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Carson’s Basketball Team Has Big Surprise Waiting for Pasadena : Summer Games: Coach Richard Masson will have his first big man at center when Khry Stanlley returns after more than a month layoff.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Richard Masson has spent the past eight seasons as Carson High’s basketball coach without the luxury of a player taller than 6-5.

But that steak is about to end.

Khry Stanley, a junior varsity player last season as a sophomore, is Masson’s first big man. The 6-9 center will help the Colts take on Pasadena at 11 a.m. Saturday at Los Angeles Jordan High in the third round of the L.A. Summer Games.

Masson said that Stanley is a skilled player, but his development has been hampered by scoliosis, a disease causing lateral curvature of the spine. As part of the treatment plan, Stanley will have to wear a brace for the rest of his career.

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“He just returned to us last week after not playing at all for about a month and a half,” said Masson, who guided Carson to a 19-7 record last season. “He’s really not contributing too much to us right now because of that.

“Hopefully, he’ll be OK physically next year. Right now, we’re just trying to get any part of his game back together.”

Stanley enrolled at Carson as a 10th-grader without having played much competitive basketball, but Masson said that Stanley’s natural athleticism makes up for his inexperience.

“He definitely needs some work, but he’s not what I would call a major project,” Masson said. “I wouldn’t so much say he’s a project as he’s an athlete.

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“He has athletic ability and could be a very, very good player by the time he’s done. He’s got decent quickness, decent speed, good coordination and a soft shot.”

When Stanley arrived at Carson, he couldn’t execute a simple pivot. But general athletic tests convinced Masson that he had something special in Stanley.

“We could tell he wasn’t totally uncoordinated,” Masson said. “We went on the track, and he ran one of the fastest times in the 2-mile run.”

With Stanley’s playing time limited this weekend, Masson said he will go primarily with “a smaller, quicker lineup,” led by returning starters Tyrone Smith and Rudolph Washington.

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The 6-1 Smith, who will be a senior, can play both guard spots. Washington, a 6-3 swing man, is the Colts’ top scorer and was a second-team all-league pick as a sophomore last season.

Masson said his team is a legitimate contender in the L.A. Games.

“We play hard, and I think we match up quite well with Pasadena,” he said. “It will be a good game, but we should have a good chance. If we get by them we’ll probably get Morningside next.

“That will also be tough, but we can play with these guys.”

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After a forfeit win Saturday, the Colts beat J. W. North of Riverside, 46-45, Sunday. If they are to take the L.A Games championship, they will have to win four games this weekend.

The Carson-Pasadena winner will play the La Canada-Morningside winner in a 3 p.m. quarterfinal game Saturday at Jordan. If the Colts advance, they will play a semifinal game at Jordan at noon Sunday.

The championship game, scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at El Camino College, will be shown on SportsChannel at 8:30 that night.

Among the top teams alive are defending CIF-Southern Section Division 5-AA champion Long Beach Poly and L.A. City 4-A titlist Manual Arts.

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Carson’s lack of depth is one of Masson’s main concerns.

“We only had eight guys last week,’ he said. “We’re not practicing regularly in the summer, and you never know who is going to be able to show up.

“Sunday could be a problem if we get that far. I know a couple of guys will definitely have church commitments.”

Only four football teams remain from the original 48-team L.A. Games field, but two of the semifinalists are South Bay entries Morningside and Westchester. They will play each other at 10 a.m. Sunday at El Camino, with the championship game following at noon.

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Westchester has been led in the tournament by senior quarterback Brad Freeman.

In girls’ basketball, 1990 Division I state champion Morningside will play a rematch with Lynwood--the team it beat in the Southern Section 5-AA championship game--in the quarterfinals Saturday at 9 a.m. at Locke High.

In baseball, Redondo and Westchester have quarterfinal games Saturday. Redondo will play host to Huntington Beach Ocean View at 9 a.m. Westchester will take on L.A. University at noon at El Camino.

An All-South Bay quarterfinal match-up in softball will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at El Camino, where Leuzinger will play Torrance. Also at El Camino, Mary Star faces Westminster at 9 a.m. and San Pedro meets Rubidoux at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals.

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