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Perfect Ending Probably Unlikely for Chandler

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tyson Chandler looked forward to ending his high school career with a flourish.

The 7-foot-1 Compton Dominguez center wanted to lead the Dons to a third consecutive state Division II title before heading off to the next level--college, or as almost all basketball observers predict, the NBA.

But a severely sprained right ankle suffered in a state regional semifinal victory over Inglewood dashed those hopes.

Chandler was on the bench in street clothes last weekend when Dominguez defeated Redondo Union in the regional final, his right ankle encased in a knee-high cast. The cast is scheduled to be removed Friday--the day Dominguez plays Mountain View St. Francis for the state title at Arco Arena in Sacramento--but could be reapplied for another week if the injury is not healing properly, Chandler said.

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“It’s kind of day-to-day,” Chandler said. “As long as we win the state championship, it won’t be too much of a disappointment.”

Chandler’s status for the annual McDonald’s All-Star game March 28 at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium is also questionable. Chandler, Lakewood Mayfair’s Josh Childress and Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Cedric Bozeman are among 12 players on the West team.

“Getting injured is not how I wanted to end my [high school] career,” Chandler said. “But everything happens for a reason.”

Chandler said he will wait until the high school season is complete before announcing his plans.

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“I’m about ready to have a press conference,” he said. “But I don’t want my teammates to have any distractions.”

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The track and field season has barely begun, but several Southland athletes have turned in record-setting performances.

Last Friday, Long Beach Wilson set a girls’ national record in the sprint-medley relay with a time of 3 minutes 53.17 seconds at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York.

Angel Tate, Deanna Gooden, Lashinda Demus and Ashley Freeman combined to break the record of 3:56.67, set by William Penn High of Philadelphia in 1997.

The next day, Angel Perkins of Cerritos Gahr set two national records.

Perkins’ time of 53.25 in the 400 meters broke the national high school indoor record of 53.38 set by Demus in the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho, in February. Perkins’ 23.59 clocking in the 200 broke the record of 23.64 set last year in the same meet by Sanya Richards of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas.

Other winners at the meet included: Chris Morgan of Woodland Hills Taft in the boys’ 60-meter high hurdles in 7.83 seconds; Karen Freberg of San Luis Obispo in the shot put with a mark of 52-4 1/2; and Chaunte Howard of Riverside J.W. North in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet 5 inches. Wilson’s girls also won the 800-meter relay in 1:39.23 and the 1,600-meter relay in 3:43.70.

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Tracee Thomas of North finished second in the long jump at 18-7 1/4 and Candace Baucham of Long Beach Poly was runner-up in the triple jump at 41-10 1/2.

Pole vaulter Laura Chen of Temple City set a California indoor record by clearing 12 feet 6 1/2 inches to finish third in the Nike Indoor Classic at Landover, Md.

Dana Bethel of Mission Viejo finished third in the long jump at 18-1 3/4.


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