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Sarpong Kept Sharp Until Cleared to Play

Those who thought junior guard Sam Sarpong of El Camino Real High would be greatly out of shape for his team’s Northwest Valley Conference basketball opener Wednesday against Taft were badly mistaken.

Sarpong had been sidelined for four weeks while tests checked on a possible heart murmur, but he was far from bedridden. In fact, Sarpong admitted that he conducted a few secret workouts on the side. Layoff equaled layups.

Teammate Markee Brown spent last weekend at Sarpong’s house, and the pair spent the weekend attending local tournament games and playing pickup ball at El Camino Real. “It’s so when I come back, I’m still in some kind of shape,” he said Monday with a laugh. “I practice. I’m not supposed to, but I have been.”

Sarpong, who had been prohibited from practicing with the team while tests were run, was given medical clearance Wednesday. He scored 15 points Wednesday, but El Camino Real fell to Taft, 64-56.

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ROUGH START

Canoga Park has won only one of its first six basketball games, but Coach Jeff Davis points to the one player who can turn the season around.

“People forget that we’re playing without Steve Woodruff,” Davis said. “They forget that we’re missing almost 19 points and nine rebounds a game. That’s like El Camino (Real) losing Sam Sarpong. Woodruff is as important to us as he is to them.”

Woodruff, who averaged 11 points and nine rebounds in 12 games last season, has been out with a knee injury and should return in mid-January.

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O CANADA

When Chaminade girls’ basketball Coach Lisa Magorien told Athletic Director Don Kyle she wanted to schedule an out-of-state basketball trip this season, little did she know that the team would be heading out of the country.

Chaminade left this week for the Jasper High girls’ basketball tournament in Edmonton, Canada. The Eagles (7-0) will play three Canadian teams in pool play and will meet a fourth team Saturday night if Chaminade reaches the final. Chaminade’s Australian-born assistant coach Lauretta Claus has been preparing the team for the differences between U.S. and international rules.

Chaminade’s 13 players raised $6,000 for the trip by selling concessions at football games and volleyball matches.

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The Eagles also will get a chance to shop at the West Edmonton Mall, which was the largest shopping center in the world when it was completed in 1986. “You know we’ll be there,” Magorien said.

DRIVING FOR SHOW

Hart golfer Jason Gore, a burly guy with a powerful swing, is known for his long drives. The tag is now doubly appropriate.

Gore, a senior who signed a letter of intent last month to play at Arizona, recently received a new Honda sedan as a reward. “I think the deal was, he got a scholarship so his dad got him the car,” Hart Coach Dennis Ford said.

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Gore finished second individually in the Southern California Golf Assn. high school finals at El Caballero Country Club as a sophomore.

GETTING ALONG

The Canyon boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will play in the El Dorado tournament this week, but that is less than coincidental.

Canyon Coach Greg Hayes said that the programs work closely together and have played in the El Dorado tournament the past three years because it affords a chance for the programs to travel together and see each other play.

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Hayes also has a personal interest in the tournament: He graduated from El Dorado, where he played football.

Hayes should have little trouble being recognized. Among himself and his seven brothers, a Hayes played football at El Dorado for 15 consecutive years.

SIX-PEAT

The Kinney national cross-country championships Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego mark the sixth consecutive year a runner from Agoura High has qualified for the national meet.

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Bryan Dameworth, now at Wisconsin, ran in the final in 1986, ’88 and ’89, the year he won the national title. Deena Drossin, a 1991 graduate now at Arkansas, qualified each of her four years at Agoura. Ryan Wilson, a junior, finished third in the West regional meet Saturday in Fresno and will compete in the finals this weekend.

David Coulson, Mike Glaze and staff writers Steve Elling, Paige A. Leech and Brian Murphy contributed to this notebook.


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