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Chilly Crespi Thaws in Time for 42-35 Win Over Alemany : Celts Open Del Rey Play With Strong Defensive Effort

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

The Alemany High boys’ team might be due for a refresher course in the fundamentals of basketball. Tuesday night, the Indians seemed a little foggy on the object of the game.

Alemany played most of the contest as if it was nursing a healthy lead. In reality, the Indians trailed most of the way in a 42-35 loss at Crespi in a Del Rey League opener.

Crespi (6-7) held Alemany (2-10) scoreless in the third quarter, although the Celts didn’t fare much better, scoring just 6 points and failing to pull away.

“It was a typical league opener,” Crespi Coach Paul Muff said. “Both teams were tight. Sometimes when you play a lot of defense it shuts you out at the offensive end.”

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Crespi failed to score because the Celts repeatedly missed shots. Alemany, however, failed to take them.

“We were playing a very deliberate style,” Alemany Coach Rocky Moore said. “We were looking for our high-percentage inside shots and when we got behind, we hit the panic button.”

Center Brian Swanson wrestled aggressively with Crespi defenders all night, but when he got the ball inside treated it like a hot potato. It looked as though he planned to dish off anything short of a free throw.

“Some teams go into the first league game with butterflies, but I didn’t think our team would,” Swanson said.

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Moore defended Swanson’s apparent indecision.

“Brian’s a smart kid and he wants to play in the team concept,” he said. “He’s trying to get a layup or a high-percentage shot. Here’s a senior who’s still learning how the game should be played.”

Despite all that, Alemany was able to mount a rally with about 7 minutes to play.

Crespi center Ken Lynch was called for a foul on Swanson but argued vehemently that Indian guard Jon Beauchemin was actually the guilty party. Lynch slammed the ball to the floor in disgust, earning a technical foul for his efforts.

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Swanson hit his free throw and Beauchemin made both technical foul shots to cut the Crespi lead to 5, 30-25.

When Alemany got the ball back, Tim Fontinette scored on a leaning bank shot in the lane. After Lynch missed a layup, Beauchemin buried a 15-foot jump shot to narrow the deficit to a point.

The Celts, trying to regroup, called a timeout with 6:36 to play, then outscored Alemany, 8-1, in the next 3 minutes.

Each team had just 2 players score in double figures, and Fontinette took game-high honors with 12.

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Beauchemin, the Indians’ main offensive threat, finished with 10 points and spent a lot of time scrambling for loose balls.

His offensive output could have been better, but Beauchemin also passed up countless medium-range shooting opportunities.

The scoreless third quarter epitomized Alemany’s offensive shortcomings. Beauchemin attempted the Indians’ first shot of the period, but that didn’t come until 4:27 had expired.

The Celts were unable to jolt their lackluster offense, either, and Crespi’s first basket--a 3-point shot by Matt Luderer--came with 2:35 to play in the quarter.

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Lynch hit a turnaround jump shot in the key and point guard Chris McGee hit a free throw at quarter’s end.

Moore saw a bright side to the loss.

“You have to give credit to the defense,” he said. “I’m proud of our character. I’m not proud of the way that we mentally broke down.”


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