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THE HIGH SCHOOLS / JOHN ORTEGA : Agoura’s Inconsistent Play Baffles Coach

Agoura High boys’ basketball Coach Kevin Pasky is as perplexed as anyone with the way his team has played this season.

After Sean Martin suffered a twisted ankle in a Marmonte League opening loss to Camarillo, Agoura won consecutive games against Westlake and Thousand Oaks without its leading scorer before losing three in a row upon his return.

Agoura (9-6, 3-4 in league play) snapped the three-game skid with an 89-87 win over Channel Islands on Friday night, but Pasky remains baffled.

“It’s been very frustrating, obviously,” Pasky said. “I think there was a letdown when Sean came back and I think he forced things a little too much. He wasn’t 100%, but he was trying to do everything. . . . We just weren’t meshing as a team for a few games.”

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The Chargers, who played in the Frontier League before this season, hit bottom in Wednesday’s loss to Newbury Park before rebounding against Channel Islands.

“We’ve been real up and down,” Pasky said of a team that upset Thousand Oaks before losing to Simi Valley last week. “But Sean showed great leadership (against Channel Islands). He realized early on that he was struggling from the field, so he made sure he got the ball to the guys who were hot.”

Martin, who entered the Channel Islands game averaging 26.4 points, had 13 points, 11 assists and seven steals.

Eddie Corridori scored a team-high 33 points for Agoura.

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Fast Rebel: Quartz Hill junior Erik Thomas, better known for his exploits on the football field, could surprise a few people during the upcoming track and field season.

Thomas, who rushed for 1,449 yards and 17 touchdowns last season while leading the Rebels to a runner-up finish in the Southern Section Division I championships, finished fourth in the boys’ 50-meter dash in the Sunkist Invitational on Friday night.

However, Thomas was only 0.04 seconds behind winner Tim Martin of San Clemente, who finished fifth in the 100 meters in the 1990 state championships, and he finished ahead of Sylvester Green of Washington (sixth in 6.14), who placed sixth in the 100 in the state meet.

Confusing races: The Sunkist Invitational should drop the high school 4 x 160 and 8 x 160-yard relays from its program and replace them with more conventional races such as the 4 x 220 or 8 x 220.

While it would complicate matters on a track that measures 160 yards to a lap, it is difficult for the average fan to relate to a time like 1 minute 6.8 seconds in the boys’ 4 x 160.

That’s what Crenshaw’s winning boys’ team ran at the Sunkist meet Friday night, but unless one has a calculator handy, it is difficult to figure out just how fast the Cougars were running.

For the record, Crenshaw averaged 16.7 seconds per 160-yard leg, which would translate to a 220-yard time of 23.0.

Track’s popularity is already suffering, in part because many don’t understand it. A race like the 4 x 160 only complicates matters.

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Crystal-ball time: Rio Mesa sophomore Marion Jones, who tied the national high school record in the 50-meter dash at the Sunkist meet, has set all her age-group or national high school records in races measuring 200 meters or less, but her best distance ultimately might be the 400.

Standing 5-feet-9 1/2 (she’s still growing), Jones, the state champion in the 100 and 200 meters, has the physical tools to become a superb quarter-miler. She will gain strength as she matures, and that strength--combined with her speed in the shorter distances--could make her a devastating 400 sprinter at the national level.

Mustang watch: Camp Kilpatrick, a boys’ school in Malibu for juvenile offenders, made a name for itself during the 1990 football season by advancing to the Southern Section Division X title game, and the Mustang basketball team is beginning to attract attention too.

Camp Kilpatrick (13-5), which has no league affiliation, defeated host Fillmore, 81-64, on Friday night for its fifth consecutive victory.

Included in that streak is a 69-63 victory over Faith Baptist, the defending Southern Section 1-A Division champion.

“It’s just taken us a while to come around,” said Jeff Fortes, who coached the Mustangs from 1984-89 before taking last season off to attend to personal matters in Massachusetts. “We only had seven players at the start of the season, but now we’re up to 10.”

Marlon Randolph, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, is the Mustangs’ leading scorer with a 14.4 average, and LaFrance Bates, a 6-5 junior center, is averaging 12.1 points and 10.5 rebounds.

Recruiting watch: Deena Drossin of Agoura, the three-time state Division I cross-country champion, has taken a recruiting trip to the University of Oregon, and plans to visit Arkansas and Arizona.

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Drossin, the defending state champion in the 3,200 meters, had planned a recruiting trip to North Carolina State but ruled that out when she discovered that the school did not have a School of Education, from which Drossin wants to earn a degree.

Wisconsin also has been dropped from her list of potential schools.

“I just wasn’t that interested in going there,” Drossin said.

Back in action: Rachel Corelli, the leading scorer (18 points a game) on the Alemany High girls’ basketball team, will return Friday when the Indians start the second half of Mission League play at Bishop Montgomery.

Corelli, a Times All-Valley selection, did not play in Thursday’s 50-30 victory over Chaminade because of disciplinary reasons.

“It was no big deal,” Alemany Coach Melissa Melton said of Corelli’s benching. “I don’t know why everyone is making such a big deal over it. Things have been taken care of.”

Alemany (14-6, 5-0) is aiming to go undefeated in league play for the third time in the past four seasons.

The Indians won San Fernando Valley League titles the past three years with records of 10-0, 9-1 and 10-0.


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