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Santa Clara Basketball Tournament Put On Hold for a Year

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

As a learning experience, it has proven useful. As an effort to bring a basketball tournament to Oxnard, it has proven useless.

The Oxnard chapter of the Knights of Columbus planned 7 months ago to stage a national boys’ basketball tournament in December. Santa Clara High would serve as host for the 8-team affair, which was to attract top teams from the East Coast.

There will be no tournament this year, Knights officials admit, because schools of the caliber sought had long ago made holiday tournament plans elsewhere.

“We were naive in thinking that teams needed only 3 months to change their plans,” said Ted Robles, the tournament director.

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Letters were mailed in February to 37 schools--including every team in USA Today’s top 20. Mater Dei, Crenshaw and St. Bernard were the only teams invited from Southern California.

Although Robles said several schools gave favorable responses, firm commitments were not forthcoming. Now sights are set on 1989.

“We have the same plans but one year removed,” Robles said. “This thing is not dead. In fact, we are gathering steam.”

Said Santa Clara Coach Lou Cvijanovich: “The key word in planning for this tournament is patience.”

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