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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Catching Up:  Palm Springs
Tourney Notes--(June 23, 2001)

We spent Friday doing a bit of traveling and watching a lot of games and then spent all day today starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 11:00 p.m. with an overtime game, watching just a boatload full of games here at the Palm Springs Tournament.   First a report on the high scorers for the first two days in the tournament, which is the easy part of covering an event like this because even though we can't possibly see every second of every game (there are two going on simultaneously and there's a huge curtain dividing the courts), we can count on the scorers who are doing a terrific job (under some pretty adverse conditions) in keeping the stats.  Anyway, here are the high game scorers through Saturday night:

David Gale, Buckley    23 & 20
Steve Graybill, Dos Pueblos    23 & 19
Marcellus Robertson, La Habra    21
Thurman Sutton, Lynwood    21
M. Young, Estancia    20
Shaun Davis, Lincoln    18 & 11
Mike Stevenson, Highland    17
James, Lynwood    16
John Elliot, Colony (Alaska)    16
Mamelli, Calvary Chapel Santa Ana    16
Kevin Ritchie, South Torrance    15
London, Colony (Alaska)    15
Vondell Reevy, Highland    15

Today's games saw some really great action.  Lincoln beat Dos Pueblos in one of two championship quarterfinal games, and Artesia outlasted Lynwood in the other.  In the consolation side of the bracket, Buckley beat one of the two La Habra teams in a very late overtime game which had been scheduled for 9:00 p.m. and didn't actually get started until 10:00 p.m.,  and Banning hammered  Palm Springs in the other consolation semifinal, and Buckley and Banning will match up for the consolation.  

There were a number of standout players and some new guys we hadn't seen before.  We don't have time now to post all of our impressions (it's late, and there are games starting again at 9:00 a.m.), but we'll talk about a few:

Artesia has some really nice guards, but this is a vastly different team from those of the "glory" years when Wayne Merino was coaching Jason Kapono, the O'Bannons, et. al.  This team has some excellent height in Ryan Meilleur (6'-9" Sr. F) and Ronald Allen (6'-9" Jr. F) as well as Reggie Brown (6'-6" Jr. F), and they've got some excellent quick guards whith guys like Jibiri Taylor, Kejaun Johnson, Kirk Wilson, Kaelin Daniels, David Cotton, Chris Sims, Antoine Lee, Terrence Henderson, and Jose Leboy.   They powered through LA Birmingham in their first morning game,  then beat Rancho Cucamonga, which itself just barely escaped a very surprisingly good Righetti team.   Lynwood beat Highland, and we're not exactly certain who won between South Torrance and Colony, but suffice it to say Lynwood beat the winner of that game to advance to the semivinal with Artesia.

Manual Arts has had a mixed bag so far.  Jamal Walls (6'-7" Sr. F) is now playing with the Toilers, having left Crenshaw, although it's not a certainty at all that he will eventually transfer in to Manual when summer comes to an end.  For now though he's playing with them.  Manual beat Calvary Chapel in the first game today, but then lost to Dos Pueblos, and evidently Jamal was so upset with the loss that in his next game he promptly went out and ripped down a rim off the backboard. . . . Really.  He was going up for a jam, hung just a second too long and literally ripped the rim out of its moorings to the glass.  Didn't break the backboard, but it sure caused some talk in the gym as well as one huge delay while the folks running the tournament searched for and then installed a new rim.

Lincoln of San Diego has been playing very well, and right now we'd say that they would be the favorties to take this thing over Artesia, which has not been playing "pretty" basketball.  The Pioneers are winning, but it's been ugly.  Most people talk about Shaun Davis as the heart of the Hornets team, but at this tournament, it's really been other guards, guys like Jarrett Harris, Derrell Dylan, Ron Harris and Charles Jones.  Dominic McGwire and Donald Deshotels have had an up and down tournament.  Davis took some time to get going today.  In the first game he only had about 8 points, then picked it up, and tonight finished with 18 in a two point win over Dos Pueblos which came down to the final seconds, a great game which could have gone either way as these two teams which faced off last year did so again this year.

Anyway, there were a lot of very good players, many more who we'll have something to say about after the tournament is finished.  But that's it for now though, as we've gotta get some much needed sleep. . . later. 

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