HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS : Joseph Puts Signature on Chatsworth Victory

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

During pre-game warmups, the public-address announcer at Chatsworth High offered a promotion to the audience: the autograph of star center Eddie Miller.

For a nominal fee, of course.

Had the entrepreneurial lad thrown in Jerome Joseph's signature as well, perhaps more fans would have bit on the bargain.

The unsung hero on the Chatsworth boys' basketball team, Joseph scored 23 points in a 70-50 victory over Carson in a first-round City Section Division 4-A playoff game.

And he's available for autographs.

"No problem," said Jospeh, who scored 17 points in the first half as the Chancellors (20-4) took a 30-20 halftime lead. "I'd love to give a couple autographs out."

Miller, who had an off night shooting but still pulled down 20 rebounds to go with his 12 points, would have been the first in line.

"As long as we get the win, I'm happy," said Miller, who made five of 14 shots.

Carson (15-10) sagged down on Miller, forcing the Chancellors outside. That provided open shots for guards Joseph and Darrell Mitchell, who had 16 points.

"If I'm hitting, they can't stop us," Joseph said. "Then they'd have to leave Eddie alone and I'd get the ball down low to him."

The game was delayed half an hour because the Carson team bus was stuck in traffic.

The congestion continued on the court for the Colts.

Leading scorer and playmaker Jamar Reid did not play because he was academically ineligible and the Colts couldn't hit their groove offensively. They made nine of 27 shots (33%) in the first half, 23 of 62 (37%) for the game.

"We lost a Division I player," said Coach Richard Masson, whose Colts defeated Chatsworth in December, 81-77. Reid had 24 points in that game and has since committed to Pacific. "It makes a big difference."

Bobby Terrell scored 21 points for the Colts, making 10 of 25 shots.

The Chancellors hit six of their first seven shots in the third quarter and put the game out of reach. Joseph gave Chatsworth its biggest lead of the game, 50-32, with a steal and layup near the end of the third quarter.

"I felt the whole team played well and had a good win," said Joseph. "If we play this well, we can go far."

And so might the value of his autograph.

* PLAYOFF ROUNDUPS: C14

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