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Prep Notebook : Anlauf Faced the Music, Then Lost His Star Guard

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Joe Anlauf threw his head back in total exasperation.

“It’s been a bad day all along,” the Alemany High basketball coach said, recalling the last 24 hours.

“First, my car blew up,” Anlauf said. That was Monday night, but it was only the beginning.

When he arrived at the Alemany gym for his team’s game Tuesday against Loyola High, Anlauf discovered the microphone wasn’t working. Then, when the Alemany team came out for warm-ups, Anlauf played a music cassette that the Indians have used to warm up to every game this season.

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“And the band leader got angry with me,” Anlauf said. Seems the band leader wanted the band to perform while the team warmed up.

Then, the topper to the evening.

“I lose the best freshman in Los Angeles,” Anlauf said, shaking his head once again.

James Moses, the top ninth-grader to play in the Valley in years, suffered a broken left wrist during the Indians’ 83-55 win over the Cubs. He is out for the rest of the season.

The 6-3 guard will wear a cast for six to eight weeks and won’t dribble a ball for at least 10 weeks.

“I don’t care how far we go in the playoffs, he ain’t playing,” Anlauf said. “He was real down. So were his parents. And so am I.”

Anlauf has a right to be. Moses was one of the two best players on the team. The other player, David Djolakian, has been bothered all season by an injury to his right ankle.

In fact, Djolakian, an all-Del Rey League performer last season, missed his fourth game of the season when his teammates played Loyola. Djolakian, a 6-6 forward, is scheduled to play Friday against Notre Dame.

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A healthy Djolakian is needed more than ever now that Moses is out.

Moses was injured when he jumped to block a shot with three seconds left in the first half. As Moses came crashing down, so did the team’s morale.

“They were really down at the half,” Anlauf said. “But I asked them not to roll over.”

The coach was pleased with their response. The Indians, who held a 36-23 lead at the half, extended it to 58-35 after three quarters and breezed to their third win in four league games. Alemany is 13-4 overall.

Fernando Lopez led the Indians with 20 points, making nine of 16 shots, while David Swanson had 18 points, sinking eight of 11 field goals. Tom Carlson scored 14 points, while Vince Collet scored 12.

“They’re good. The others guys on this team are good,” Anlauf said. “I believe that. We are not a one-dimensional team. I don’t care what people think.”

Anlauf admitted, however, that the loss of Moses is a difficult one to accept. “We’re losing 20 points a game.”

“I feel so sorry for the kid because he wants to play so much,” the coach added. “He even likes to practice.”

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Practice is one thing Djolakian has not been able to do a lot of since hurting his ankle just before the start of the season.

“It was a freak accident,” Djolakian said. “I pushed off to make a move in practice and felt a tear.”

Djolakian, a senior, didn’t think much of the injury, so “I didn’t take proper care of it.”

The injury kept nagging at him and he was forced to miss three early-season games. Alemany won all three. In the first league game against St. John Bosco, Djolakian had 26 points and 14 rebounds. He scored 10 against Bosco Tech in a 68-45 Alemany victory.

Last Friday against Crespi, Djolakian sizzled in the first half, making 10 of 12 shots and scoring 23 points. But in the second half, the ankle flared up, Crespi switched defenses, and Djolakian had just one shot attempt. Alemany lost, 70-67, its only setback in league play.

“The small tissue in my ankle is stretched and the doctor told me to stay off it for a week,” Djolakian said. So he’ll be back Friday, and Anlauf can’t wait to see him at 100%.

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“When he plays well, David is 25 points and 10 rebounds minimum against quality people,” Anlauf said. “Crespi is a quality team and he was dominating them.”

While he is glad to have his star senior back, Anlauf wonders why he must do without his freshman sensation.

“All I’m trying to do is win some games, stay out of people’s hair,” he said, seeming almost apologetic. “But, life goes on.”

Even without James Moses. Three members of the Royal High basketball team were suspended by Coach Jack McCrory for at least a week due to a curfew violation.

Forward Joe Pugh, the team’s leading scorer at 14.7 points a game, forward Mike Barry (9.1 points and 7.1 rebounds a game) and guard Keith Ellen were scheduled to sit out Wednesday’s game against Thousand Oaks. The three, who are all starters, will also sit out Friday’s game against Camarillo.

Pugh and Barry are seniors, while Ellen is a junior. If the San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl this Sunday, Canyon High football Coach Harry Welch’s streak will continue.

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Welch has coached a member of the Super Bowl-winning team each of the last four seasons. That streak will reach five if the 49ers, and offensive lineman Randy Cross, are victorious over the Dolphins.

Odis McKinney started the streak when the Oakland Raiders won Super Bowl XV. Welch was an assistant coach at Valley College when McKinney played there.

Welch coached Cross for three seasons in the shot put at Crespi High. He also was an assistant football coach when Cross played for the Celts. The 49ers won Super Bowl XVI.

Vernon Dean, a member of Washington’s championship team in Super Bowl XVII, played at Valley while Welch was there.

McKinney continued the streak last year when the Los Angeles Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII over Washington. Crespi and Alemany, the two top teams in the Del Rey League, are ranked eighth and ninth in the Southern Section’s Big-5 Division basketball poll. Last week, the Indians were eighth, the Celts ninth. Mater Dei is the top-ranked team.

Montclair Prep is ranked second in the 1-A Division, while Faith Baptist is No. 7.

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