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SOUTHERN SECTION BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS : 5-A Semifinal : Millikan Defeats Lakewood, 67-57

March 05, 1987|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | Times Staff Writer

Millikan High School of Long Beach, using a 12-4 run at the start of the fourth quarter to take control, defeated Moore League rival Lakewood, 67-57, Wednesday night in the Southern Section 5-A semifinals at the Sports Arena, putting the Rams in Saturday night's championship game against Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Lakewood hung close most of the way despite the early loss of star Duane Cooper with what was diagnosed during halftime as a possible stress fracture of the left foot. Cooper watched the final two quarters, as a precautionary measure, sitting in a wheelchair.

Millikan (24-3) outscored Lakewood (19-8) by 11 points in the fourth quarter, 25-14, to put the game away.

Cooper, bound for USC, began the night having scored 20 points or more in 24 of the 26 games this season and was leading Lakewood in scoring with 19 points a game. But even with him out for most of the first half with the foot injury, the Lancers, the third-place team out of the Moore League, trailed by only one point at the intermission, 27-26.

Cooper went to the sideline 2:09 into the game, sat virtually alone at the end of the bench for most of the first two quarters and finally made a limping exit to the locker room with three minutes left in the half. By halftime, he had spent more time with the medical staff than with his teammates.

Millikan, the Moore League champion, played without one of its starters for the third straight game. Senior point guard Marlon Marshall broke a kneecap in practice Feb. 19, and the Rams could have used him Wednesday night.

Millikan shot 47% from the field during the season (56.8% from the free-throw line) and made 43% of its field goals (13 of 30) in the first half against Lakewood.

The teams split their two meetings in the regular season.

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