Carson High's basketball team, two-for-two in summer tournaments, will go for three beginning Friday when it hosts its own round-robin Carson Summer Tournament.
The Colts, who have beaten Santa Monica in the championship games of the Los Angeles Summer Games and the Bosco Tech Tournament--by one point each time--won't have to play the Westside powerhouse this weekend but will face tough competition in the 12-team invitational.
The teams are broken into four pools of three teams. Each will play twice and teams with the best records will advance to Sunday's semifinals and finals. Runners-up will play in consolation games Saturday afternoon.
Pool A--Inglewood, Verbum Dei and San Diego Sweetwater. Pool B--Chadwick, Pomona and Morningside. Pool C--Culver City, St. Bernard and Muir. Pool D--Carson, St. Monica and La Jolla.
Lots of Talent
The field includes some of the top prep talent in California, much of it in Carson's lineup. The Colts feature highly sought players in 6-10 center Clifford Allen, 6-6 All-City forward Anthony January and point guard Issy Washington. Carson also has sophomore James Moses, an outstanding shooter.
St. Monica brings one of the nation's top point guards in Earl Duncan, who led the Camino Real League in scoring as a junior and is considered one of the half-dozen top point guards in the country.
Inglewood features shooters Eric Jordan and Stacy Anderson, and Chadwick has one of the top Small Schools Division players, James Johnson. Morningside could have as much talent as last winter's team that won the CIF 3-A crown with 6-9 Elden Campbell at center, 6-6 Leon Covington at forward, 6-3 junior Taron (Ice) Wiley and Marcus Psalms and Mark Hammock.
Verbum Dei features all-league guard David Jones and Muir offers talented forwards in 6-7 senior Stacey Augmon and 6-6 junior Kirk Wagner. Culver City also has a talented duo in guard Marvin Nelson and forward Art Nixon. Pomona matches Carson with its own 6-10 center, Marcellus Lee.
Sweetwater is expected to be one of San Diego's better teams.
Friday's schedule: Inglewood vs. Verbum Dei at 9 a.m., Chadwick vs. Morningside at 10:20, Culver City vs. Muir at 11:40, Carson vs. St. Monica at 1 p.m., Inglewood vs. Sweetwater at 2:20, Chadwick vs. Pomona at 3:40, Culver City vs. St. Bernard at 5 and Carson vs. La Jolla at 6:20.
Saturday: Sweetwater vs. Verbum Dei at 10 a.m., Pomona vs. Morningside at 11:20, St. Bernard vs. Muir at 12:40 p.m. and La Jolla vs. St. Monica at 2:20.
There will be consolation games at 3:20 and 4:40.
Sunday's semifinals will be at 10 a.m. and 11:40, followed by consolation games at 12:40 and 2 p.m. The third-place game will be at 3:20, followed by the championship at 4:40.
Games will be played in 16-minute stop-time halves.
High Hopes at Carson
Carson Coach Richard Masson says his team's summer showing could be an indication of things to come--if everyone on the summer roster is enrolled in Carson come September.
Allen, who may be the state's top center, spent much of last year out of the district but attended Carson in the spring. He was most valuable player in the L. A. Summer Games and, Masson said, if an MVP was picked at Bosco Tech he probably would have won that as well. The biggest problem now, Masson said, is "he really hasn't had any meaningful practice time with the team. He's out of the flow sometimes, so at times our second unit plays as well as our first. But that will change when we start practicing."
Moses, who lives in Carson, commuted to Alemany in the San Fernando Valley last season but was expected to transfer to a South Bay school this year. His family has indicated a preference toward Carson but Masson said, "We'll see who shows up in September. He would be a good addition. He needs to develop his game, but for a 10th grader he's pretty advanced."
"The big 'if' is if we can keep all those guys," Masson added. "If they stay in, (Carson's summer record) is a good indication."
This will be Carson's last tournament and Masson said summer is an analytical period for a coach. "It's a good evaluation time, to see who can do what, who's out of control. It's a learning experience."
So far, the lesson has been teams who play with Carson get burned.