PREP NOTES WITH A TWIST

We run the gamut from LeBron James to Robin Williams to Ginger Rogers (no, not that Ginger Rogers). It's a name game spectacular from the best prep notes column in the state.

•When a friend of mine called from his cell phone at halftime of L.A. Westchester's game last Saturday against St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron, Ohio, the following message was left: "Thought you'd like to know the halftime score here is LeBron James 31, Westchester 24. And, oh by the way, St. Vincent-St. Mary has 10 other points, too."
You half-expected James would go off on the Comets after his eligibility was at first taken away and then restored following his acceptance of two throwback jerseys. The 6-8 phenom finished with 52 points to Westchester's 52 after making 21 of 34 shots from the floor. James' performance reminded us of the 1992 CIF Div. I state finals when Jason Kidd of Alameda St. Joseph had 32 points going into the fourth quarter and Mater Dei had 29.

•The CIF state office has announced that the Centennial Garden and Convention Center in Bakersfield will become the host of the CIF state wrestling championships for 2004-2006. The state wrestling meet has been held at the University of the Pacific's Spanos Center since 1988, but that facility has become too small to hold the crowds that have been growing increasingly in recent years.

•You've surely heard of a kid trying to miss a free throw on purpose so that their team can perhaps get a putback or an offensive rebound that could lead to a three-pointer. The end of last week's boys game between defending Div. II state champ Riverside King and Fontana Kaiser involved such a missed free throw, but it wasn't done on purpose.
With the game clock winding down, King's James Ellis was fouled and needed to make two free throws to tie the score at 60-60. He made the first, but missed the second and wasn't able to tie it. Fortunately for the Huskies, the rebound did carom in their favor -- right toward the fingertips of Matthew Thomas. He tipped in the missed free throw at the buzzer and King had itself a 61-60 victory.

•Don't look now, but the L.A. Lakers of the California prep girls scene just might be Berkeley. The Yellowjackets are coming back from a tough start to their season and last week knocked off Div. II state-ranked Amador Valley, 49-40. They now look like a high seed for the CIF North Coast Section Div. I playoffs and coach Gene Nakamura has been getting stellar play from guard Donesha Wright. Anybody for Mitty vs. Berkeley in the NorCal Div. I final?

•A reporter asked us about league winning streaks in girls basketball after the El Camino of Oceanside girls upped their current streak to 63 games. We responded with the latest about Brea-Olinda of Brea, which is on a current league streak of monstrous proportions (159 and counting). It didn't take long, though, for two other long ones to come to our attention as well. Troy of Fullerton has an ongoing league streak of 67 while Ayala of Chino Hills stretched its own last week to 65.

•Speaking of league winning streaks, the Bonita Vista of Bonita (Chula Vista post office address) girls soccer team recently extended its humongous league win streak to an even 290 games. The Barons were listed at 285-0-5 at the time and have never lost a league game. Is there a longer league unbeaten streak in any sport anywhere? There's certainly nothing longer from any California school in any sport.

•Catching Up: We've been meaning to congratulate girls basketball coach Joe Murillo of Chino for recently winning his 500th game. Murillo, who is in his 25th season at Chino, earned the milestone after the Cowboys downed Glendora, 68-23.

•Chowchilla beat Dos Palos, 51-40, last week in a boys basketball game and between the two teams there was a new Central Section record for most free throw attempts with 95. All those free throws didn't make anybody on either team a better shooter, either. Dos Palos was whistled for 31 fouls and made only 19-of-49 free throws. Chowchilla was called for 22 fouls and also didn't even make 50 percent of its free throws, although the Redskins were better than Dos Palos as they went 22-of-46.

•The star player at Division V state power Hoopa Valley of Hoopa is Jude Marshall, or as the Beatles would sing, "Hey Jude." Up Hoopa way, it's also worth noting that the team's center, 6-8, 240-pound junior Everest Schmidt, is indeed called "Mount" Everest.

•More Name Game: In 1938, Narbonne of Lomita (now Harbor City) had a football lineman named Fada Wada. This season, Redlands has a basketball player named Fadee Audi. Clever names that rhyme are highly interesting, but "Dennis Tennis" wouldn't be one of them.

•Recent headline we'd like to have seen: Hoopes wins but doesn't take the Cake! Preston Hoopes led St. Vincent of Petaluma to a 61-51 win over Rincon Valley Christian of Santa Rosa with 20 points. However, he was outscored by Rincon's Jared Cake, who tallied 22.

•California, here I Am! Unusual, even these days for a name in California high school boys basketball, is Buchanan of Fresno's Osakpamwan Omwanghe.

•Maybe she oughta be in pictures. Prancing on the court for the Hoopa Valley of Hoopa girls basketball team is Ginger Rogers.

•The Serra of San Diego girls basketball team features guards Sparkle Anderson and Fragrance Williams. Sparkle shined with 24 points in a win two weeks back against Point Loma. Fragrance didn't exactly stink, either, and finished with 10 steals.

•Convent of the Sacred Heart (San Francisco) might be new to the state Div. V girls basketball rankings, but the school is hardly new. In fact, CSH was founded in 1887. It's a girls school on Broadway in Pacific Heights with a panoramic view of the bay. Stuart Hall is a new boys school at the same location.

•Steve Travers of San Anselmo wrote to let us know that USC football coach Pete Carroll graduated from Redwood High of Larkspur in 1970 with an even more famous classmate, comedian/actor Robin Williams. When asked if he hung out with Williams, Carroll said, "No, we were not in the same circles," and when asked to recall what Williams was like, Carroll said, "He was loud."
Another actor from Redwood is David Stathairn, who's been a co-star in movies like "Delores Claiborne," "A League of Their Own," and "L.A. Confidential." He's one of those actors you'd know when you saw him. Stathairn graduated from Redwood six years before Williams and Carroll and his name still appears on a banner in the school's gym for the records he set in track and field.


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