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AROUND THE LEAGUES : Granada Hills' Johnson Gears for Run to Third Straight Title

January 14, 1987

Granada Hills High is 8-0 when it has scored at least 65 points, but Highlander Coach Bob Johnson hopes his basketball team won't need that many today against San Fernando at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

"I don't think we can outrun them," Johnson said. "They seem to go in spurts and we don't want them to have too many."

San Fernando Coach Dick Crowell said last week the eventual Northwest Valley League champion wouldn't have a league record of better than 8-2. But Johnson disagrees.

"I don't see it that way," said Johnson, who has coached Granada Hills (9-2) to two straight titles. "I think we can beat everybody."

Today's game will be played before the Clippers-Nuggets NBA game.

Eyebrow-raiser: Thousand Oaks Coach Ed Chevalier said he is "not completely surprised" his team is 4-0 in the Marmonte League after beating Westlake, 49-47, on Monday. "We're right where we planned," he said. Which, of course, is atop the standings along with favorite Simi Valley. "We're taking this thing seriously. Along the way, we've had some good things happen." Against Westlake, expected to be Simi Valley's toughest challenger, center Jon Walker helped Thousand Oaks (9-5 overall) when he blocked Paul Keenan's jump shot with nine seconds left in the game. "That win," Chevalier said, "might raise some eyebrows." . . . Throughout the season, Hart has struggled near the .500 mark, but the Indians are 3-0 in games decided by five points or fewer. Hart's latest victim was San Gabriel, which fell to 13-3 after suffering a 60-57 loss to the Indians in the Foothill League opener Friday. Hart Coach Doug Michelson believes the close wins are more than a coincidence. "I think there's two components to it," he said. "We're really excellent free throw shooters. Against San Gabriel, we made 13 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter. Secondly, we're very intelligent. I don't see us beating ourselves."

Settling the score: About 150 Crespi students stood throughout the entire game Saturday when the Celts played host to rival Notre Dame. The Crespi group warmed up for the game by chanting, "41-3, 41-3" in reference to the Crespi football team's win over the Knights this season. The students, wearing Southern Section championship sweatshirts and T-shirts with "41-3" stenciled across the front, were boisterous until Notre Dame answered back--on the court--with a 54-42 Del Rey League win. . . Cedric Wright, a 6-4, 275-pound lineman, transferred to Cleveland from Michigan last semester but was ineligible for all but the playoff game against Carson. . . . Alemany has appealed to the Catholic Athletic Assn. to remain in the Del Rey League and won approval from the CAA's general membership. The decision must be passed by the executive committee, which met Tuesday. Results of that meeting were unavailable.

Foulers: Saugus guard Greg Weber, who was 12 of 12 from the free throw line, made eight free throws in the fourth quarter to lead the Centurions over Burroughs (Ridgecrest), 62-51. Weber, however, fouled out for a team-high fifth time against Hoover. "He's not a chopper," Saugus Coach John Clark said. "He just plays hard." . . . Monroe girls basketball Coach Alexander Dane found himself in a tough spot when two of his players fouled out in the fourth quarter against San Fernando, forcing him to finish the game with only four players. But the Vikings cut a 20-point deficit to 12 points. "We actually played better with four than with five," Dane said. "We moved better."

Who's who: When Coach Steve Miller yells "Nappi" during a North Hollywood game, he knows he has to be specific. He has a pair of brothers, Dominic and Peter, on the team this year. But if Miller loses track of who's who on occasion, nobody can really blame him. In Friday's game against Van Nuys, Peter and Dominic each scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Huskies' 55-54 overtime loss. It was Peter Nappi's missed chance at an 18th point that surprised Miller the most. Nappi had a chance to give North Hollywood a two-point lead by making a pair of free throws with less than a minute left in overtime. Nappi missed the second and Van Nuys forward Ron Lewis sank two free throws seconds later to give the Wolves their one-point win. "Peter is our best free-throw shooter," Miller said. "I was shocked when he missed." . . . Despite first-year Coach Tim Nakano's impressive enthusiasm, Reseda is 0-3 in Valley League play and is not likely to win this week against the league's two best teams, Cleveland and Fairfax. "I'm building a program and figured we would take some lumps this season," Nakano said. "We still hope to win some games. My team is working very hard." Reseda (4-6 overall) was 0-12 in league last season under Bill Hughes.

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