Newbury Park Teams Form an Alliance
It’s been a banner year for two Newbury Park High teams.
The Panthers’ football team went undefeated and won its first Southern Section title.
The girls’ basketball team (20-4, 11-2 in league play) is enjoying its finest season in Coach Nori Parvin’s 20 years. And the two squads have made sacrifices to show their support for the other.
In the Buena tournament in December, the girls’ team advanced to the championship game against Buena, but the players unanimously voted to skip the game because it conflicted with the football team’s Division III championship game against Hawthorne.
Instead, Newbury Park played in the third-place game earlier in the evening, and the players were able to attend the football game that night.
“I got a lot of flak for that, but I would do it again,” Parvin said. “Some parent wrote a letter to a newspaper that (the decision sent a message that) the girls were second-best. That wasn’t it. You’ll never see a combination like Keith Smith and Leodes Van Buren again. It’s once in a lifetime--especially at Newbury Park.”
Parvin said several football players thanked her for the gesture, and the favor was returned Jan. 11 when the football team postponed its banquet to attend a girls’ game.
The area’s two best girls’ basketball teams, perennial powers Alemany and Buena, are among the top squads in California.
Buena (18-2) is ranked fourth in the state and is powered by the talented trio of Arizona-bound Mikko Giordano (who returned Tuesday from a knee injury) and sophomores Eboni Conley and Kori Sebek.
The Indians (21-0) are ranked sixth in the state and are led by the fab four of Samantha Rigley, Kelly McKay, Carly Funicello and Zevette Mitchell.
A matchup between the two teams will not happen because they play in different leagues and in different divisions, but that doesn’t mean a question can’t be posed.
Which team is better?
Newbury Park played both squads this season, losing to Alemany in a December tournament and to Buena in a scrimmage.
“I think Alemany would beat them,” Parvin said.
“They’re more experienced and more balanced. Kelly and Samantha have played together for three years, and Carly gets better each game. Plus, the Mission League is tougher than the Channel.
“What can you say about Buena? They’re a great team. If they had to play each other, it would be close, and maybe it would come down to free throws,” Parvin said.
“But I think Alemany would have the inside track--I really do.”
Ventura also has faced both squads, losing to Alemany in December and splitting its two games against Buena.
Said Ventura Coach Glenn Gray: “It would be a real good matchup. I don’t know who would win. But they’ll never play.”
The Notre Dame girls’ basketball team is enjoying the most successful season in the program’s 10-year history.
The Knights’ 13 wins are the most ever in a season, and six players (Valery Brady, Casey Coghlan, Carla Arrue, Stacey Phillips, Maggie Dixon and Lucy Marandjian) have combined to set 10 school statistical records.
Brady recently became Notre Dame’s all-time scoring leader with 666 points, breaking Andrea Banducci’s record of 633, set in 1987.
Aye, Aye, Eye
Last week, San Fernando practiced in its gym for the first time since the Jan. 17 earthquake.
Only one light was working, however, so Coach Dick Crowell informed school maintenance workers that repairs were in order.
The next day electricians started fiddling overhead with the lights. It was a circuit-breaker problem, Crowell was told.
The following day, several players complained of eye irritation. They figured it had something to do with the gymnasium and they refused to practice.
Crowell, who said he had spent hours in the gym with no ill effects, went crazy. He called his team every name in the book.
“Malingerers,” he bellowed, throwing his hands up in exasperation.
The next day, the coach was told a pipe earlier had burst in the gym and that a chemical might have leaked into the air, causing the eye irritation.
“I really had egg on my face,” Crowell said.
The coach bought the team pizza Friday to make amends. But that wasn’t all.
Monday, Crowell learned that two maintenance workers had called in sick with eye problems. Maybe the pipe wasn’t the problem after all, the coach was told.
The prevailing opinion at school is that the workers and players suffered eye problems because of exposure to ultraviolet rays emanating from the overhead lights, which were exposed during the early repair work.
The Few, the Proud
Quartz Hill is making more with less. The Rebels had won or shared three consecutive league titles entering the season, but it didn’t take long for everyone to realize there wouldn’t be a fourth.
Quartz Hill lost its first 11 league games, in fact.
Just like that, however, the Rebels pulled off two upsets last week, knocking off Ridgecrest Burroughs and Antelope Valley, two teams in contention for playoff berths.
All this with only eight players, no less.
Two weeks ago, three seniors quit the team, leaving Quartz Hill with a skeleton cast.
After losing two games, the team rallied to post the upsets last week.
“The guys I have left are real fighters,” Coach Steve Hurst said. “They just outhustled Burroughs and Antelope Valley.”
Palmdale, which entered the week on a 10-game winning streak, last week clinched the league title. A noteworthy accomplishment, to be sure, but since the Falcons shared the championship last season, nobody was doing cartwheels.
That is, until somebody did research. It seems Palmdale last won the league title outright in 1960-61. “Nobody had any idea it had been that long,” Coach Garry Phelps said.
Around the Leagues . . .
* Campbell Hall center Alex Lopez, who averages 17.3 points a game, has scored in double figures in every game this season.
* Village Christian boasts a starting five with a cumulative grade-point average of 4.105. Three starters (David Gustafson, 4.334, Brody McClain, 4.190, Mike Spielman, 4.334) are over 4.0. Others include Chad Hanson (3.810) and Kiki Banos (3.857).
Kennedy Cosgrove and staff writers Steve Elling, Jeff Fletcher, Michael Lazarus and Paige A. Leech contributed to this notebook.
Basketball Top 10
Rankings of Valley-area high schools by sportswriters of The Times:
Rk LW Team League W-L 1 1 Hart Foothill 20-1 2 2 North Hollywood East Valley 12-5 3 3 Palmdale Golden 20-3 4 4 Harvard-Westlake Mission 20-2 5 5 Reseda North Valley 14-1 6 7 St. Francis Del Rey 19-5 7 8 Canyon Foothill 17-5 8 10 Glendale Pacific 19-6 9 NR Westlake Marmonte 15-5 10 9 Thousand Oaks Marmonte 18-6