Monroe Run Over by Grant
Michael Bell was dynamite in the second quarter Tuesday night at Birmingham High. Hustling from one end of the gym to the other, the 6-3 Monroe forward scored 10 of his game-high 19 points and twice rebounded his own missed shot for garbage points.
But it was Grant that exploded in the third quarter. The Lancers banged out 10 unanswered points and ran past Monroe, 55-44, in the semifinal round of the Birmingham tournament.
Grant (7-2) will play Birmingham for the championship tonight at 8:45. Birmingham defeated Agoura, 69-56, in the other semifinal.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Grant Coach Howard Levine said. “We came out and started getting the ball to Danny on the high post. He got inside.”
Grant forward Danny Enowitz penetrated Monroe’s defense for a team-high 17 points. Enowitz put the game out of reach with four free throws in the final minute.
Bell, who scored seven points in the final quarter, scored only two points as Grant surged ahead in the third quarter.
“It was the defense,” Levine said.
Jamey Ekerling and Enowitz teamed to shut down Bell, who missed on three three-point attempts in the third quarter and finished 2 of 7 behind the perimeter line.
“I just went cold,” Bell said. “It wasn’t the defense.”
Said Enowitz: “I think it was both. When he was open, he hit. But when we got a hand up in his face, he missed.”
Grant nudged ahead, 10-6, after one quarter. But Bell ignited the Vikings with two long-distance jumpers, including a three-point, shot to give Monroe (1-5) its first lead, 11-10.
Bell followed with a free throw and four more points on a tip-in and a short jumper. Enowitz kept the Lancers within reach with six points in the second quarter.
Tom Konkel scored to give Monroe its biggest lead, 29-24, before Grant closed the half with a scoring blitz. Reserve Mike Fried scored all six of his points on easy layups. Sean Watkins, who had with 14 points, added two baseline jumpshots.
The win was Grant’s second over Monroe this month. The Lancers won a nonleague game at Monroe, 55-50.
Birmingham 69, Agoura 56--Greg Maxwell (18 points) and Vince Walker (16) teamed to power Birmingham, which led all the way in a semifinal game.
Agoura (4-8), which will play Monroe for third place today, was led by Frank Jacobellis, who scored 17 points.
Poly 68, Van Nuys 65--The lead changed hands six times in the fourth quarter before John Bruner and Luis Rodarte made the decisive plays for Poly in a consolation semifinal.
Bruner, who came off the bench to score 14 points, hit consecutive jumpers with two minutes to play to give the Parrots the lead for good, 62-59. Rodarte, who scored six points, sank three free throws in the final minute to seal the win. Forward Robby Nytoya led Poly (5-3) with 27 points.
Four Van Nuys players--Alonzo Galloway (16 points), Troy Gibson (15), James Green (12) and Jimmy Chriss (11)--scored in double figures. Van Nuys is 1-5.
Reseda 56, Canoga Park 51 (OT)--Reseda’s Coley Kyman scored four points in overtime, including two free throws in the final minute, as the Regents rallied from a 32-17 halftime deficit and advanced to the consolation championship game.
Canoga Park (1-7) missed 5 of 6 free throws in overtime. Sean Reyes, who led the Hunters with 12 points, missed 2 of 3 free throws in overtime. Reseda (2-6) was led by forward Steven Fields, who scored 12 points.