Dwan Hurt's triumphant return to Los Angeles last week provided a bit of irony for the Serra High and Harbor College graduate: Hurt, who hit the game-winning shot for Gonzaga against Loyola Marymount last week, said after the game he had wanted to go to Loyola and was turned down.
He still plays in the summer at Loyola and is friendly with several of the Lions players.
His shot at the buzzer was his only basket of the game, but it beat Loyola, 51-49. You only Hurt the one you love.
"I wanted to come here but they told me they had somebody else, so Gonzaga was the place to go," Hurt said, accepting congratulations from much of this year's Serra varsity. "Most of the guys on the (Loyola) team are my friends. Now I'll have something to come back and talk about in the summer."
Loyola Coach Ed Goorjian said, "We had no spot for him. We were set at the time. We were going to move (Forrest) McKenzie to guard."
He also pointed out that freshman guard Steve Haney, the team's second-leading scorer, has a bright future and will be at Loyola for four seasons. Loyola would have had Hurt, a junior college transfer, for only two.
Goorjian added, "If there was any guy we wanted to shoot it, he was the one. . . . We played good defense, too, with some hands in his face."
Hurt swished the jumper from the right of the foul line. It was a sweet moment for him. "I tried to get set and I knew I could jump it over," he said. "It felt great."
Leuzinger High was eliminated in the first round of the boys 3-A basketball playoffs, but Olympians Coach Jeff Kritzer, who returns all but one key player next year, points out that his young team was more competitive than any of the others who drew top seeds.
Leuzinger played Pomona, the favorite to win the 3-A title, at Pomona and lost by 13 points, 64-51. On the 5-A level, top-seed Mater Dei beat the Deilights out of Verbum Dei, 66-42 (24-point margin). In 4-A, Glendale whipped Hawthorne, 67-46 (21 points). The 2-A top seed, Santa Clara, disposed of Chaminade by 40, 66-26. Chadwick beat Paraclete by 39 points, 88-49, in the 1-A opener, and Small Schools favorite Temple Christian defeated Cate, 71-54, a 17-point advantage.
"No excuses, we got beat," Kritzer said, "but at least of all the teams that drew top seeds we played the closest." The Olympians graduate 6-10 center Casey Crawford but return all other starters, including forward Shelvie Washington, the team's best all-around player. "We'll be tough next year," Kritzer said.
Ever wonder what high-level discussions go on between referees and game officials on the basketball court? At a Loyola Marymount game last weekend, one referee came over to the official scorer before a free throw, bent down and said, "I need to catch my breath. Let's just stay here a minute and we'll act like we know what we're doing."
Notes: Despite its 10-15 record, Loyola Marymount's basketball team has been outscored by only 10 points for the season, 1,707 to 1,717. Loyola has 70 more field goals than opponents but has gotten 216 fewer free throw shots . . . Wyoming freshman center Eric Leckner out of Mira Costa High continues to improve. The 6-10 Leckner is the Cowboys' starting center and fourth leading scorer, averaging 9.2 points, and is shooting 59%. He had season highs of 20 points against Texas El Paso and eight rebounds against Hardin-Simmons . . . El Camino College guard Mark Wade has been named the Metropolitan Conference basketball player of the year. The Banning High graduate transferred to El Camino after playing his freshman year at Oklahoma.