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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SIMI VALLEY TOURNAMENT : Alexander Leads Simi Valley

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Senior forward Danny Alexander, who played despite a temperature of 103 degrees, hit two free throws with seven seconds left Saturday night to lead Simi Valley High to a 57-56 upset of Fremont in the championship game of the Simi Valley tournament.

Alexander scored a game-high 20 points for the Pioneers (4-0).

Fremont (5-2), ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, went on a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter and took a 53-46 lead on Todd Whitehead’s three-point shot with four minutes left.

But Simi Valley finished with an 11-3 run and, after Alexander’s free throws, Fremont was unable to get off a shot because Craig Griffins stole the ball as time ran out.

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Sophomore Nathan Simmons added 11 points for the Pioneers.

Alexander and Simmons were named to the all-tournament team, and guard Ryan Briggs was named most valuable player.

In other tournament games:

North Hollywood 64, Santa Clara 57 (OT)--North Hollywood, playing its fifth game in six days and coming off an emotional loss to City Section rival Fremont, botched the front end of three one and ones down the stretch of regulation and blew an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter of the third-place game.

But the adversity did not seem to disturb the Huskies.

North Hollywood received a little help from Santa Clara blunders and hit all six of its free throws in overtime en route to the victory.

North Hollywood (5-1), which led by as many as 12 points in the first half, overcame a furious Santa Clara rally in the fourth quarter.

Trailing, 53-45, with 3 minutes 20 seconds left, Santa Clara (2-2) went on a 9-1 run capped by Dave Varela’s three-point basket that tied the score, 54-54, with 29 seconds left.

After North Hollywood’s Doc Hazzard missed a short jump shot, Varela was fouled with 12 seconds left and missed the front end of a one and one.

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In overtime, Santa Clara could not keep up with North Hollywood’s superior depth and the Huskies outscored Santa Clara, 8-0, to take a 62-54 lead.

Santa Clara was hampered when guard Chris Cole left with a head injury with 1:08 to play in overtime and forward Stevie Amar, who scored a game-high 22 points, fouled out with 40 seconds to play. Cole, the Division IV player of the year, was transported to Simi Valley Adventist Hospital with what was believed to be a concussion.

Damon Ollie scored 18 points and Robert Hill, an all-tournament selection, added 16 for North Hollywood. Art Barron added 17 for Santa Clara, including four three-point baskets.

North Hollywood was 21 of 39 (54%) from the field. Santa Clara was only 22 of 54 (41%) from the field.

Kennedy 45, Camarillo 40--Shauhin Talesh and Joe Wyatt each scored 16 points to lead Kennedy to the consolation title.

Taft 68, Alemany 53--All-tournament selection Casey Sheahan scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half to lead Taft to fifth place.

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