USC-Bound Murphy Leads East to All-Star Victory

From Staff Reports

Eshaya Murphy of Van Nuys Montclair Prep scored a record 30 points and had 16 rebounds to lead the East to a 78-68 victory over the West Saturday in the Battle of the Valley All-Star girls’ basketball game Saturday night at Cal State Northridge.

Murphy, who has committed to USC, broke the previous record of 26 points set by Kate Beckler of Mission Hills Alemany in 2000.

Christine Kepenekian of Burbank had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Amanda Patton of Newhall Hart added 11 points for the East. Kinsley Mittel of Simi Valley Royal, the Times’ Ventura County/North Coast player of the year, scored 16 points for the West.

In the boys’ game, Keith Lawrence of Moorpark made a late three-point basket that broke a 96-96 tie and sparked the West to a 101-98 victory.


Ricky Johnson of Canoga Park led the West with 16 points. Robert Lewis of Montclair Prep and Maurice St. Hubert of Burbank Burroughs each scored 12 for the East, which trailed by as many as 31 points late in the first half.

-- Dave Desmond

Noah Smith of Woodland Hills Taft, the defending City Section champion in the boys’ 100 and 200 meters, began light running workouts this week after being sidelined for more than two months because of a broken bone in his foot.

Smith sustained the injury during a practice start before he ran in the boys’ 50-meter dash in the L.A. Invitational indoor track and field meet at the Sports Arena on Feb. 15 and has been wearing a foot cast for most of the last two months.

“We’re going to do what’s best for Noah,” Taft Coach Quincy Watts said when asked if Smith would run for the Toreadors in the final month of the season. “We don’t want to rush him back too quickly and take a chance of him getting injured again. We want to be cautious. He’s on his way to Cal [on a football scholarship] and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”

-- John Ortega

Manuel Ruiz of North Hills Monroe, the fastest runner in the state this year in the 3,200 meters, has signed with Cal State Northridge.

Ruiz, a four-time City Section champion in cross-country and track, ran a yearly state-leading time of 8 minutes 55.80 seconds in the 3,200 to finish seventh in the Arcadia Invitational on April 12.


In cross-country, he finished fourth in the state Division I final last November.

In other college commitments:

* Beau Stockstill, a Times’ first-team water polo all-star goalie from Corona del Mar, to Stanford.

* Paul Divan, a Mission Viejo swimmer who finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Southern Section Division I final last year, to Iowa.


* Sarah Hamilton, a water polo player from Santa Margarita and two-time U.S. youth national team member, to Loyola Marymount.

* Annie Wight, a Times’ second-team girls’ water polo all-star from Newport Harbor, to California. Wight led the Sailors with 62 goals this season.

* Four track athletes from Long Beach Wilson have made their choices: Dianna Gooden, a hurdler and long jumper, to UCLA; Glennis Scott, a distance runner, to Oral Roberts; Tiffany Wright, a sprinter and hurdler, to Nevada Las Vegas, and Vanessa Cruz, a distance runner, to Darthmouth.

* Natalie Jacobs, a tennis player from Oak Park, to UC Irvine.


* Kent Wulf, an outfielder from Quartz Hill, to San Francisco.

Andre McCarter, who played point guard on John Wooden’s last NCAA championship team in 1975 and served as an assistant coach to Walt Hazzard at UCLA in the 1980s, has been named the boys’ basketball coach at Lake Balboa Birmingham.

McCarter, who played in the NBA, worked as an assistant coach at Pierce College this season.

Juan Mares, girls’ soccer coach at Placentia El Dorado for three seasons, has resigned to take over the women’s soccer program at Missouri Baptist, an NAIA school.


Will Cummins, girls’ soccer coach, and Tescha Thayer, girls’ golf coach, recently resigned for personal reasons from their positions at Huntington Beach High.

Greg Gibbons, the head boys’ and assistant girls’ volleyball coach at Westlake Village Westlake, has been named the women’s coach at Cal Lutheran.

Mike Riazzi, whose football teams won four district championships during his 16 years at Melbourne Central Catholic in Florida, has been named the coach at Pasadena Muir, replacing Ron Mims, who was fired in January.

Kristi Speir has been named athletic director at Lancaster Antelope Valley, replacing Tom Hegre, who is leaving to coach basketball at Palmdale Knight. Speir, who has coached Antelope softball for six years, will also continue in her duties as activities director.