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COLLEGE BASKETBALL MOORPARK TOURNAMENT : Raiders Break 4-Game Losing Streak With 116-89 Victory

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Moorpark College men’s basketball team might not be well, but the Raiders proved that they’re alive and kicking Saturday with a 116-89 victory over Grossmont in the third-place game of the Radisson Big Four tournament.

Playing on its home court, Moorpark (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak and won its first game since All-Western State Conference North Division guard Damian Wilson was dismissed from the team for undisclosed reasons Monday.

The Raiders were hammered by eventual tournament champion Dixie College of St. George, Utah, 77-57, in a first-round game Friday. Dixie defeated Hancock, 95-79, Saturday night to claim the tournament title.

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In Grossmont, Moorpark faced a smaller, less-talented and less-disciplined team than the Rebels.

Grossmont (2-5) lost to Hancock, 127-120, Friday, and the Griffins seemed intent on again scoring that many points. Only this time, their shots were not dropping as frequently and Moorpark rebounded their misses and turned them into numerous fast-break baskets.

“This was a really important win for us,” Moorpark Coach Al Nordquist said. “We basically did what we had to do. Grossmont is not as talented as Dixie and they play a gambling type of game, but we were able to take advantage of it and score a lot of easy baskets.”

Forward Jimmy Galbert, a starter last season, scored a game-high 25 points--including 17 in the second half--for Moorpark, and freshman guard Carlos Vasquez added 17. Vasquez and sophomore center Sean Doyle (eight points and a game-high 16 rebounds) were named to the all-tournament team for the Raiders.

Brian Lester, the possible heir apparent to Wilson’s point-guard position, had 16 points and five assists for the Raiders, who led by 13 at halftime. Moorpark blew open the game with a 25-10 run that began midway through the second half and ended with a 104-77 lead with 3 minutes 22 seconds left.

“I thought one of two things would happen in this game,” Nordquist said. “Either we’d play well, or we’d play terrible. . . . Sometimes good things come out of adversity.”

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Vasquez concurred.

“I really think we’re going to surprise some people later,” he said. “When (Damian) was here, if he felt good, we felt good as a team. But if he felt bad, we felt bad.

“Now there are no stars on this team, just a bunch of guys who want to win.”

Steve Carnes (12 points) and Matt Weaver (11) also scored in double figures for Moorpark.

Jerome Price and Jason Lonsdale scored 16 points each for Grossmont.

Dixie 95, Hancock 79--Tournament most valuable player Walter Outlaw had 30 points and 21 rebounds, and all-tournament selection Ethan O’Bryant added 22 points, eight assists and four steals as the Rebels (8-0) wore down Hancock in the second half of the championship game.

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