Cleveland Coach Bob Braswell missed school on Monday and Tuesday this week because of a chronic sore throat. Discussing his team's free-throw woes in Friday's 69-64 upset loss to Fremont made his temperature rise another degree or two.
"We've never shot that poorly," said Braswell, who finished his third season as the Cavalier coach. "I don't know what happened."
Actually, it was more a case of what did not happen that killed the Cavaliers. Cleveland attempted 24 free throws in the game--and made only nine. In the fourth quarter, when Cleveland was outscored, 29-13, the Cavaliers made only 4 of 10 from the line.
No player made more than half of his attempts. Senior forward Richard Branham made only 2 of 7.
Final numbers: Four Cleveland players averaged nine or more rebounds a game. Branham averaged a team-high 14.8, followed by Warren Harrell (13.3), Damon Charlot (10.1) and Lucious Harris (9.0). El Camino Real's Brent Lofton averaged 11.7 a game and Taft's Lamont Koonce averages 9.3.
Assists: Cleveland senior Damon Greer won the assist title among Valley-area players. Greer had 311 in 22 games for an average of 14.1 a game. Several of his teammates also were among the leaders. Adonis Jordan finished with 201 (9.1) and Joey Manliguis averaged 7.2 a game. Taft's Dedan Thomas, who sets a single-season school record with each assist, is closest to Greer among area players, averaging 10.1 a game. Thomas has 222 in 22 games.
Scoring: Balanced scoring has been Bell-Jeff's strength all season, especially during the Guards' current 10-game winning streak. Four Bell-Jeff players scored in double figures in a 79-66 win over Orange Lutheran in the first round of the Southern Section 1-A Division playoffs, including Nick Sanderson (22) and Henry Polee (21). Bell-Jeff (17-6) has a 10-0 record this season when Sanderson, Polee and Greg Dunn all score at least 10 points and a 3-4 record when one of the three scores below 10. Those statistics do not include six games that Dunn missed because of torn ligaments in his right foot.
Granada Hills center Alvin Brown, who averaged 17.5 points a game, was the Highlanders' leading scorer. Brown, a 6-3 junior, also averaged a team-leading 12.4 rebounds. Granada Hills, the defending City Section 3-A Division champion, was eliminated by Grant, 66-65, in the first round of the playoffs.
Records: Buckley center Laura Kirkpatrick broke seven school records during her four-year career, including career points (1,092), assists (150) and steals (135). The 5-10 senior averaged 26 points, 15.4 rebounds and 7 steals a game this season.
All-around: Lofton led El Camino Real in four categories. He averaged 21.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2 steals a game. He also shot 57% from the field (171 of 298).
Extra points: The Marmonte League's record against outside opponents was 44-35 through the first round of the Southern Section 4-A playoffs. Only Simi Valley advanced to the second round. Not surprisingly, the best team outside league play is Simi Valley (12-3). The worst was Thousand Oaks (2-7), which finished third in the league and was eliminated by Diamond Bar in the first round.