Girls' Athlete of the Week : Crouch Showing Her Magic at Liberty Christian

Times Staff Writer

The triple-double is that unofficial statistic that basketball players, especially point guards, shoot for.

Made trendy by Magic Johnson, the triple-double is attained by reaching double figures in three of five categories: scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots.

Liberty Christian High School in Huntington Beach has a little magic of its own in senior Sharon Crouch.

Crouch, The Times' athlete of the week, got her eighth triple-double in 16 games Saturday night in a 73-28 victory over Ribet Christian in the second round of the Southern Section Small Schools girls' basketball playoffs.

Crouch, a 5-foot-10, 125-pound point guard, tied her season high of 30 points for the third time this season, and added 18 rebounds, 11 assists and five blocked shots. The victory advances the third-seeded Minutemen to the semifinals. They play Lone Pine in a game tentatively scheduled to be played at First Baptist Church in Long Beach Thursday night.

"I guess you would say a lot of people are out to get stats and get recognized," said Crouch, 18. "But I really do just love the sport."

The only statistics she thinks about belong to her teammates.

"I want everybody to score. When the score is like 80 to something and I have 30 points, I want a couple of other people to score in double figures, too."

She is averaging 22.2 points, 16.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists.

Her coach, Dave Clifton, describes her as the best player he has coached in his six seasons at Liberty Christian.

"She has great natural ability, good body control on drives and good hang time," Clifton said. "She loves to drive."

She probably won't break her personal scoring high, because she is so unselfish.

"If she gets to a 30-point plateau early, she starts passing the ball off," he said. "She doesn't like to score over 30." In fact, sometimes Clifton said he has to yell at her for passing too much.

"I guess I really do like to pass," Crouch said. "Assists, that's what I'm into. I like those."

TOP PERFORMERS

Stacey Hisaka of Fountain Valley scored 20 points to help the Barons to a 64-48 victory in a 5-AA second-round basketball playoff game against Palmdale Saturday.

Leslie Rathbun scored 24 points for Woodbridge in a 52-43 victory over Burbank Burroughs, in the second round of the girls' 4-A basketball playoffs Saturday.

Keri Erkenbrack of Canyon scored 31 points to lead the Comanches to a 69-46 victory over Kennedy in the second round of the 4-AA basketball playoffs Saturday.

Julie Foudy scored two first-half goals to help the fourth-seeded Mission Viejo girls' soccer team edge Claremont, 3-2, in a first-round 4-A playoff game Thursday.

Sharon Crouch

Liberty Christian High

Position: Point guard

Height, Weight, Class: 5-10, 125, Senior

Last Week: Crouch got a triple-double with 30 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists in a 73-28 second-round Southern Section Small Schools playoff victory over Ribet Christian Saturday.

Season: Crouch, a four-year varsity starter, is averaging 22.2 points, 16.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

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