John Goffredo believes that travel can help unify a team. So for the past nine years, the Crescenta Valley boys coach has spent part of his Christmas vacation in Las Vegas for a weeklong tournament. But this year the Falcons won't be making the trip.
Goffredo has not given up on the idea of travel. He has just found a better place to go. Today the Falcons left for the eight-team Roosevelt tournament in Hawaii.
"This is a chance of a lifetime," Goffredo said. "I always like to travel. It brings the players together."
Goffredo's team already appears to be fairly cohesive. Crescenta Valley (5-1) won its own Falcon Classic with a 53-52 victory over La Canada last week on a jump shot by Brad Adam with 11 seconds left. The senior guard was selected most valuable player and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Mike Harrison, Chad and Greg Givins of La Canada and Frank Lagattuta of St. Francis.
Crescenta Valley raised the money for the Hawaii trip by sponsoring a jog-a-thon, selling advertisements in the basketball program, working at the Hollywood Bowl and the Santa Claus Lane parade, and through proceeds from its alumni game.
Out of the blocks: The Hoover High girls team (5-0) is off to its best start of the decade. But Coach Bob Henry is not surprised.
"We're pretty much on schedule," Henry said. "We won the Burbank-Burroughs summer league and this is the best group of girls we've had at Hoover in a long time."
Forward Jenny Pritchard is averaging 13.8 points a game and point guard Maria Kim is averaging 11.5. Off-guard Julianna Holmstrom and center Rosemary Conner are each averaging 9.
But they've only played twice: Eagle Rock's Ivan Simon hopes that the shooting won't get any worse than it was in his team's 40-37 loss to Crescenta Valley last week. The Eagle Rock girls made only 14 of 56 attempts from the field. "We've got that game out of our season," Simon said. But with only two games played it might be too early to tell. Eagle Rock (1-1), which opened with a 56-32 victory over Sylmar, will participate in the 16-team Westside Christmas tournament that includes Marshall and Franklin, starting Friday at Venice and University highs. Eagle Rock has been led by senior forward Donna Perry, who scored 14 points, had 10 rebounds and 16 steals in the Sylmar game. Ashlee Tanimoto is averaging 12.5 points a game and Vivian Alger is averaging 12.
De-bugging: The Glendale College men's basketball team has begun to solve some of its early season problems. The Vaqueros (3-5) lost by only one point to Riverside in the consolation final of the Golden West tournament last week. And Cypress, which was 8-1 at the time, defeated the Vaqueros by only three points. "Our defense is very good," Coach Brian Beauchemin said. "And our offense has become smoother. We're getting the kinks out and it's starting to look very good." Jeff Foote, an all-tournament team selection, averaged 16 points during the tournament and was 7 of 7 seven from the field against Riverside.
Add tournaments: Glendale's annual Vaquero Classic concludes Saturday. This year's eight-team field includes El Camino, Compton, Orange Coast, West Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Citrus, Antelope Valley and Glendale.
High school tournaments: The Glendale High boys team will play host to a tournament running Monday through Wednesday. The eight-team field includes Banning, Inglewood, Long Beach Poly, Loyola, Alemany, Lincoln, Pasadena and Glendale. The Dynamiters (3-0), who last week defeated Notre Dame, 79-70, and Downey, 80-59, have been led by Jeff Sofro and Dan Johnson. Both are averaging more than 20 points a game.
Injured: Lacking height, the Flintridge Prep boys team has relied heavily on defense this season. That was before four players were lost to injury and the roster dwindled to seven, one of whom recently was promoted from the junior varsity. "We like putting on a lot of pressure," Coach Alex Rivera said. "But we can only play so much man-to-man and then we fall back into a zone."