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STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT : Division II Boys : Saugus Survives on Free Throws

March 12, 1987|ROBERT YOUNT | Times Staff Writer

Some of the veneer finally wore off the Saugus High basketball team, that movie-mad wild card entry that shuttled to the Southern Section 3-A basketball title on the inspiration of the "Rocky" films and others like it.

Saugus did win Wednesday night, beating Oceanside of the San Diego Section, 47-39, in the Division II semifinals of the Southern Regionals of the State tournament. But the Centurions' pregame movie could well have been "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," judging from the way they played some of the game.

Saugus, which has advanced from a third-place finish in the Golden League on fine outside shooting, made only 13 of 38 shots. Oceanside made 19 field goals but only one free throw. Saugus sank 20 of 28 free throws, and that was the difference in the game.

"We watched 'The Natural,' " Saugus Coach John Clark said. "But we turned it off at the end, when the home run is hit. I didn't want them to see that."

"To be on this team, you have to make free-throws. We made them tonight, and it won the game."

Senior guard Greg Weber led Saugus with 13 points, 6 on free throws in the last 2:40 which helped move Saugus from a 39-39 tie to the winning margin. Rick Bilek, who scored eight points, also hit two free throws in the last minute.

Senior forward Junior Seau, a USC-bound linebacker who was one of the top football prospects on the West Coast, led Oceanside with 22 points and would have been even more of a factor had he not picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter.

Saugus advanced to Saturday's Division II Southern Regional final against Woodbridge.

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