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Canyon Is Leaner, Meaner

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In past seasons, Canyon High has followed solid summer and fall league performances with a bit of a regular-season disappearing act.

The Cowboys, who regularly finish behind Hart, Burroughs and most recently Valencia in the Foothill League, have emerged as favorites to wrest the title from regional power Hart.

Canyon (9-4) entered the week as the only Foothill team with a winning record.

These days, the only one doing a disappearing act at Canyon is Coach Paul Broneer, who has lost 40 pounds since the school year began.

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“I feel great,” said Broneer, who has dropped from 207 to 167 pounds since September.

Broneer runs 60 miles a week with his daughter, Jaime, a Cowboy assistant, in training for the Los Angeles Marathon in March.

“I needed some motivation because you certainly can’t run a marathon if you’re in bad shape,” he said. “Plus, it’s a good excuse to spend time with my daughter. When we’re together, the miles just melt away.”

Not to mention the pounds.

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Alemany opened play Monday at the Alamo Shootout in San Antonio, and the Indians’ first-round game against Holy Cross of Kentucky was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. That’s 6:30 a.m. PST.

“I’m dreading it,” forward Karina Siam said last week. “I’ve been trying to wake up early all week just to get into the proper mode.”

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El Camino Real traditionally has entered the new year with virtually spotless records and little respect.

Last year, the Conquistadores came out of the winter break 10-0 and unranked.

Strength of schedule had a lot to do with that, but it’s a problem Coach Lori Chandler has addressed.

The Conquistadores (9-4) have entered the Washington, Simi Valley and Bell-Jeff tournaments, among the most competitive in the region.

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“That’s what you need to do,” Chandler said. “City schools need to get out there and show everybody what they have.”

Most everyone knew El Camino Real had Cara Blumfield, an All-City guard who led City Section scorers in the region last season.

The Conquistadores have added guard Christina Aguinaga and forward Karen Shun, sophomores who have made a huge difference.

Aguinaga (28 points), Blumfield (20) and Shun (17) combined for 65 in El Camino Real’s 70-69 victory Saturday over Canyon.

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There was no lack of excitement on the final day of the Simi Valley tournament, where the last four games were decided by a combined total of six points.

St. Lucy’s beat Simi Valley, 52-50, for the championship; Newbury Park outlasted Alemany, 49-47, in overtime for third place; El Camino Real defeated Canyon, 70-69, for fifth, and Hart defeated Camarillo, 37-36, for seventh.

“As a tournament director, that makes you feel pretty good that you seeded everything correctly when the last day turns out like that,” said Coach Dave Murphy of Simi Valley, whose team lost on a three-pointer with 13 seconds left.

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“But as a coach, I’m not too happy about it.”

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The Marmonte League begins play Monday, and one game pits two of the top five teams in the region: No. 5-ranked Moorpark at No. 4-ranked Simi Valley.

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On Jan. 9, North Hollywood is scheduled to play an intersectional game at El Toro, a school which dropped out of the Marina tournament this week after a series of ugly incidents involving El Toro fans last week at a tournament in Santa Barbara, where the director said it would not be invited back.

A 15-year-old Santa Barbara High student filed a police report for battery, claiming he was attacked by El Toro fans. A game official warned El Toro fans for using foul language and several schools complained to hotel management that El Toro fans were harassing their players in the lobby.

“The team will be suspended until we come up with something that ensures that our sportsmanship, citizenship and integrity is upheld,” Coach Vincent Avitabile of El Toro told The Times.

Said Coach Rich Allen of North Hollywood: "[Avitabile] assured me everything would be OK. I never want to think we’re going to be in an unsafe environment.”

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Staff writer Martin Henderson contributed to this notebook.


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