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SoCalHoops High School News

CIF-SS Boys IV-AA Championship:
Crespi Beats St. Paul For Title--(Mar. 2, 2001)

Crespi Carmelite St. Paul
Eric Anderson    6'-3" So. G
Andrew Moore    6'-2 Sr. G
Allan Ellis     6'-1" Jr. G
Dino Fekaris    5'-10" So. G
Kingsley Anyanwu    6'-4" Sr. F
Casey Wong    6'-1" Jr. G
Steve Roopenian    5'-11" Sr. G
Rob Koslowsky    6'-1" Jr. G
Derrick O'Dwyer    6'-4" Sr. F
Charlie Shiebler    6'-2" Sr. G
Paul Angel    6'-6" Sr. C
Denny Witt    6'-1" Jr. F
B.J. Walker    5'-10" Sr. G
Omar Cepeida    5'-7" Jr. G}
Rudy Serna    5'-8" So. G
Oscar Soto    5'-109" So. G
Tigran Grigorian     5'-9" So. G
Richard Rivers    6'-2" Jr. F
Kyle Farrell    6'-4" Fr. F
Dontay Holloway    6'-2" Jr. G
Raymond Cagiges    6'-2" Jr. F
Quinn Alvarez    6'-2" Fr. G
Fausto Gonzalez    6'-3" Sr. F
James Samarin     6'-3" So. F
Eric Gomez    5'-9" Jr. G

We saw this game, but rather than just repeat the stats, recite a bunch of cold, hard statistics, we thought we'd try something different. . . excerpts from three professionals, three different perspectives on the same game:   Eric Sondheimer from the LA Times, Vince Bonsignore from the Daily News and Gabe Laques from the Whittier Daily News.  And it's not that we can't tell the story of this game. . . actually, there's not a whole lot to tell, except that Crespi led this game from start to finish, and other than a few small flurries, a three pointer to start by Rudy Serna, a few drives on some very athletic and pretty plays by Dontay Holloway, and a couple of nice plays by Fausto Gonzales and a few other guys, but basically this too was one of three games played yesterday that was never in doubt, and Crespi just seemed to be toying with St. Paul.  In any event, here are some excerpts from the local papers with the stories about this game:

Celts easily put away St. Paul
By Vincent Bonsignore
Daily News Staff Writer

LONG BEACH -- At the time it was a goal too preposterous for consideration, let alone believing it was attainable. But there's something about the summertime that makes crazy dreams seem possible. And so began the quest for six championships in one season for the Crespi High of Encino boys' basketball team. A bunch of teammates sitting under a hot summer sun thinking up a big dream and convincing themselves they could pull it off.

"Three tournament championships, a league championship, a Southern Section championship and a state championship," Celts' guard Andrew Moore explained. "That's the goal we set for ourselves."  So who's crazy now? After the Celts easily handled St. Paul 71-57 Thursday in the Southern Section Division IV-AA championship game, they're merely a footstep away from turning their summer fantasy in spring reality, having already taken care of the league title and three tournament championships.

"One more to go," Moore said.  Crespi's first basketball championship in the school's 42-year history typified the type of season it's been for the Celts, an unsung team with few stars but a roster full of contributors.   Moore, the best player, and Kingsley Anyanwu, an inside force all season, were saddled with foul trouble all night. Yet there was more than enough depth to absorb their extended absences.  Anyanwu had 18 points and Moore had 15, but Charlie Shiebler (nine points), Allan Ellis (11 points), Paul Angel (six) and Derrick O'Dwyer (six) were the real heroes, not only surviving Moore and Anyanwu's foul trouble but pushing forward and putting the game out of reach. In fact, with both players on the bench for most of the third quarter, the Celts built a nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter. Crespi (23-6) was never challenged the rest of the way.  "Talent doesn't win championships, teamwork does," Crespi coach Dick Dornan said.

Moore has seen it happen so much this year it doesn't even surprise him any more.  "Every night somebody else steps up," Moore said. "That's the great thing about this team. Everyone has the chance to be the hero." Shiebler didn't score much, but his defense on St. Paul shooter Rudy Serna was a critical factor. Serna came in on a roll, having hit 23 3-pointers in the postseason.   But he was just 1-of-7 shooting Thursday, spending more time trying to get away from Shiebler than catching the ball and shooting.  "I challenged Charlie to be the best defender he could be for one night, even though he's been doing that all season." Dornan said. "Once Serna was out of the game, I don't think they were as confident."

The Swordsmen (18-14) struggled from the floor all night, shooting just 43 percent (20 of 46) and hitting just 5 of 20 on 3-pointers. Only Donte Holloway (22 points) and Fausto Gonzalez (18) were consistent from the field, although both did their damage on the inside.  St. Paul was without James Samarin, its leading scorer. He's one of four players the Swordsmen lost to academic ineligibility two weeks ago. Not that it would have made a difference. There isn't much Samarin could have done with Crespi's 57 percent shooting (24 of 42) in the game. "It wasn't like we were giving them any easy shots, either," St. Paul coach Brandon Ertle said. "I didn't see many layps or fastbreaks out there, but I did see a bunch of mid-range jumpers. We were happy with the shots they were taking, it's just that they kept making them."   Crespi never trailed in the first half and went to intermission with a 33-25 lead. Moore finished the half with nine points after scoring just two in the first period. He didn't attempt many shots -- just four in 12 minutes -- but he made three of them, including a pair of 3-pointers.  Not that he cared about his numbers.   "This is just an incredible feeling," Moore said.  Five down, one more to go.


Crespi Is First at Long Last by Beating St. Paul
Division IV-AA boys' basketball final: After 42 years of trying, the Celts win a
Southern Section championship by outclassing the Swordsmen, 71-57.

By ERIC SONDHEIMER, Times Staff Writer

LONG BEACH--Dick Dornan planted his lips on the championship plaque, then waved it wildly to the
hundreds of Crespi High students, parents, faculty and alumni who came to The Pyramid on Thursday night to
watch a historic moment in the school's 42-year history. "I've always dreamed about it," said the fourth-year
Crespi coach. "Kissing the trophy meant we've accomplished something special."   From the first day of practice in November to the final moments when players and coaches were hugging like family, Dornan has stressed teamwork and defense. 

It all came together in a 71-57 victory over St. Paul that gave the Celts (23-6) the Southern Section Division IV-AA championship, the first in school history.  "I don't know if we're a Cinderella story or a success story," Dornan said. "I hope everyone can experience this."  Kingsley Anyanwu scored 18 points, Andrew Moore had 15 points and Allan Ellis added 11 for Crespi, which led by eight points at halftime and by 17 in the fourth quarter.  Never did Crespi feel threatened. Never did St. Paul (18-14) lead.  Much credit goes to Charlie Shiebler, whose assignment was to follow St. Paul's three-point specialist, Rudy Serna, everywhere on the court.  Serna, who made six three-pointers in the semifinals, hit his first shot but didn't score again. He went one for seven.  "Every time he caught the ball, my hand was up," Shiebler said.  Added Moore: "If Serna goes off, then it's a whole different team. Charlie stepped it up to a championship level."  Shiebler is a 6-foot-2 senior so dedicated that when he was a freshman, he used to ride his bike five miles for practices.  He would do anything for a championship and contributed in so many unnoticed ways.  "This is what you play for," he said. "The chemistry and
cohesion of this unit was phenomenal." 

The most revealing moment came at the outset of the third quarter. Moore and Anyanwu each picked up their third fouls and were sent to the bench. With the Celts' two leading scorers unavailable, St. Paul had its chance.  Except the Celts expanded an eight-point lead to 13 because reserves Dino
Fekaris and Derrick O'Dwyer played like starters.  By the time Moore and Anyanwu came back with 2:50 left in the third quarter, the Swordsmen were still down by nine points and going nowhere. 

Dontay Holloway scored 22 points for St. Paul and Fausto Gonzalez had 18.  The Celts' fans were noisy and visible. Twelve buses came from Encino, with 90% of the student body of 465 purchasing tickets. Principal David Doyle was so excited he canceled classes today.  Dornan dedicated the championship to the top players of the past who came up short, such players as Paul Mokeski, Joe Carrabino, Chris Nikchevich and Pat Yerina, who led Crespi to success in Division I but never made it to a final.  But most of all, he thought of Paul Muff, Crespi's coach for 14 years who
died in 1994. "He's the one who started this," Dornan said. "A lot of players got so close but couldn't get over the hump."


St. Paul's Holloway can do only so much in loss
Boys basketball playoff coverage

By Gabe Lacques
Whittier Daily News Staff Writer 

LONG BEACH -- St. Paul High School got to the CIF-Southern Section Division IV boys basketball championship game because it scrapped harder and shot better than its taller opponents. When the Swordsmen ran into a bigger opponent that could match their hustle and raise their shooting, Dontay Holloway knew something had to be done. So Holloway, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, took it upon himself to keep St. Paul in the game against top-seeded Crespi. While his teammates' shots --and confidence -- deserted them, Holloway only seemed to grow more bold. His dashing drives to the hoop and fearless shooting kept St. Paul in the game for 2 1/2 quarters, but the Celts eventually imposed their will on the Swordsmen and pulled away for a 71-57 victory Thursday evening at the Pyramid.  Holloway finished with a game-high 22 points -- off the bench, no less -- and did what he could to keep the Swordsmen in the game. In the end, though, Holloway will have to wait for his senior season to see if he can join older brother Michael as a CIF-SS champion. Mikael Holloway played on St. Paul's 1997 title team. "I was feeling it," said Holloway, who made five of his seven shots in the first half and finished 8-of-17 from the field. "I felt if we were going to come this far as a young team, I had to give something back to them. I felt I was going to have to drive, have them collapse on me, and give our shooters some open shots." Unfortunately for St. Paul, those shooters couldn't knock down the shots. The Swordsmen's nine first quarter points came on 3-pointers, but after that, the long ball led to their demise. Rudy Serna, the   school's single-season record holder for 3-pointers, missed six of his seven shots, all 3-point attempts. Omar Cepeida was 1-of-4 on 3-pointers, and St. Paul was 5-of-20 from behind the arc. So Holloway was left to drive and shoot, or distribute the ball to center Fausto Gonzalez, who contributed 18 points and eight rebounds. Holloway and Gonzalez combined for all of St. Paul's points in the fourth quarter, disregarding a last-second concession basket. "He's the only guy for us who can create his own shot," said St. Paul coach Brandon Ertle, who demoted Holloway from the starting lineup earlier this season for disciplinary reasons. "He looked to carry us a little bit. He hit a lot of   shots because he did that, but it kind of got us out of our rhythm a little bit. "But he tried to do that because he's our most talented player. " Holloway will take another crack at it next year, along with junior Cepeida and sophomore starters Serna and Raymond Cagigas. "It hurts bad because I was hoping to get one," Holloway said.

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OFFICIAL BASKETBALL BOX SCORE-- G A M E  T O T A L S
Crespi Carmelite vs. St. Paul High School
03-01-01  5:45 p.m. at Long Beach State (The Pyramid)
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VISITORS: Crespi Carmelite

No. Name FGM FGA 3PTM 3PTA FT FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK STL MIN
04 Moore, Andrew 4 7 2 5 5 9 0 2 2 3 15 3 0 0 1 22
05 Ellis, Allan 5 11 1 3 0 0 2 1 3 0 11 1 2 0 3 31
20 Anyanwu, Kingsley 6 9 1 1 5 5 0 3 3 3 18 1 3 0 1 24
33 Shiebler, Charlie 3 6 0 3 3 3 1 2 3 4 9 2 0 0 0 29
34 Angel, Paul 3 6 0 0 0 3 3 4 7 2 6 0 0 0 0 28
03 Anderson, Eric 0 0 0 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
10 Fekaris, Dino 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 11
21 Wong, Casey 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
23 Roopenian, Steve 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
24 Koslowsky, Rob 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
32 O'Dwyer, Derrick 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 4 6 0 0 0 0 10
42 Witt, Danny 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
  Team Totals 24 42 4 12 19 28 12 19 31 20 71 8 5 0 5 160
TOT FG   1st half   8-17 471 2nd half   14-29 483 Game   478
3PTFG   1st half   1-5 200 2nd half   8-18 444 Game   391
FT   1st half   6-12 500 2nd half   8-14 571 Game   538

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HOME TEAM: St. Paul High School

No. Name FGM FGA 3PTM 3PTA FT FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK STL MIN
01 Walker, BJ 1 3 1 3 0 0 1 1 2 3 3 0 0 0 0 16
03 Cepeida, Omar 2 5 1 4 2 2 0 1 1 2 7 4 3 0 0 31
10 Serna, Rudy 1 7 1 7 0 0 1 1 2 5 3 0 2 0 0 25
24 Cagigas, Raymond 0 1 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 3 2 1 0 0 0 11
41 Gonzalez, Fausto 8 12 0 1 2 7 4 4 8 3 18 0 2 0 0 31
14 Soto, Oscar 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
15 Grigorian, Tigran 0 1 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 17
20 Rivera, Richard 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
23 Holloway, Dontay 8 17 2 5 4 9 4 2 9 3 22 1 2 0 2 26
32 Alvarez, Quinn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1
  Team totals 20 46 5 20 12 23 17 15 35 21 57 7 9 0 2 160
TOT FG   1st half   8-17 471 2nd half   12-29 414 Game   43.5
3PTFG   1st half   4-10 40 2nd half   1-10 010 Game 25%
FT   1st half   5-11 455 2nd half   7-12 58.3 Game   52.2%

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OFFICIALS:
TECHNICAL FOULS:
Crepi Carmelite--none
St. Paul --none
ATTENDANCE
Score by Pyramids:        1st         2nd         3rd    4th    OT1     OT2    TOTALS
Crespi Carmelite            15          18           17    21                             71
St. Paul HS                      9           16           15    17                             57


First Round
February 16
  Quarterfinals
February 20
  Semifinals
Feb 23
  Finals
March 3
@ The Pond
Twentynine Palms 45 @ Crespi 75 Crespi 54
@
Valley Christian 49
Crespi 62

@

Oak Park 43

Crespi 71

 

@The Pyramid
5:45 p.m.

 

St. Paul 57

Valley Christian (C) 56 @ El Segundo 36
Oak Park 53 @ Murphy 41 Orange Lutheran 44
@
Oak Park 46
Bishop Union 66 @ Orange Lutheran 70
Morro Bay 57 @ St. Bonaventure 65 St. Bonaventure 46
@
St. Paul 64
St. Paul 60

@Irvine HS

Northwood 54

St. Paul 61 @ Duarte 59
Northwood 74 @ Marshall 66 Cathedral 71
@
Northwood 81
Beaumont 54 @ Cathedral 68

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Copyright SoCalHoops 2001
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Contact: jegesq@SoCalHoops.com

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