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Big Games : Damien vs. Claremont

January 16, 1986|MITCH POLIN

Seniors Dan McGwire and Travis Watkins of Claremont are more noted for their ability in football, but both are making a name as basketball players, too. The 6-8 McGwire, an all-state quarterback, and 6-2 Watkins, an all-state wide receiver, are two of the big reasons why the Wolfpack has a 10-5 record heading into its crucial Baseline League matchup against Damien (13-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Claremont. Damien is 3-0 in league play and Claremont is 2-1.

Watkins has been the top scorer for the Wolfpack and McGwire is leading in rebounds. Two other standouts for the Wolfpack are 6-5 forward Dave Rice and 6-0 guard Lyle Barnes. They will need to be in top form to stop Damien, which is led by high-scoring forward Kevin Partington. The 6-3 senior had a 30-point game in a 55-48 victory over Glendora last week. Damien, which has an outstanding front line, also is led by 6-4 center Joel Plitt and 6-5 forward Kelvin Woods, a highly regarded sophomore.

Bonita vs. Diamond Bar

This has been a one-sided series since Diamond Bar started competing in varsity sports four years ago. Until this year, Bonita has been superior, but there has been an abrupt change. When the teams play at Diamond Bar at 7 p.m. Friday, Diamond Bar will be the clear-cut favorite. Diamond Bar, 8-3 overall, is off to its best start ever, and Bonita, which finished second in the CIF 3-A Division last year, is struggling at 4-7.

Diamond Bar has been led by its one-two inside punch of 6-7 sophomore forward Brian Hendrick and 6-8 junior center Pat McMann and the outside shooting of 5-10 senior guard Dean Delude. Bonita is struggling but the Bearcats are still a top playoff contender in the Hacienda League with 6-6 junior forward Rick Fluckey and 6-8 senior center John Gilmartin in a tall front line.

Charter Oak vs. San Dimas

Coaches in the Montview League agree that these teams are the favorites for the circuit title, and the winner of this game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at San Dimas should emerge as the team to beat. San Dimas enters the game with a 13-2 record and Charter Oak is 9-4. Both are 3-0 in league play.

San Dimas, which reached the CIF 2-A quarterfinals last year, features forwards Tim Metcalfe and Jim Skinner and guards Jon Troyano and Andre Grayson. Charter Oak, which has benefited from the merger of Royal Oak and Charter Oak high schools, has an experienced team led by 6-8 junior center Jim Farris, top scorer for the Chargers, and 6-1 senior guard Mark Smith.

Monrovia vs. Blair

If there was any doubt about who was the favorite for the Rio Hondo League title, it may have been eliminated in Blair's 62-55 victory over South Pasadena last week. But that does not mean Blair should expect an easy time in its league game against Monrovia at 8 p.m. Friday at Pasadena. Monrovia has only a 6-6 record but the Wildcats were impressive in a 61-55 upset of Temple City last week. Monrovia has one of the best players in the league in 6-5 senior center Charles White, who leads the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding.

Blair (13-2) also has one of the league's premier players in 6-6 senior forward Teddy Jones, who scored 24 points against South Pasadena.

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