CLU Has Different School of Thought on Scheduling Master's

One team has posted a 79-22 record during the previous three seasons.

The other has gone 62-18 during that stretch.

One team has qualified for the NAIA Division I tournament the past two years.

The other has advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs in three of the past four seasons.

One team is in Newhall. The other in Thousand Oaks.

Despite winning traditions and their schools' proximity , however, The Master's College and Cal Lutheran men's basketball teams have not played each other since 1990.

Cal Lutheran's Jeff deLaveaga scored 44 points in that game, but Ken Sugarman and Tom Bruner scored 22 and 21 for Master's in its 92-74 victory.

So why haven't the teams met since?

Master's Coach Bill Oates says he'd "love" to play Cal Lutheran and that the Mustangs have tried to schedule a game against the Kingsmen the past three seasons. But Cal Lutheran Coach Rich Rider contends that a rule limiting Division III teams to a maximum of 25 regular-season games has made it difficult to work Master's into the Kingsmen's schedule.

"It's not like we don't want to play them," he said. "I think it'd be a great game. [Oates] does a great job over there. But we just don't have a lot of room to maneuver to play another NAIA school."

Cal Lutheran--which was 8-3 entering Wednesday's game against Claremont-Mudd--and Master's (12-4) were NAIA members until the 1991-92 season, when the Kingsmen moved to NCAA Division III .

With 14 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games on its schedule each season, Cal Lutheran is allotted 11 nonconference games, and Rider believes the majority of those should be against fellow Division III teams and/or Lutheran schools.

The Kingsmen do play quality NAIA teams such as Westmont and Azusa Pacific on a regular basis, but Rider says Cal Lutheran has a long tradition with those schools and adds that Westmont is an "archrival."

"We're not trying to not play [Master's]," Rider said. "It's just hard to fit them into our schedule. I wouldn't hold your breath on it happening any time soon."

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Rider's son, Jon, was an All-SCIAC second-team selection for Cal Lutheran last season and his daughter, Missy, could earn similar honors this year. She has had 33 points, nine rebounds and four steals since joining the Cal Lutheran women's team two games ago.

Missy Rider, a freshman from Boise (Ida.) High, attended Boise State during the fall semester but decided to transfer to Cal Lutheran because she liked the university's "small-school atmosphere."

"They asked her to play at Boise State, but she told them no," Rich Rider said. "She'd been out here a few times and I think she was already thinking about transferring here. . . . She'll definitely help the team."

Cal Lutheran (4-7) is 2-0 since Rider's insertion in the starting lineup.

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With averages of 6.4 points and 3.8 rebounds a game, Ty Gaines had quietly helped the Antelope Valley men's basketball team to a 15-5 record entering Wednesday's game against Rio Hondo, but the 6-3 guard could be a dominant performer for the Marauders during the upcoming track-and-field season.

Gaines placed fourth in the triple jump in the 1993 State championships as a Palmdale High senior and ranks second (50 feet 1 3/4 inches) on the region's all-time high school list.

He played basketball for Bakersfield College during the 1993-94 season but sat out last season and still has freshman eligibility in track.

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Several high-quality quarter-milers are expected to make their season debut for Antelope Valley on Feb. 9 when the Marauders play host to Moorpark and San Bernardino Valley in a season-opening track meet.

Five Antelope Valley performers, led by sophomore George Daniels (48.2), ran under 50 seconds for 400 meters in an all-comers meet last month, prompting Coach Mark Covert to predict the Marauders could run between 3:10 and 3:12 in the 1,600 relay this season.

Daniels, third in the 400 in last year's State junior college championships, and freshman Moses Backus, second in the 1995 City Section championships for Taft High, were expected to perform well for Antelope Valley this season, but lesser-known Varick Dabney also could be a force.

Dabney graduated from Las Vegas El Dorado High in 1993 but didn't attend Antelope Valley until last fall because of financial constraints. He clocked 49.0 in last month's all-comers meet.

"He kept telling us he was going to come here, but he never did because of a lack of money," Covert said. "He's been a nice surprise."

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