North Hollywood has won nine consecutive games and will compete in the City Section basketball playoffs for the second time in Coach Steve Miller's two-year tenure at the school. But the Huskies' spirited group of student supporters--tabbed "The Pound" by members of the group--are achieving fame in their own right.
Two weeks ago, the group was the subject of a Times photo essay, and last week "The Pound" appeared on a Fred Roggin sports segment on KNBC news. Even the coaches are taking notice. When the group made its raucous appearance after halftime last Thursday, Grant Coach Howard Levine quipped: "Have they had their shots?" Even Miller has wondered aloud about the colorful assemblage of students: "I think there's a problem with the width of their synaptic gaps."
Honey of an accomplishment: Oak Park students have been buzzing like bees over the Eagles' first playoff appearance in the school's seven-year history. "The last few games have been real good, the crowd was real active," Coach Steve Goldstein said. "They're gonna have a lot of fun with it." Oak Park won its last four games to finish third in the Tri-Valley League and earn a wild-card playoff game today against Bel-Air Prep. Goldstein said the emergence of 6-1 sophomore Jason Stein has been a key. Stein played forward much of the season but moved to point guard two weeks ago. Last Friday, Stein led the team with 12 rebounds and earned Goldstein's praise for his ball-handling. . . . Harvard Coach Greg Hilliard made sacrifices last season that have paid off in a co-championship of the Santa Fe League title this season. "I played a lot of inexperienced kids in hopes that they would put it to good use this year," Hilliard said. Harvard (15-5, 12-2) was 4-17 overall and 0-10 in the Pioneer League last season. . . . Reseda was edged out of the City 4-A at-large berth by Washington, but that's OK. Washington must visit Fairfax (20-0), the third-ranked team in the nation. Fairfax beat Reseda, 110-58, last week.
Black is red hot: Chaminade center Kevin Black has averaged 30 points and 12 rebounds since returning from a sprained ankle three games ago. He's made 66% of his field goal attempts during that stretch, including 11 of 15 on Friday against Harvard. . . . While his team didn't exactly end the season on a high note, Sylmar forward Larry Legleiter did, scoring 20 or more points in his last four games. Sylmar finished 2-14.
Familiarity breeds contempt: Crespi's two-point loss at St. John Bosco last Friday on a basket allegedly allowed after the final buzzer struck a familiar chord for Alemany Coach Joe Anlauf. The same thing happened to the Indians last season at St. John Bosco. "It's too bizarre to be coincidental," Anlauf said. Although admitting that the buzzer is nearly inaudible in the St. John Bosco gym, Crespi Coach Paul Muff blamed the officials for the latest incident. "They just wanted out of there. The St. John Bosco coach said, 'Let's play.' Everyone in the gym waited. The athletic director went to the dressing room after the refs but they were on their way home." No protest will be filed, according to Muff, because the game had no bearing on the playoffs. Crespi finished 3-18. "It says a lot for our season," Muff said. "To have it end the way it ended summed up some of the frustrations. This season couldn't have ended on a normal note." . . . Of the 100 players selected to the Adidas high school All-American team, 99 were seniors, including Crespi linebacker Sean Howard and Hart quarterback Jim Bonds. The only underclassman was Crespi sophomore running back Russell White.
Bad luck: Although the wild-card playoff game between Hart and Saugus tonight marks the first time the teams have met for anything other than Santa Clarita Valley bragging rights since 1982, Saugus Coach John Clark isn't wild about playing. Through the bad luck of a Southern Section lottery, Saugus must play even though several playoff teams with worse records don't play a wild-card game. "I'm not very happy about it," Clark said. "But there's nothing we can do about it except play." Saugus should be familiar with Hart, having twice beaten the Indians this season. . . . Although Burbank (16-8) tied for the Foothill League championship, the Bulldogs haven't had a winning streak longer than three games. Forward Marc Nielson has recovered from chicken pox, but guard Bill Cano is sidelined with a sprained ankle, leaving Burbank with only eight players. Coach Russ Keith said he will promote some junior varsity players for Friday's playoff game at Palos Verdes.