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Grant Can’t Pull the Plug on Williams

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Archie Williams has an electric smile that can light up a dark gym. His jump shot does the same thing.

Williams scored 24 points to lead Reseda High to a 65-57 victory over Grant on Thursday night in the championship game of the Birmingham tournament.

Williams, a transfer from Santa Monica who signed a leter of intent to play next season at Texas El Paso, caught fire in the third quarter as Reseda (12-0) broke open a game tied, 32-32, at halftime.

Grant (9-3) turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions midway through the quarter, and Williams hit three-point baskets after two of them.

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Trenton Cross, Williams’ partner in the backcourt who finished with 21 points, also made a three-pointer during Grant’s turnover stretch as Reseda scored nine unanswered points to take a 48-39 lead.

Williams had three three-pointers to lead Reseda’s 25-point third-quarter assault.

Guards Cross, Williams and Damon Bailey--a transfer from Fairfax--played like a well-oiled machine despite just a few short months together as teammates. Reseda committed only seven turnovers despite playing at an upbeat pace.

“I love this team,” Williams said, beaming like a proud parent. “We work hard every night to make it happen.”

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Bailey finished with seven points as the threesome traded off at point guard, off guard and the swing position.

“That’s why we’re real good,” Cross said. “Everybody on the team can handle the ball and handle the pressure.”

Ali Karimian scored 12 points for Grant, followed by Rick Forscutt and Alvin Castro, who each had 11.

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In other tournament games:

Birmingham 58, Monroe 54--Mack Fernando made two free throws with no time remaining to give the Braves a victory over Monroe in a wild third-place game.

When Fernando stepped to the line, the scoreboard showed the Braves trailing, 56-55. Even after his free throws, the scoring wasn’t complete. Shaka Stiner, who scored 25 points for Monroe and committed the foul on Fernando, protested vehemently and was whistled for a technical.

Scott LeWinter, who had 11 points, sank the two free throws to give Birmingham (3-5) an apparent three-point victory.

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The official tournament scorebook somehow credited Birmingham with a four-point victory.

Van Nuys 44, Kennedy 43--Chris Dames scored with three seconds left to give the Wolves (2-9) the consolation title.

Kennedy (5-7) took a 43-36 lead when Nakia Gorden scored on a drive to the basket with 1:10 left, but couldn’t hold on.

Van Nuys’ Stefan Kelly was fouled while making a three-pointer with 55 seconds left and added a free throw to pare the lead to 43-40. Kelly scored again with 17 seconds left to cut the lead to one.

Sherman Oaks CES 68, St. Genevieve 67--Sherman Oaks (4-5) hung on in the seventh-place game despite scoring only five points in the fourth quarter.

Mike Padilla scored 24 points for St. Genevieve (1-8) and Randy Iaccino added 23. Geoff Nishimoto and Charles Lee each had 17 points for Sherman Oaks.


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