Inspired by Lawrence Gardiner’s two-handed dunk in the fourth quarter, Fairfax defeated Manual Arts, 74-67, in Friday’s game matching previously undefeated Coastal Conference teams.
After making a steal, Gardiner was fouled from behind while making his thunderous dunk. He made one of two free throws and Fairfax took its biggest lead, 64-51.
“To me that was the turning point of the game,” said Gardiner, who scored 23. “We needed something to hype up the team.”
From Manual Arts’ point of view, the turning point occurred Wednesday when star guard Troy Matthews hyperextended his knee and was unable to play Friday. Matthews was averaging 22 points and seven assists a game. He is questionable for this week’s games.
“We are down to one player who can really play point guard,” Manual Arts Coach Randolph Simpson said. “We had two turnovers in the fourth quarter that we shouldn’t have made.”
Gardiner also made a right-handed power slam with 4:24 remaining. But instead of serving as inspiration, the Lions became complacent. The Toilers posted a 9-1 spurt and pulled within two after Andrew Dawson’s three-point shot made it 68-66 with 1:57 left.
“We have to learn how to play hard for the whole 32 minutes and not just parts of the game,” Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said.
Manual Arts, however, managed only one free throw from David Richenbacker the rest of the way. Richenbacker led the Toilers with 21.
Fairfax’s Robert Foster, who has signed to play next season with Indiana, had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Records: Fairfax 14-5; Manual Arts 14-6.
Cathedral 69, Salesian 54--Ed Nieves and Cameron Servio each scored 13 points as Cathedral coasted to a Santa Fe League win.
Herminio Baca scored 18 points and Richard Lopez added 16 for Salesian.
Record: Salesian 4-13.
Loyola 75, Crespi 51--Loyola used a full-court press to go on a 14-0 run late in the first quarter and into the second quarter as the Cubs cruised to an easy nonleague home victory.
Toby Bailey came off the bench to lead Loyola with 25 points. Jeff Luderer, with 10 points, was the only Crespi player to reach double figures.
Records: Loyola 17-3; Crespi 8-12.
Verbum Dei 82, Murphy 71--Tony Brown, Andre Miller and Jamal Cobbs each scored 16 points as Verbum Dei won a Santa Fe League game at Murphy.
Alton Stafford scored career-high 15 points, including a dunk after the tip-off.
Records: Verbum Dei 16-4.
Crenshaw 76, Gardena 54--The trio of Tremaine Fowlkes, Kris Johnson and Reggie McFerren accounted for 60 points and 36 rebounds as Crenshaw beat a scrappy Gardena team in a Southern Pacific Conference game at Crenshaw.
Gardena guard Robert Isaacs scored a game-high 27 points.
Records: Crenshaw 14-2.
Fremont 77, Huntington Park 56--Ricky Brown and Tommie Davis scored 17 points each to pace Fremont to its second consecutive Southeastern Conference win. Joe Covarrubias had 17 points for Huntington Park.
On Wednesday, Fremont defeated Garfield, 82-46.
Records: Fremont 3-12; Huntington Park 7-9
Dorsey 87, Narbonne 64--Davey Fortson had 23 points and Bobby Jeter had 14 points and eight rebounds as Dorsey won a Southern Pacific Conference game.
The Dons scored 38 points in the second period, the most points they have scored in a period this season, to take a 55-31 lead at halftime.
Records: Dorsey 9-7.
Los Angeles 80, University 70-Guard Terryl Woolery scored 19 points and forward Carlton Codd chipped in 17 as Los Angeles earned a Coastal Conference victory. University’s Hassan Booker led all scorers with 25 points.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles lost to Palisades, 68-60.
Record: Los Angeles 9-8.
Locke 73, South Gate 72 (OT)--Demetrius Nettles’ free throw with 1:45 left in overtime broke a 72-72 tie as Locke upset South Gate in a critical Southeastern Conference game.
Nettles, who scored a game-high 26, led a third-quarter rally that saw the Saints erase a nine-point halftime deficit.
Eric Wright led South Gate with 24 points and Sai Tuiali, whose tip-in with five seconds left sent the game into overtime, added 17.
In Wednesday games, North Hollywood defeated Locke, 79-71, and South Gate beat Huntington Park, 64-42.
Records: Locke 12-6; South Gate 16-3.
Verdugo Hills 75, Lincoln 68--Brothers Angelo and Bryan De Los Reyes each made six three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead host Verdugo Hills in a Northern Conference game. Senior center Eddie Powell had 21 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for the Dons.
Ruben Castellanos scored 36 points to lead Lincoln, which suffered its second consecutive loss. On Wednesday, Franklin beat Lincoln, 68-66.
Records: Verdugo Hills 4-10; Lincoln 11-5.
Jefferson 101, Jordan 94--Jefferson made 11 three-point shots, including four by Anthony Martin, to beat Jordan in a Southeastern Conference game. Martin, a junior point guard, led Jefferson with 22.
Clem Breedlove scored 35 and Termell Goss had 30 for Jordan, which played with only six players. Jordan Coach Ed Kamiyama dismissed four seniors and one junior from the team this week.
In Wednesday games, Bell beat Jordan, 50-46, and Jefferson defeated Roosevelt, 78-71.
Records: Jordan 1-14.
Belmont 60, Eagle Rock 56--The Sentinels made eight of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to beat Eagle Rock in a Northern Conference game.
Lamont Amos scored 19 points, Oliver Collado added 15, and Jason Liwag had 14 to lead a balanced Sentinel scoring attack.
Records: Belmont 6-9.
Garfield 68, Bell 58--Helped by a 13-2 third-quarter spurt and 26 points by senior Alex Gomez, the Bulldogs rolled to a Eastern League win at home.
Records: Garfield 12-8, Bell 7-7.
Crenshaw 80, Dorsey 76 (OT)--At the start of the basketball season it was believed that the road to the City Section title would travel through Dorsey. Now, at mid-season, it seems that the path to the championship will pass through Crenshaw.
Crenshaw outlasted Dorsey in overtime to earn a tough 80-76 Pacific League win at the Pit.
The victory marked Crenshaw’s second impressive road win in as many weeks. On Jan. 20, the Cougars upset Washington High, The Times’ No. 3 team in the Southland, 86-74 at Washington.
In the Dorsey game, which had 24 lead changes and nine ties, Kris Johnson led the way for Crenshaw, scoring 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field.
Crenshaw led 35-30 at the half but the strong offensive play of guard Kenya Wilkins, who had 22 points and eight assists, gave Dorsey a 50-48 advantage after three quarters.
Forward Reggie McFerren, who finished with 16 points, stole an inbounds pass and scored on a layup with 28 seconds remaining to give Crenshaw a 69-68 advantage. Dorsey forward Taryll Franklin, however, sank one of two free throws to send the game into overtime.
Records: Crenshaw 13-2; Dorsey 8-8.
Manual Arts 68, Westchester 64--Michael Stewart intercepted an inbounds pass and scored on a layup with 19 seconds left to break a 64-64 tie in the Southern Pacific Conference game at Manual Arts.
David Rickenbacker and Troy Matthews had 22 and 20 points for the Toilers, who avenged a 74-72 loss to Westchester last season that ended Manual Arts’ six-season home-court winning streak.
Records: Westchester 13-6; Manual Arts 14-5.
Beverly Hills 67, Verbum Dei 62--Beverly Hills sank 12 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter as Verbum Dei failed in its comeback bid during a nonleague game.
East Los Angeles 84, Trade Tech 65--It was a game that pitted the area’s best community college team against the area’s best community college player.
The best player won.
Isaac Burton had 28 points, eight rebounds, and four assists to help East L.A. bring its record to .500 with an 84-65 South Coast Conference victory at Trade Tech Wednesday.
The Huskies made nine three-point baskets in the game to open up leads of 21-8 in the first half and 54-38 in the second.
The front court of Greg McDowell and Ryan Mack scored 33 points for Trade Tech, 19 and 14 respectively. Henry Washington scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for East L.A.
Records: East L.A. 13-13; Trade Tech 17-7.