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Canyons Intends to Jog Rival Coach’s Memory : Compton’s Porter Unable to Recount Rout

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

When it comes to making a lasting impression, the College of the Canyons men’s basketball team doesn’t score any points with Compton College.

Compton Coach Lee Porter can remember nothing more than the score of the sound beating his team dealt the Cougars in November.

He hopes to refresh his memory in the second meeting between the teams. Compton, seeded 13th, plays host to No. 20 Canyons at 7:30 tonight in the first round of the Southern California regional playoffs,

Valley, seeded 25th, plays at Allan Hancock (No. 8) at 7 tonight in the other first-round matchup involving an area team.

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“It was so early in the season, I don’t remember them,” Porter said of the Cougars, who were beaten, 115-88, in that meeting. “But Canyons came out of a very strong conference and it made the playoffs, so it should be good.”

Canyons Coach Lee Smelser fears Compton, which placed third in the South Coast Conference. Canyons, which placed second in the Southern Division of the Western State Conference behind Santa Monica, has lost three of its past four games and played flat in losing the regular-season finale to Glendale, 77-75.

“We have just been emotionally uninvolved the last couple of games and it hurt us,” Smelser said. “I hope we will play a little more emotionally charged than we have.”

Sophomore forward Butch Mettinger averages 21 points to lead Canyons (18-13, 8-5). Forward Del Linzy averages 16.5 points, while forward-guard Rusty Morse is averaging 13 points a game.

Compton’s Vincent Camper, a 6-6 sophomore forward, led the South Coast Conference in scoring (20.0). Sophomore point guard Gilbert Miller averages 19 points a game for Compton (19-10).

“Miller is probably our premier player in terms of the clutch basket and doing what it takes to win,” Porter said.

Valley faces a tough first-round opponent in Hancock (24-5), which finished second in the Northern Division of the WSC behind Ventura. The Monarchs (12-19, 9-5) finished well below .500 in overall play but placed third in the Southern California Conference.

Steve Ward, the Southern California Conference scoring leader, averages 25.7 points. He is complemented by David Weiss (16.2) and Oral Elrington (15.6).

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Valley’s Gerald Franklin averaged six assists, second in the SCC, while teammate Michael Jackson was fourth in assists (5.4).

Valley Coach Jim Stephens says his team his overmatched against Hancock.

“I think they have a lot better athletes than we do,” Stephens said. “The key to the game for us will be if we can handle their offensive pressure.”

Warren Hawthorne, a 6-4 sophomore forward, averages 22 points to lead Hancock.

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Despite Valley’s low ranking, Hancock Coach Robert White is not taking the Monarchs lightly.

“What you’ve done in the past has nothing to do with now,” White said. “They wouldn’t be in the playoffs if they weren’t any good. I know about Ward and Elrington, so I know they have some quality players.”


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