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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

War On The Floor: Day Four Report From
Dave Keefer & A Bit More--(June 27, 2001)

warlogo.gif (11950 bytes) What: War on the Floor 2001 Tournament
When: June 23-27
Where Pierce College (Gold Bracket)
Taft HS (Silver Bracket)

[Dave Keefer writes regularly for California Preps, and he is covering the War on the Floor Tournament for us as well as for them while we are in Palm Springs for the boys' tournament there.  We'll have more from Dave on the War on the Floor throughout the tournament.   Dave sent us this report, and we've added a bit of our own to it]

This first part is from us, not from Dave:

The War on the Floor had a bit of an uprising last night as Clovis West, which was supposed to play in the Finals tonight (as in Wednesday) against the winner of the Fairfax v. Harvard Westlake game decided to leave town early so they could be back home in Clovis to watch Chris Hernandez being coached by Vance Wallberg in his last and final high school all-star game before he heads off to Stanford.    Everyone wanted Clovis to stay in town, and Dennis Magro and Bort Escoto even offered to move the championship game up to 2:30 p.m. to accommodate the Hustlin' Eagles, but Fairfax couldn't make that time because of summer school. . . so Clovis just took their ball and went home.  Now this made the tournament organizers mad. . . really mad.  How mad?  Bort Escoto came up to us during the final game of the evening, after everything had been decided by Clovis about leaving, and said:  "Here's a quote:  Clovis left town because we wouldn't let them play any 22 year olds.   Quote me on that one!"   Er, um ok coach. 

So, the absence of the Eagles leaves a huge gap in the proceedings today, and the final will now feature Fairfax (which beat Harvard-Westlake last night, but not by much. . .  more below about that below) against either (a) Harvard-Westlake, or (b) Sylmar.  We're betting Sylmar, because I doubt Fairfax wants another rematch of last night's game, played again without Evan Burns who is back in D.C. attending the NBA Players Camp (no, it doesn't mean he's going straight to the NBA. . .the camp is sponsored by the Players' Association, and is similar in nature to Nike or ABCD camps, only without all the college coaches in attendance).

Anyway, here's the schedule for today's finals:

12:30 p.m.     Boys' Consolation Third Place Game
2:00 p.m.       Sylmar v. Harvard Westlake
3:30 p.m.       Girls Consolation Championship
5:00 p.m.       Boys' Third Place Game
6:30 p.m.       Girls Championship Game
8:00 p.m.       Boys' Championship Game

Of course, this was supposed to be the schedule as of about 8:00 p.m.  last night, but we doubt it will stay the same given all of the changes and upheavals with Clovis leaving.

Fairfax 81, Harvard-Westlake 75

We watched the Fairfax v. HW game last night, the last one of the day, and Fairfax just barely escaped with their lives.  While H-W never led the game, they also just kept hanging around and hanging around, always within five or three points, and each time Fairfax would seem to be getting away, the Wolverines would hammer down another three pointer.  Without Evan Burns, Fairfax still had a lot of offensive fire-power, including four three pointers from Fernando Sampson (6'-3" Sr. SG) who finally seems to have found a position.  For years, Fernando thought of himself as a point guard, and he even told us that on several occasions.  But with BJ Bell in the fold, there's no way Fernando's going to be bringing the ball up the floor, at least not on this Fairfax team, so he's adapted as best he can, and it's a good thing too, since this guy can really shoot the ball.  We don't know how many points Fernando finished with, but he easily had at least 1/4 of the points for Fairfax.  BJ Bell started out the game fast, easily splitting defenders, and then managed to hang on throughout the rest of the game as the Wolverines threw a lot of double teams against him, and he finished with 21 points, about half of them from the line.  Jasha Blunt, Jason Gilzene, and Alex Bausley probably had the remainder of the points, and while Josh Shipp, Joe's brother looked really good, we didn't see him score a lot.   Harvard Westlake had some really balanced scoring, which kind of reflects what this team will look like, i.e., not much different than Clovis West, a bunch of guys who play together a lot.   Craig Weinstein finished with 12, Robbie Wizenberg finished with 13, including three threes, Bobby Weinberger finished with 13, and Brice Taylor finished with 15.    Coach Hilliard's done a great job of molding this team into a unit that really plays well together, and while they have no real height to speak of, they can play tenacious pressure defense and take advantage of every scoring opportunity an opponent will give them.   The Wolverines really scared the heck out of Fairfax at the end, getting to within 3 points twice in the final minute of the game, first at 73-76 with 1:02 remaining and then again getting the score to 75-78 with only 20 seconds.  But at the end, BJ Bell drove, was fouled and went to the line, puttint the score at 75-79 with just 19 seconds.  Fairfax' final score came off an inbounds under the HW basket, as they managed to break free of the defender and Fernando Sampson raced the length of the floor undefended for the easy basket. 

Prior the the HW game, our buddy Dave Keefer was in attendance and here's the report he sent us:

Sylmar 60, Burbank 58

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Sylmar's Sam Harris

We didn’t see this one but sure heard about it. It could have been the most watchable game in the tourney so far. Sylmar assistant coach Charles White wasn’t around to see the finish either. Charles is filling for ailing (bad back) head coach Bort Escoto but the officials apparently didn’t take to his coaching style. They asked Charles to leave after handing him his second technical foul with about 1:30 left in the game. After shooting the technicals, Burbank led 58-52 and things were looking bleak for Sylmar who was already having a sub par performance. Bort was in the gym but would the team accept him back after his own sub par performance in an earlier game-ending situation? (See Day Two article). Good thing they did because this guy can coach! Sylmar went on to score the game’s last eight points to pull out the thriller. It ended with a Charles Murphy steal and a Sam Harris winning layup. Louis Darby (UMass, LMU, Drexel, Brown) led the way with another great game, scoring 28 points. Harris had 10, and Murphy chipped in 7. Trent Cleveland of Burbank hit five three-pointers and ended up with 20 points.

Clovis West 85, Santa Monica 64

We didn’t see this one either but here’s the scoring: Clovis – Tyrese McDaniel 23, Nick Debban 14, Tyson Parker 12. Santa Monica – Brett DeAngelis 16, Greg Walker 8 (all in 2nd half).

Harvard-Westlake 72, Thousand Oaks 66

Still not on the scene, but here’s the scoring: Harvard-Westlake had a balanced attack, led by Bobby Weinberger 13 and Bryce Taylor 12. Thousand Oaks – Casey Myers 18, Acerboni (sp?) also 18.

Fairfax 90, Chaminade 55

Chaminade gave a good effort but were up against too much firepower, even with Evan Burns out of the lineup. Evan will miss the rest of the tournament because he flew to Washington D.C. to participate in the NBA combine at American University. Fairfax led at the half 51-24 but Chaminade refused to let them coast to the victory. But the outcome was never in doubt. Scoring: Fairfax – Josh Shipp 22, Jasha Blunt 15, Alex Bausley 14, Gilzane (SP?) 14, and Kevin Bell 13. Chaminade – Marcus Everett 14. We asked Kevin after the game what schools he was interested in at this early stage of the process. He listed Georgetown, UCLA, Arizona, and North Carolina.

Other scores:

Grant 66, Simi Valley 63
Hart 82, Paraclete 61
El Camino 63, Alemany 59
Calabasas/Notre Dame?

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