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View From CSUN Bench Distresses Cooper Almost as Much as Injury

Carl Cooper is a victim of bad timing. After alternating with Troy Dueker at point guard last basketball season, the Northridge senior finally had won the starting job this season only to be sidelined because of a groin injury.

He was possibly the only CSUN player who did not thoroughly enjoy the Matadors’ easy wins over The Master’s and San Francisco State last week.

“First it was hard to walk,” he said of his injury, “and now it’s hard to watch.” Making matters worse were the performances of Dueker and freshman Jemarl Baker.

Against San Francisco, Dueker had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals in 26 minutes. Baker had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 20 minutes.

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Cooper is expected to play when Northridge travels to the Sacramento area next week for nonconference games against Cal State Sacramento and UC Davis.

Long shot: Northridge guard Chuck McGavran has established himself as a long-range threat. Of his 78 field-goal attempts, 54 have been from three-point range. He has made 20 of his three-point attempts and is shooting 41% overall.

Snow job: Lee Smelser, basketball coach at College of the Canyons, was not concerned Wednesday morning about his team’s chances in the Crown City tournament in Pasadena, which began Wednesday night. He was too busy trying to figure out how he was going to get his team to the tournament.

“This is basketball weather but I don’t know if we can get out of here because it’s snowing,” Smelser said. “Rain I can handle, but snow?”

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Canyons recently has begun to prove that it can handle itself and opponents on the court. The Cougars (8-4) won the Mid-State tournament at Cuesta College last weekend.

“We’re starting to play more consistent defense and the offense has been able to operate more,” Smelser said.

Canyons will need to be finely tuned to win the eight-team Crown City tournament, which includes Rio Hondo, Moorpark, Pasadena, Bakersfield, Mt. San Antonio, Valley and Dixie (Utah) colleges.

Canyons will participate in the Comet Classic at Palomar College in San Diego, Dec. 28-30.

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Goal-oriented: The Master’s women’s basketball team needed just four weeks to equal its win total of last season when it finished 6-20.

Coach Becky White’s next goal is for the Mustangs to earn an NAIA District III playoff berth.

“We wanted to have a winning season and make the playoffs,” White said. “Both goals are very obtainable.”

The Mustangs (6-2, 3-1 in District III play) won their first five games before losing two of their past three. They play at Fresno Pacific on Friday.

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Follow the crowd: Cal State Northridge played Central-Missouri State for the NCAA Division II women’s volleyball title before a larger crowd in Omaha than it probably would have drawn at CSUN.

A noisy crowd of 1,200 watched the championship game last Saturday. That was 300 more than the host team drew in a third-place game against Ferris State, Mich., earlier in the day. When Northridge played Cal State Sacramento at home in the Western regional final the week before, the crowd was only 253.

Large crowds are nothing new in Omaha, however. The Lady Mavs set a Division II attendance record last year when they attracted 3,004 for a match with North Dakota State.

Award smorgasbord: Angela Brinton, the Division II player of the year, will be honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. at a banquet in Indianapolis tonight.

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The two-time All-American setter led Northridge in assists in Final Four wins over Ferris State and Central-Missouri State. She was named to the all-tournament team along with teammates Sue Darcey and Kathleen Dixon.

Brinton, the most valuable player in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., also was named to the all-tournament team at the Western regional playoffs.

Add awards: Joey Kirk of Northridge was the only Division II player in the nation to be selected to Soccer America’s Top-10 most valuable player team. A senior All-American, Kirk led the Matadors to the Division II championship game, which CSUN lost, 2-0, to Southern Connecticut. He will next play Jan. 23 in the East-West Senior Bowl at Santa Ana Stadium in Orange County.

Kirk, who scored 30 goals this season and finished ninth in the voting for a player-of-the-year award presented by the Missouri Athletic Club, is still a contender for the Adidassler Award, presented annually by the Intercollegiate Soccer Assn. of America to a senior or player who has finished his last year of eligibility. The winner will be announced in January.

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Last add awards: UCLA sophomore Daiva Tomkus, a middle blocker on the volleyball team and a graduate of Chaminade High, has been selected a first-team All-American.

Banquet fare: Thor Lee, a two-time All-American, was voted team most valuable player at the Northridge soccer team’s awards banquet Monday night.

All-American forward Joey Kirk, who set single-season and career records for goals and assists, was voted best offensive player. Junior fullback Steve Lazarus was voted best defensive player and senior goalie Willie Lopez was voted best newcomer. Senior midfielder Rodney Batt was chosen by CSUN Coach Marwan Ass’ad as the recipient of the Coach’s Award.

New coach selected: Mark Morton, former infielder at Northridge, has been hired as manager of the Valley Dodgers summer collegiate team.

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Morton was an all-district player at CSUN in 1981 and ’82 and later played in the San Francisco Giants minor league system. He was hired by Northridge as an assistant earlier this year.

He replaces former Chatsworth High and Valley College pitcher Jim Benedict, who coached the Dodgers to a 30-9-1 record last summer. Benedict, an assistant at Loyola Marymount, left the Dodgers to become pitching coach of the Fairbanks Goldpanners, a team in the Alaskan summer league.

Twin towers: Kathleen and Marianne Dixon barely had finished celebrating CSUN’s victory in the Division II volleyball championship before donning basketball uniforms.

The twins are expected to provide Northridge (3-5) with a much-needed boost. Kathleen will take over as starting center for freshman Paula Cooper and Marianne will play forward.

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“It gives us a lot more size and depth having two more players who have some experience,” CSUN Coach Leslie Milke said. “We’re just stronger overall when they’re playing. They are good rebounders and add a lot of scoring.”

Staff writers Mike Hiserman, Gary Klein, Gordon Monson and Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.


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