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Bowser Steps to Center Stage for Northridge

Pete Cassidy, basketball coach at Cal State Northridge, says Todd Bowser is so big, “he could screen off a Sherman tank.”

Bowser, Montclair Prep’s 6-8, 260-pound center, has decided to go to war for CSUN.

After making a verbal commitment Monday, he will sign a letter of intent with CSUN today at noon.

Wednesday was the first day of the second signing period for high school athletes. The period ends May 15.

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Bowser, who averaged 20.8 points and 15.2 rebounds a game last season and was named to the All-Southern Section 1-A team, said he was glad the decision-making process is over.

“It’s a relief,” said Bowser, a heavily recruited football player who gave up the sport when he quit the Montclair Prep team last fall. “It feels good to be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the school year.

“I know a few of the CSUN players and I think that will make it easier on me. I wanted to go somewhere where I could step in and help the team right away.”

CSUN was 11-15 overall and 4-10 in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. last season. Northridge played without a true center, a role Bowser figures to fill.

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“He had other places in mind but he liked our program and our guys,” Cassidy said. “He can help contribute, but he won’t turn us around alone.”

Bowser should have some help. Cassidy is also set to sign Oak Park’s Drew Friedman today at 3:30 p.m. Friedman, who is 6-6, averaged 17.4 points and 11.7 rebounds a game last season.

North Hollywood’s Cliff Barnes, who averaged 16.3 points and 11.2 rebounds a game last season, also has expressed interest in attending CSUN. Barnes reportedly will choose between CSUN and U.S. International.

Thousand Oaks guard Tom Neumayr, who averaged 17.8 points a game last season, is also considering playing for the Matadors.

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Cal Lutheran took steps Wednesday toward improving on its 5-23 record last season by signing Michael Demeter, a 6-7, 195-pound forward from St. Joseph’s High in Santa Maria. Demeter averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds last season and was named Santa Barbara County player of the year. He is also a high jumper in track with a personal best of 6-5.

“I’m elated,” said Cal Lutheran Coach Larry Lopez. “He’s a great recruit. He can jump, shoot and score. It’s a good start for us.”

The Cal Lutheran women’s basketball program, coming off its best season, received a verbal commitment Wednesday from Brenda Lee, a 5-7 guard who averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists last season at Quincy High in Northern California.

The Master’s College has signed no new players and lost one of its old ones.

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Paul Jungkite, a 6-5 forward, was named The Master’s most valuable player two years ago before quitting school to return to his home in San Jose. He has decided to enroll at Biola in La Mirada.

Canyon guard Darrin Moloznik is making a visit to The Master’s today.

Junior College players also made decisions Wednesday.

Mario Lopez, a 6-7 forward from Valley College who averaged 12.6 points and 7.9 rebounds last season, signed to play at Fresno State.

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Darrin Channels, a 6-8, 200-pound center from Moorpark College, will attend Hawaii Pacific.

Forward Vincent Ray of Canyons has signed with University of Hawaii-Hilo.


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