The Santa Monica High School basketball team, paced by J. D. Green and Keith Harris, is hoping for another shot this week at Carson, the team that denied it the championship of the L. A. Games .
Both will be competing in the the Bosco Hoop Spectacular.
Other West Side entries are Fairfax, third seeded, and Culver City, a surprise winner against highly regarded Cleveland in the L. A. Games.
Santa Monica, which lost to Carson, 63-62, opens Friday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday's Culver City-Glendale game. The Vikings are the seventh seed in the double-elimination tournament.
Fairfax starts play 10 a.m. Friday against the victor of the Morningside-Verbum Dei contest.
When Bosco Tech Coach Jorge Calienes envisioned the Bosco Tech Summer Hoop Spectacular three years ago, he hoped it would become one of the premier summer high school basketball tournaments in Southern California.
It has matched his expectations--and then some.
The third annual tournament, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday at Bosco Tech in Rosemead, has most of the top teams in the CIF Southern and L. A. City sections plus powerhouses from Fresno and Oregon.
The winners of the first two tournaments--Mater Dei in 1983 and Glendale in 1984--went on to reach the CIF finals. "You can pretty much rate the teams for next year by this tournament," Calienes said.
"If a team can do well in this tournament, it usually brings it a lot of attention, both nationally and locally. When Glendale won the tournament, that's when they started to receive recognition as one of the best teams in Southern California."
Who's Who in Hoops
This year's tournament resembles a who's who of high school basketball in Southern California. The top seeded schools are Orange County powers Ocean View and Mater Dei, who met for the CIF 5-A Division championship last year, and Fairfax, which won the L. A. City 3-A Division championship.
Other traditional Southern California powerhouses in the tourney are Long Beach Poly, Cleveland, Santa Monica, Carson, Banning and St. Bernard plus Central California power Edison of Fresno and Corvallis, Ore.
"I think that out of the top 20 teams (in the CIF), we normally have about 17 here," Calienes said. "It's practically everybody (in Southern California) and by adding two teams from outside the area, that has improved the level of competition."
Calienes also attempted to lure national powers Little Rock of Denver and Blanchard of Seattle, but he said both had commitments.
About the only top-ranked team from Southern California not in the tournament is defending state champion Crenshaw, which has turned down invitations all three years.
"We've invited Crenshaw every year, but (Crenshaw Coach) Willie West said his team always disbands to play in all-star leagues at this time of the year, so it's hard to get them together," Calienes said.
With or without Crenshaw, it's a powerhouse field.
"This is a very demanding tournament," Calienes said. "You have to beat many tough teams to get to the championship."
Top-seeded Ocean View and Mater Dei were the only seeded teams to play Wednesday. Fairfax, Cleveland, Edison (Fresno), Long Beach Poly, Santa Monica and Corvallis will play their first games Friday.
The tournament also has plenty of individual standouts.
From the San Gabriel Valley are 6-8 center Stacey Augmon of Muir, 6-5 forwards Derwin Collins and Tyrone Greer of Pomona, 6-5 center Raynell Tillis of Pasadena and 6-6 center Carlos Carrillo of Bosco Tech.
Other top players are 6-6 center Ricky Butler and 6-1 guard Blaine Debrouwer of Ocean View, 6-8 forward Trevor Wilson of Cleveland, 6-7 forward Sean Higgins of Fairfax and 6-8 centers Elden Campbell of Morningside, Don McLean of Simi Valley and Stuart Thomas of Mater Dei.
So it's no wonder why the tournament has become a haven for college scouts, many of whom will watch the Bosco Tech tournament before attending the talent-rich Superstars Basketball Camp from July 7-11 at UC Santa Barbara.
"We have coaches coming here from all over the country," Calienes said. "Just this morning I talked to the coach of Columbia and I told him the starting times of all the games and he was going to relay it to other coaches back there. This has become a good stopover tournament for scouts who are going on to Superstars."