Big Effort by Small Propels Grant to East Valley Victory

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mark Small's name is deceiving.

Small, a 6-foot-2 forward, made a huge impact for Grant High in a 69-56 victory over Sherman Oaks CES in an East Valley League basketball game Tuesday at Grant.

Small scored from inside and out en route to a career-high 26 points.

Grant (3-1, 2-1 in league play) was nursing a precarious 25-23 lead at halftime, but Small gave the Lancers a 31-23 lead one minute into the third quarter by hitting two consecutive three-point baskets.

"They weren't guarding me in the first half outside and I wasn't taking (the shot)," Small said. "So I started to take it in the second half."

In the second half, Small scored 20 points and made all seven field goals he attempted.

"You don't notice him out there because he's not very vocal," Grant Coach Howie Levine said. "He's very tough as far as grabbing the ball in the middle, and he rebounds a good three, four inches taller than what he is."

Small, who saw limited time as a junior last season, got help inside from forward Wayne Carlisle, a lanky 6-7 senior.

Carlisle scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. But what seemed to please the crowd most was his breakaway slam dunk after a steal at midcourt early in the fourth quarter to give the Lancers a 49-36 lead.

The Knights (3-1, 2-1) suffered letdowns in the second and third quarters, and had to play catch-up throughout the second half.

Sherman Oaks led, 17-11, after the first quarter, thanks in great part to eight of Barry McWright's 14 points. Grant tied the score, 17-17, early in the second quarter on two free throws by John Knight.

The lead went back and forth throughout the second quarter until Small's short jump shot late in the first half gave the Lancers a 23-21 lead they did not relinquish.

Grant increased its lead to 12 points with a 12-2 run in the first three minutes of the second half.

After Small's two consecutive three-point baskets, Darwin Alfelor and Chris Fields each hit three-point shots to give Grant a 37-25 lead.

After making only one of eight three-point shots in the first half, the Lancers made four of seven in the second half.

Kyle Augustus finished with 14 points for the Knights, and Khalif Muhammed added 10 in a reserve role.

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