Simi Valley Finishes Fifth in Las Vegas Tournament

Times Staff Writer

Only a few minutes after his team's most impressive performance in its four games here, Bob Hawking, Simi Valley High basketball coach, looked like a man who had just doubled down on an 11 and drew a two at the blackjack table.

He was a little bewildered and a lot disgusted.

Simi Valley (9-1) defeated Bonanza High of Las Vegas, 62-56, Saturday afternoon to finish fifth in the Sundevil Basketball Classic at Eldorado High, but that was of little consolation to the coach.

"The fact is," Hawking said after the game, "we never played all that well.

"We had a good time, but we also found out that we have some weaknesses in almost every phase of the game. Right now, we really lack the savvy of a real good team."

That could be attributed to the Pioneers' inexperience--three of the team's starters are underclassmen. Five days away from home may have also taken their toll.

But Hawking would hear none of it.

"We were doing little things like fouling when we should have been letting the clock run out," he said. "There's no excuse for that."

The one consistent performer for Simi Valley during the tournament was center Don MacLean.

The 6-8 sophomore was selected to the all-tournament team after averaging 21.5 points and 17.7 rebounds during the Pioneers' four games.

"Don seems to have realized that his major responsibility is to rebound for us," Hawking said. "Sometimes high schools kids only think about scoring. Don will get his points, but for us to be successful, he has to rebound like he did this week."

MacLean led Simi Valley with 23 points and 18 rebounds against Bonanza. Seven of his rebounds were on the offensive boards, including six in the first half when he scored 14 of the Pioneers' 26 points.

Simi Valley led by five at the half and gradually increased the margin to a high of 14 in the fourth quarter.

"Once again, we played well in spots, but failed to put together 32 minutes of good basketball," Hawking said.

Bonanza (6-3) scored nine of the game's last 11 points to make the score close.

The Bengals were led in scoring by center Steve Rock with 15. Tommy McCoy had 13 and Andre Coward had 12.

Shawn DeLaittre scored 15 for Simi Valley.

The Pioneers will be out of action until the start of the Hart tournament on Dec. 26.

SIMI VALLEY--Gates 5; DeLaittre 15; MacLean 23; Hankins 8; Johnson 0; Hawking 2; Irwin 2; Bice 6, Wilcox 1.

BONANZA--Jenson 2; Cathern 4; Rock 15; Coward 12; McCoy 13; Cram 4; Rouselle 4; Mich'l 2.

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