At Taft 7:30
Taft Coach Jim Woodard would have bet cold cash last week that his team would be playing Cleveland tonight. Taft held up its end of the deal by winning its first-round game, but Cleveland was upset by Fremont, 69-64. Fremont's offense showed explosiveness by throttling Cleveland, 29-13, in the final quarter. Supplying much of Fremont's offense is 6-4 1/2 senior forward Darrin Dafney, who will attend UCLA in the fall. Dafney is averaging 22 points a game, but he was held to 12 by Cleveland's box-and-one defense. Picking up the slack was 6-4 junior forward Tyrone Phillips, who scored a career-high 26 points. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Phillips, who was promoted from the junior varsity four weeks ago, made 11 of 13 from the field, including seven in a row at one stretch. George McLin, a 6-2 senior, averages 12 points a game for Fremont. Taft is on a roll after upsetting Cleveland in the Valley League finale, 69-68, last Wednesday and knocking off San Pedro, 48-43, on the road Friday. Taft's scoring leader is senior off-guard Quincy Watts, who averages 19.3 points a game. Watts scored 28 against Cleveland and made a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds of his 15-point performance against San Pedro. Taft's catalyst, however, is junior point guard Dedan Thomas, who averages 14.5 points, 9.8 assists and 4.7 steals. With each assist, Thomas (5-11) increases his single-season school record--he has 222. Senior forward Tony Moten (6-5) averages 15.7 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Jordan (12-6) vs. San Fernando (16-5)
At San Fernando 7:30
San Fernando rebounded from an 88-57 drubbing by Birmingham in the last game of the Northwest Valley League schedule with a convincing first-round win over Narbonne, 82-67. "I took the kids to the shed and bawled them out," Coach Dick Crowell said. "Then they started to play well." Jordan Coach Roosevelt Wilson scouted only one San Fernando game this season--the loss to Birmingham. "I wasn't too impressed with them then ," he said. "But from my understanding, they are the team to beat in the 3-A. I was impressed by the play of their guards." San Fernando's backcourt of Joe Mauldin and Tory Stephens has been impressive all season. Stephens poured in a game-high 29 points against Narbonne before fouling out for the first time this season. Mauldin scored 24. Stopping San Fernando means stopping Mauldin and Stephens. "We'll just put our best defensive players on them," Wilson said. "We're going to have to keep them off the boards." Jordan, the third-place team in the Northern League, defeated Lincoln, 78-62, in the first round. Jordan's leading scorer is 6-4 junior forward Stefon Davis, who averages 22 points a game. Guard James Wesley averages 12 assists and center Kevin Lasley averages eight rebounds.
Wilson (18-5) vs. Grant (18-3)
At Grant 7:30
Wilson officials are unhappy that the game is being played at Grant because the Mules are seeded ahead of Grant. Both teams finished 9-1 in their leagues and both played first-round games last week at home. Wilson officials argue that because Grant lost a coin flip to North Hollywood, making the Lancers the second-seeded team from the East Valley League, Wilson should be the home team. "The four top seeds are always supposed to play at home until they play each other," said Dan Reinstein, Wilson's administrator in charge of athletics. "If you lose, you lose. Grant lost but now they're winning." Grant beat Granada Hills, 66-65, in a first-round game Friday when the Highlanders' final shot was blocked by center Troy Mcleod. Five players scored between 9 and 18 points and the Lancers made 27 of 54 shots. "We played very well. Hopefully, we'll just continue to do that," Grant Coach Howard Levine said. Wilson, which won the Northern League, beat Poly, 59-56, in a first-round game Friday.
Los Angeles (13-6) vs. North Hollywood (17-4)
At North Hollywood 7:30
North Hollywood players can find both encouraging and disappointing signs in their 56-47 victory over Marshall in the first round. The play of guard Danny Klein (game-high 22 points, 6 assists) and center Dana Jones (20 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocked shots) was comforting. But the play of All-City forward Dominic Nappi (4 points), forward Rashe Dorsey (3) and swingman Alan Breslauer (2), who is slowly recovering from a sprained ankle, was disconcerting. "We won by nine, but when I got home, it felt like we lost," Klein said. North Hollywood outscored Marshall, 19-6, in the fourth quarter when Jones scored four points and Klein, who was playing with four fouls, scored nine. "We weren't getting much offense at the end so I thought I had to start initiating something," Klein said. "I had to take it into my own hands and it worked." North Hollywood, which tied Grant for the East Valley League championship, has won 7 consecutive games and 11 of its past 12. Los Angeles, which finished second in the Pac-6 League, beat South Gate, 62-51, in the first round Friday.