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PREP BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : Leuzinger Cagers Run, Gun Their Way Over Aggressive Hart, 81-68

The pace may have been hard to follow and the players looked bedraggled at game’s end. But Phil Sherman, basketball coach at Leuzinger High, and Coach Greg Herrick of Hart insist full-tilt basketball is what they teach and both gave their pupils a high mark for Thursday’s effort.

In the opening round of the El Segundo Classic, Leuzinger came out on top, 81-68, and moves into today’s second round.

The game was run and gun from start to finish. “We like it fast tempo,” said Sherman. “But I guess they (Hart) like it, too. They came back fast-paced.”

“That’s the way we play,” Herrick said. “We figured if that was the way they (Leuzinger) play, that’s all right with us. We’ll run with anybody. And I think it surprised them a little at first.”

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Leuzinger jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Hart came right back at the Olympians with their version of run and shoot. The Olympians held a 26-19 advantage at the end of one quarter, but it was apparent they were not going to run away from Hart.

Hart kept chipping away at the lead and finally tied the game at intermission, 42-42.

In the third quarter Leuzinger fell behind, 54-52, but Mac Williams got the hot hand and hit three straight, including a 3-pointer, to put the Olympians ahead, 59-54. Frank Willis and Glenn Runton then scored after a Hart free throw and Leuzinger took a 63-55 lead into the fourth quarter.

Hart scored first in the final period, but Williams again got hot, hitting two straight jumpers, one a 3 pointer, and when Hart’s leading scorer Brett Wilson fouled out, the Indians were forced to play catch-up with their leading scorer on the bench.

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It proved to be too tough a task for Hart as Leuzinger’s ball guards went into a stall and cemented the win.

“There was one point in the fourth quarter when we made five trips downcourt and came away with nothing,” lamented Herrick. “We missed three shots and turned it over twice and Leuzinger converted opportunities.”

Sherman could only concur with Herrick’s assessment.

“I learned today that my team has more heart than I gave them credit for before,” he said. “In practice they tend to slack off a little bit, but today they really came through when the game was on the line.”

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Williams paced Leuzinger with 22 points while Don Thomas had 13 and Maurice Roberts chipped in with 11.

Wilson led all scorers with 26 and Frank Butterfield had 11.

Bishop Montgomery 77, Glendale 75--The Saints broke open a tight game against the Dynamiters early in the fourth quarter, then converted their free throws to post a mild upset in the first round of the El Segundo Kiwanis Classic.

Trailing 51-50 at the start of the third period, Bishop Montgomery surged to a 74-66 lead before Glendale mounted its comeback. The Dynamiters clawed back to within striking distance and cut the lead to 2 points when Brian Porter sank a 3-point shot. But there were just 3 seconds remaining and the Saints ran out the clock.

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Bishop Montgomery had four players in double figures, but it was the Saints’ late free-throw shooting that sealed the victory. They converted 14 of 17 from the free throw line in the final quarter.

Matt Kutrell led Bishop Montgomery with 21 points, and Mike Wright contributed 17. Jesus Perez had 15 and Shelton Hill scored 12. Hill was 6 of 11 from the line in the fourth quarter.

Allen Faalnick paced Glendale with 26 points while teammate Robert DeTolve had 22.

Quartz Hill 77, Hawthorne 68--The Cougars led nearly the entire game and at one point had a 13-point lead in another El Segundo tournament first-round contest. But the smaller Rebels chipped away at the deficit and overtook Hawthorne late in the game.

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Down 66-63, Quartz Hill ran off 6 unanswered points to take the lead. Then Hawthorne’s Andre Tolliver was whistled for a foul with 34 seconds remaining and the roof caved in on the Cougars: The bench was assessed a technical foul for leaving the coach’s box and Quartz Hill’s Gabe Higa calmly sank four straight free throws to give the Rebels a comfortable cushion.

McArthur Wells led Hawthorne with 23 points and teammate Stanley Boyce chipped in 16, including three 3-point shots.

Higa paced Quartz Hill with 24 points, including 10 in the final period, while Dan Prince contributed 16.

In second-round action today at El Segundo, Bishop Montgomery takes on Quartz Hill while Hawthorne faces Glendale in the losers’ bracket.

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Crescenta Valley 63, El Segundo 53--Shawn Foster and Kenny Talanoa tallied 20 points apiece for host El Segundo in a losing cause.

Crescenta Valley plays Leuzinger today in the second round while El Segundo takes on Hart in the loser’s bracket.


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