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No Dough, No Go; Inglewood High Misses Cage Tourney

A season of promise is quickly developing into a season of turmoil for Inglewood High’s basketball team.

The Sentinels fared poorly in the Pacific Shores Tournament last week, finishing a disappointing sixth without Coach Vince Combs, and Tuesday the team learned it could not make a trip to the King of the Bluegrass Tournament in Louisville, Ky., because of inadequate fund raising.

Inglewood (2-2) was to open the tournament today against Carol City of Miami, but Principal Lawrence Freeman said the team was well short of the "$5,000 to $6,000" needed for the trip.

Freeman said last-minute efforts to raise the funds included asking for donations from NBA players Reggie Theus and Jay Humphries, both Inglewood graduates. Freeman said the requests were unsuccessful.

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“We ran out of time,” Freeman said. “We did everything we could to raise the money, but we came up short.”

This means Inglewood probably will not play until Dec. 26 when the Sentinels are scheduled to open the Las Vegas Holiday Tournament. Freeman said the team still plans to make that trip.

Combs was missing from the bench last week, hospitalized with kidney stones. He was released Tuesday and said he should be able to coach the team for the rest of the year.

Emanuel Gary, coach of the junior varsity team, coached the Sentinels in Combs’ absence.

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Inglewood entered the Pacific Shores Tournament as the No. 2-seed but performed poorly under Gary, losing to Carson, 84-70, in the second round and to Redondo, 77-71, in the fifth-place final. Considering that the Sentinels have three players who have signed with Division I colleges--6-5 forward Harold Miner (USC), 6-2 guard Johnny Terrell (Colorado) and 6-11 center Cory Johnson (New Mexico State)--a better showing was expected.

A confident Combs says there’s plenty of time to turn things around.

“It was a bad time for me to be hospitalized,” he said. “I think all of this can be worked out because the most important part of the season is league and the playoffs.

“I thought at the beginning of the year we had a chance of having a very good team. We’re just not going to fold up the tent.”

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Keeping a promise he made several weeks ago, Carson quarterback Perry Klein threw a party at his parents’ Malibu beach house Saturday to celebrate the Colts’ 55-7 triumph over Banning in the L.A. City 4-A championship game.

Coach Gene Vollnogle said most of Carson’s players attended the bash, which lasted from noon to 7 p.m.

“It was real nice,” he said. “The kids went swimming and they played a big football game on the beach. Mr. and Mrs. Klein cooked hamburgers and hot dogs. I don’t know if they were expecting so many people. I know Perry’s dad had to leave several times to get more soda pop.”

Like everyone else, Vollnogle was impressed with the Kleins’ 2-story house in the Broad Beach section of Malibu, north of Zuma Beach.

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“It’s large,” he said with a laugh. “They have a 50-inch TV in the game room, and it’s too small for the room. It’s like a postage stamp. There must have been 25 kids sitting in there watching the tape of the championship game, and there was all kinds of room.”

After the win Friday night, Klein reflected on the season and the tough times he initially encountered at Carson following his highly publicized transfer from Palisades High last spring.

“It was worth it,” he said. “A lot of people said I should stick it out (at Carson). There’s something to be said for sticking it out, because good things do happen.”

Klein, who completed 13 of 15 passes for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns in the final, set the Carson single-season record for pass completion percentage by connecting on 90 of 125 attempts (72%) for 1,337 yards and 17 TDs. He threw only 3 interceptions, another school record.

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Carson, which fell out of USA Today’s Super 25 football poll after losing its second game of the year, moved into the No. 16 spot this week. The Colts were ranked No. 2 in the nation before losing to Bishop Amat, 17-13, on Sept. 16.

North Coast Section champion De La Salle of Concord (13-0) is the only team in California ranked ahead of Carson (12-1) in the USA Today poll, at No. 9.

However, Cal-Hi Sports ranks Carson No. 1 in the state, and that will be reflected on the Colts’ letterman jackets. They will read: State Champs .

It hasn’t taken long for Palos Verdes High’s soccer team to show that it is deserving of the No. 1 ranking in the Southern Section 4-A Division.

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The unbeaten Sea Kings have outscored their first five opponents by a combined score of 21-3 and will play host to Culver City at 3 p.m. today in the final of the South Bay Alliance Tournament.

Coach Alan King’s team returns three All-CIF performers from last year’s club that won the Bay League title and lost in the 4-A semifinals to eventual champion Royal of Simi Valley.

Forward Paul Kaemmerer and midfielder Jim Miller were named to the All-CIF first team last year while defender Greg Swartz was a second-team selection.

Palos Verdes will face Newbury Park in the quarterfinals of the South Torrance Holiday Tournament on Dec. 22. The Sea Kings and West Torrance are the only South Bay schools still contending for the championship in the 32-team tournament.

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In South’s girls tournament, Hawthorne meets Mira Costa and South faces Bishop Montgomery in semifinals Saturday. Hawthorne, led by junior Jaymie Bradford, upset top-seeded West in the quarterfinals two weeks ago.

Ed Stokes, a 6-11 center who signed with Arizona last month, is the 22nd St. Bernard basketball player to earn a college scholarship since 1979.

Nine former Vikings are playing for 4-year colleges: Leonard Taylor (UC Berkeley), Brian Williams (San Diego State), Eric Knox (Oregon State), Erroll Talley (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Reggie Howard (UC Riverside), Joe Hudson (Hawaii), Kirkland Howling (Clemson), Eric Dunn (Oregon) and David Whitmore (Georgia Tech).

Howling, an all-state guard for El Camino College last season, is a teammate of former Morningside center Elden Campbell at Clemson.

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PREP NOTES--Westchester’s basketball team was beaten by Edison of Fresno, 74-73, Monday in the first round of the Tournament of Champions at Ocean View High in Huntington Beach, a loss that could cost the team its national ranking. The Comets opened the season ranked No. 6 by USA Today. . . . Unbeaten champion Coast Christian of Redondo Beach placed six players on the All-CIF Eight-Man Small Division football team, including Co-Player of the Year Earl Rhodes, a junior running back. Other Saints honored are quarterback Steve Luce, end Jon Anderson, offensive lineman Russell Johnson, defensive lineman Pablo Smith and defensive back Jerry Stephens. . . . Mira Costa’s girls volleyball team, runner-up in the Southern Section 5-A Division, placed three juniors on the All-CIF squad. Setter Piper Hahn and middle blocker Kristal Attwood were named to the first team and middle blocker Heidi Eick was a second-team pick. Other South Bay volleyball players named to All-CIF teams were Jennifer Jeffrey of Torrance (second team 4-A), Marilyn Cragin of Miraleste (second team 1-A), Angie Hamer of El Segundo (second team 1-A) and Shannon Davenport and Cyrille Kaufman of Chadwick (first team Small Schools). . . . Playoff semifinalist Mira Costa had three players named to the All-CIF 2-A water polo squad. J. Chapin was chosen to the first team and Luke Downer and Simon Kim were second-team selections.


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