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SoCalHoops High School News

Some Random Thoughts, Notes
& Tidbits For The Weekend--(Jan. 19, 2003)

Given the fact that MLK weekend is usually a hot time for high school hoops, this one struck us as unusually quiet, and other than the great series of games which took place yesterday at Azusa Pacific in the Southern California Shootout, there was not a lot else going on, with only 8 other games being played in the City and Southern Sections combined.   So it will be easy to pass along some highlights, some low lights, and other miscellania which will probably only interest a few:

Er, Um, Pass The Ball.....?   This one is so weird that we're going to lead off with it, and we're pretty sure it's some sort of record:  Providence HS, a Division IV-A team which plays in the Liberty League is a decent team, nothing spectacular, but not bad either with a bunch of kids who play hard and take their success where they can find it.   Last week they fell to second in league when they lost to perennial rival Buckley.   Last night at Providence, another league rival, Yeshiva showed up to play and Providence won by score of 47-44.   Nothing remarkable or noteworthy about the game, right?  Perhaps.    But there it was this morning, listed right at the top of the LA Times' "Leading Scorers".... Apparently, senior shooting guard Harout Messrellian simply forgot to pass the ball to his teammates, because there he was, listed as having scored a game-high 47 points for Providence.  That's right.   One player scored all of Providence's points last night, and we can't remember any game, ever where one player scored all of the winning team's points in a CIF contest.....and if it ever has happened, we'd be interested to hear about it.  

UCLA.....Man....What An Awful, Awful Game -- We know that a lot of people believe it's the coaching and that Steve Lavin is to blame, and perhaps he is, in an ultimate, literal sense in terms of responsibility.  He keeps reminding us during pre-game and post-game warmups that he's the guy upon who's shoulders the weight of UCLA basketball must rest or fall, so he's the guy who will ultimately take the fall when the season is over.   But what we witnessed yesterday went beyond simply blaming a coach or holding him personally responsible for a loss, and these players must bear a large share of the burden and responsibility for what is now happening in Westwood, as well as the fans who are now booing their own players.....It was truly awful.

Brandon Brooks...Our Wishes For A Speedy Recovery--Many read about the injury sustained by Brandon Brooks, a sophomore point guard for USC, which he suffered in practice last week.  Apparently, Brandon went up for a defensive rebound in practice, came down and rolled his ankle and then another player landed on his foot, pinning it, while his body continued to turn in the opposite direction.  Brandon underwent surgery to repair the ankle break and the torn ligaments, and was at last night's game to witness USC beat Arizona State at the Sports Arena.  Injuries like Brandon's have been known to end careers, and we're holding out hope that he'll be able to fully recover and once again play the game he loves.  Brandon is a really great young man and we're pulling for him to make a recovery.  Hang in there Brandon.....

Southern California Shootout In Brief:  This event featured 9 games in all, starting at 8:30 a.m. and didn't end until close to midnight.  Here's a brief recap of what happened in each of the games:

8:30am Western Christian vs. Flintridge Prep-- Flintridge Prep beat Western by two, 63-61 as Tim Mercer and Ramses Barden scored 23 and 21 respectively for FP.  We love this other kid's name who was the leading scorer for WC, Danny Rainbow, who finished with a game-high 24.

10:00am Rancho Cucamonga vs. Nogales-- Rancho Cucamonga won, beating Nogales 63-51.

11:30am Los Altos vs. La Serna--La Serna defeated Los Altos 54-51 as Gabe Nazaroff scored 21 points for Los Altos in the win.

1:00pm Rowland vs. San Dimas--Rowland beat San Dimas 48-43 in the final game of the "morning" session.

3:00pm Bishop Amat vs. Walnut--Walnut beat defending CIF Champion Bishop Amat handily, 76-57 as Dreshawn Vance scored 21 points with nine rebounds and five blocks and Ricky Fischer added 16 points for Walnut (14-1).   Bishop Amat got 49 of its 57 points from two players, senior Paul Porter had 25  and James Jolicoeur added 24 points.

4:30pm Glendora vs. Diamond Ranch--Glendora beat Diamond Ranch 60-55, as Justin Sapp led the Tartans with 19 points. Delano Gray had 21 for Diamond Ranch.

6:00pm Claremont vs. Rancho Bernardo---Claremont beat visiting Rancho Bernardo 66-60, as Perrin Johnson led the Wolfpack with 22 points, 17 in the first half. Two others, Jonathan More and Marcus Carter scored 14 points each for Claremont, while Rancho Bernardo was led by Mohamed Abukar with 27.  Andrew Olson added 16 for RB.

7:30pm Upland vs. Montclair Prep--Upland beat Montclair Prep by a comfortable 8 points, 56-48 as Bryan Burrell had 16 points for the Highlanders, and Albany-signee Todd Martin finished with 13.  Jeff Fahnbulleh (6'-7" Jr. F) led Montclair Prep with 24.

9:00pm Mater Dei vs. Diamond Bar-- As most expected, Mater Dei won by a comfortable margin, 80-63, as Maryland-bound DJ Strawberry led Mater Dei with 14 points.  Wesley Washington had 13 while Harrison Schaen only scored four, but finished with 12 rebounds, four blocks and three steals.  Khalif Ford led Diamond Bar with 16 points, six assists and six steals, but according to the LA Times, Diamond Bar was plagued by 25 turnovers. Yikes.   We would have loved to have been at the game, but a dinner at Beverly Hills' Crustacean, one of the region's top restaurants, sitting next to former Dallas Cowboy receiver and itinerant Best Damn Sports Show Period panelist Michael Ervin, and Devean George of the Lakers was too good a thing to pass up for a Saturday night..Sorry, maybe next time for the Mater Dei vs. Diamond Bar thing.

Transfer conundrum:  We don't often write about girls hoops, but we're going to do so in this case, because this is one of the most confusing things we've read about in a while.  Lyndsey Medders, a very talented guard who has signed with Iowa State, played the past three years at Harvard-Westlake in Studio City, transferred this past fall to her "home district" school,  Oak Park.  Her family even moved to a new apartment in order to comply with the CIF-Southern Section's requirements that she obtain a new residence (...without getting too technical, this is because her initial residential eligibility was defined at Harvard-Westlake by employing a legal-fiction since private schools don't have "enrollment areas" in the literal such cases, the CIF deems a player's "residence" to be in the public school district in which the player resides, and thus when the player transfers to any other school, a further change of residence is required for continued varsity eligibility, even when the transfer is to the public school district in which the student's residence is actually located....but we digress).   Among other reasons for the transfer, Medders made the move because she grew tired of making the drive to Studio City and sitting in rush-hour traffic two hours each way, time she believed could be more productively spent in the gym.    So, when she made the decision to transfer, her parents put their home up for sale, and moved into an apartment located across the street from Oak Park so that Lyndsey could be immediately eligible and the family would be complying with the "bona fide residence change" rule imposed by the CIF-SS for transfer eligibility.   But there was, according to the CIF, one small problem:  Medders' older brother; Brian, who is 18 (and thus no longer a minor) continued to attend Westlake HS where he has the past four years,  and he also continued to live in the former family residence while it was listed for sale.   He did so alone, and without the rest of the family residing there.   But to some, includihng someone who was charged with enforcing the CIF bylaws at Oak Park, the fact the brother continued to reside in the former family residence meant that the family's move wasn't "bona fide" and instead constituted a "dual-residency."  Thus Lyndsey Medders was declared ineligible, pending an appeal, which will be decided later this week by the CIF-SS office.  Frankly, we think this is much ado about nothing, and that the CIF-SS ought to immediately declare Medders eligible and in the process, apologize to the family.   Medders' brother has reached the age of majority, and presumably can live wherever he wants.   The fact that he lives in a property which was once the family residence, but isn't any longer,  is really no one's business but the Medders family,  certainly not the CIF's.     If the family wants to continue to own the family residence but not reside there, and in fact moves to another home, what business is it of the CIF?   This is just the latest example of the CIF's draconian meddling into the private economic affairs of parents and students which we've been opposed to for years. 

Division III Polls released late:  This past Monday, the CIF-SS issued the official SCIBCA high school basketball polls for all of the divisions.  One problem:  No division III Polls were included in the release.  They've now been released and were posted at SoCalHoops mid-week.  We're not sure if the D-III polls were ever added to the CIF-SS official site, but they are definitely here.   So what was the hangup?  Ray Lokar, who is usually the most efficient guy we know, and who for the past few years has spearheaded the resurgence of SCIBCA, leading the organization as it's immediate past-president, and who is also a pretty fair coach in his own right as the head coach at Bishop Amat was a little more than red-faced about the glitch.  In his e-mail to us in which he sent the Division III polls, Ray wrote: "I gave the poll to our secretary at 12:30 when I went to practice (Block schedule - done with practice at 3:00 What a life :?)... I guess she didn't get around to it until 3:00."  Er, um, ahem, coach.   At least that's better than the one he probably hears from students:  "But coach, my dog ate my homework...."    Just kidding, Ray.  

Afflalo Interest Blossoming:  Arron Afflalo, a 6'-6" junior who has garnered interest from UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, and other top programs is also garnering interest from Ohio State, which recently contacted west coast sources to inquire about Arron.  Wherever he winds up, Afflalo continues to amaze and astound those who have followed him since last year when he and talented Gabe Pruitt (now inelgible as a result of a recruiting fiasco involving his transfer to Westchester) burst onto the high school scene.  This year Afflalo continues to light it up.  He had 25 points in the 4th quarter of a game a week ago, and scored an amazing 21 points in the final 3 minutes to finish with 37 (his team lost the game, but that still has to rank up there as one of the great individual efforts of all time).

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