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Prep Review : Florida Coach Returns to Old School With His Team--Well, Most of It

December 28, 1987|Steve Lowery

Going Home: John Arbagast played basketball for Chapman College in 1968 and 1969. Now he has returned.

Arbagast, the head boys' basketball coach from Palm Beach Gardens High School in Florida, has brought his team to the Orange basketball tournament at Chapman's Hutton Center.

Well, not all of Arbagast's team made it.

Tim Jones, the teams leading scorer averaging about 20 points a game, didn't make the trip because he is afraid to fly.

"He told me right from the start of the season that he was scared," Arbagast said. "But I thought as time went on I could get him to go."

When it came close to traveling time, Arbagast appealed to Jones' mother for help, selling the point that the trip would be a tremendous learning experience.

"She told me, 'I'd like to help you, but I'm afraid of flying too,' " Arbagast said.

Another player, Marcus Carey didn't come because he was not only afraid of flying but earthquakes also.

Of those remaining, Arbagast had five players who had never flown before.

"They were pretty nervous when they got on the plane," he said. "But once we took off, they seemed to calm down, and even like it. I think the in-flight movie really helped."

The in-flight movie was 'The Living Daylights,' the latest James Bond installment. One of the film's big scenes is when 007 is hanging by his fingernails out of the belly of a cargo plane.

Arbagast has been successful at Palm Beach Gardens. Last season the team advanced to the quarterfinals of the state championship tournament.

However, Palm Beach Gardens lost in the first round of the tournament to Dominguez, 69-65.

The team went on a yacht tour of Newport Harbor Sunday, which sounds like a big thrill for kids from Nebraska or Kansas, but Florida?

Still a Southern Californian at heart, Arbagast explained: "I wanted to show them what a real ocean looked like."

Round and round they go: Orange County boys' basketball continues to resemble a revolving door.

Five teams ranked in the top 10 by the Orange County Sportswriter Assn. lost during the last week.

No. 1 Santa Ana lost to No. 7 Westminster. No. 2 Marina lost to No. 8 Saddleback. Westminster lost to unranked Servite. No. 9 Estancia lost to unranked Kennedy. No. 10 Foothill lost to unranked Fullerton.

John Walker, Servite coach, whose team hit 25 of 29 shots from the floor against Westminster, likes the way things are going.

"You don't have the dominant team like we did in the past with Mater Dei," he said. "But I think this makes it a lot more fun for everyone involved. Players, coaches and spectators."

Clear cut: As far as girls' basketball in the county is concerned, things seem much more clear.

Brea-Olinda and El Toro look to be the two best teams in the county.

El Toro has the county's best player in 6-0 center Elaine Youngs, averaging 27 points a game.

What makes the Chargers (11-0) even more impressive is that they have won their past few games without Youngs, who injured her ankle in the first half of the Savanna tournament final more than a week ago.

When Youngs left the game, El Toro led Marina by 10. The Chargers ended up winning the game by more than 20.

El Toro has played all season without point guard Andrea Young, one of the county's best.

Brea placed third last week in the prestigious Tournament of Champions in Santa Barbara.

The tournament attracted teams from Canada and Nevada and Doss High of Louisville, defending Kentucky state champion.

Brea (11-1) beat Doss in the third-place game, 54-51.

A certain flair: Saturday's boys' basketball game between Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach in the first round Coast tournament had a certain, oh, continental taste to it.

Los Alamitos won the game, 82-70. The Griffins were led by the 32 points of Dre Lamoureux.

Huntington Beach got some help from David Bonaparte's seven points.

Rumors that Maurice Chevalier records were played at halftime have not been confirmed.

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