, 6 p.m.; Quartz Hill at Highland, 6 p.m.; Palmdale at Antelope Valley, 6 p.m.

Girls' soccer: Village Christian at Paraclete, 4 p.m.

CAPTION(S):

Photo, Box

PHOTO Lancaster High's Jessie Mortendson, left, wins his match with Quartz Hill's Pat Wood. Both teams are set to compete this week.

Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News

BOX: CALENDAR (See text)
COPYRIGHT 1999 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 2, 1999
Words:785
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