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Marciano’s 28 Vault Simi Valley Into First

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<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

It seems that no matter what happens, who wins, who loses, there is always a streak hanging in the balance with the Simi Valley High basketball team. When last heard from, the Pioneers had dropped their first Marmonte League game in their past 32, to Westlake on Friday.

But, as Simi Valley turned the corner Wednesday night and looked ahead to its second loop around the league, first-year Coach Dean Bradshaw and his Pioneers still have a rally cry. Trite, but to the point, it’s “one more for four.”

“We’re still trying to focus in on every game,” Bradshaw said after the Pioneers beat Camarillo, 70-63, at Simi Valley to win their fifth league game in 6 tries and regain possession of first place. “We still talk about one more for four every day.”

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And you thought it was getting tedious reading once in a while about the fact that the Pioneers are chasing their fourth consecutive league title.

Every day?

“We’re in first place by ourselves right now,” he added. “I hope we can say that at the end of the second round.”

A few more games for senior guard Jeff Marciano like the one he had against Camarillo, and Bradshaw’s wishes will be Marciano’s command.

After making all 5 of his first-half field-goal attempts, Marciano was good on his first 4 in the second and finished with a game-high 28 points. They included 2 free throws with 16 seconds left that finished off a tenacious but depleted Camarillo team that entered the game 4-0 in league play. Simi Valley is 5-1 in league play and in front by a half-game.

Marciano appeared to be the only player who remained focused in a wildly emotional game that saw 50 fouls called, 1 technical and 3 Scorpion starters foul out.

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“God, we were playing for first, it kind of means a lot,” Marciano said of the intensity level. “You kind of get ticked off pretty easily.”

While everyone else got mad, Marciano kept Camarillo from getting even.

The Scorpions, however, were in something of a hole from the start. David Harbour, who leads the team in scoring and assists and is second in rebounding, missed the game because of an injured left ankle. He probably will not play against Newbury Park on Friday.

Add to Harbour’s absence point guard Rick Schnell’s bruised knee in the third quarter that forced him to sit out most of the fourth and the foul troubles of forwards Frank Dews and Scott Foster.

“Obviously David adds a lot for their team from the perimeter,” Bradshaw said. “That gives them one less bullet to fire with.”

Camarillo responded with balanced scoring that brought it back from a 58-50 fourth-quarter deficit to within 62-60 with 2:10 remaining. However, Simi Valley’s Steve Carnes hit 4 consecutive free throws followed by 2 from Marciano. The Pioneers made 25 of 30 free throws, compared to 17 of 33 for Camarillo.

“We never really executed well,” Camarillo Coach John Harbour said. “We did some good things individually, but we never did execute well.”

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Simi Valley, streaky as ever, ended up making 21 of 37 field-goal attempts. Camarillo made just 21 of 54.

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