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Westlake Defeats Fontana, 71-63

February 28, 1987|VINCE KOWALICK

Westlake High used a quick-passing offense against Citrus Belt League champion Fontana to win, 71-63, Friday night at Redlands High.

Fresh from an impressive upset of defending 4-A champion Muir on Tuesday, Westlake had a tough assignment: stop Fontana's 6-10 center Sean Rooks.

Rooks averaged 22 points a game this season, while usually dominating the opposition.

But stopping him wasn't the Warriors' answer.

"We knew he was going to get 20 or 30 points," said Westlake center Dave Heckmann, who evaded Rooks to score 14 points. "The main thing was to hold the other guys to as little as possible."

So, while Rooks scored a strangely insignificant game-high 33 points, Westlake maintained its lead throughout the game by passing the ball around him, mostly to forward Paul Keenan.

"I was open in the corner a lot," said Keenan, who led Westlake with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Warriors also got scoring from Rick Welch, who tied Keenan with 15 points and Charlie Cangelosi who scored 10.

Fontana (24-4) lacked depth. Guard Mike Flynn scored 14 points, but fouled out in the fourth quarter with Fontana trailing, 64-51.

Westlake (20-7) took the lead for good in the first quarter when Heckmann connected on one of three soft left-handed jumpers.

Rooks scored eight points in the second quarter and Fontana trailed, 38-31, at halftime.

In the second half, Fontana stood around too much. Rooks scored just four points and was called for two three-second violations.

The Warriors, meanwhile, continued to find the open man and stretched their lead.

"'We're pretty good shooters," Westlake Coach Roy Gilmore said of his team. "And it looked like Fontana didn't shoot too well."

Westlake made 31 of 60 shots. Keenan was 7 of 14 and Heckmann 6 of 13.

"They beat us soundly," Fontana Coach Tom McCluskey said. "In every phase of the game."

Added Keenan: "Our team is peaking right now. And we weren't going to be intimidated. We've never been this far in the playoffs."

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