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College Notebook

Game at Northridge a Homecoming for 6 USC Baseball Players

February 11, 1988

Cal State Northridge, which was victimized by former Valley-area baseball players Mike Hankins of Simi Valley High and Charlie Fiacco of Camarillo in Wednesday's 13-8 loss to UCLA, will try to avoid a similar occurrence when USC visits Matador field Saturday.

The Trojans (8-0) have six players from local schools: junior pitcher Darren Beer of College of the Canyons and freshmen Danny Gil of Poly High, Damon Buford of Birmingham, Kevin Farlow of Kennedy, Jim Henderson of Westlake and Jeff Cirillo of Providence.

Beer, a right-hander, is one of the team's top pitchers.

USC Coach Mike Gillespie said that of the freshmen, Cirillo probably has the greatest chance of contributing this season.

Gil, an All-City Section shortstop who led Poly to the City Section 4-A Division championship game last season, is being converted to a catcher and also has worked out at third and first base.

Buford, who played second base is high school, is projected as an outfielder.

Gillespie said Farlow is a third baseman of the future and Henderson is a legitimate catching prospect if he overcomes the arm problems that have plagued him since high school.

Greg Haptor, an outfielder from Notre Dame, is a walk-on and will redshirt this season.

Room service: Bob Burt, Northridge's football coach, enjoys a good movie as much as anyone, but he probably won't be taking the family to see one soon.

Burt estimates that CSUN coaches watched 300 films of football prospects during the past few months of recruiting. And, frankly, he's tired of it.

But it could have been worse.

It is not quite as difficult for Northridge as it is for some other schools when it comes to sifting through reels of film. Since the majority of the recruits CSUN invites to the campus are from Southern California, they bring film with them.

"That way we can look at them on film while they're busy looking around campus," Burt said.

Not so at places like Hawaii, where Burt once was an assistant.

In most cases, players are not offered trips to Hawaii until after their film has been graded.

Said Burt: "We'd get a motel room and for two solid days we'd be locked in there evaluating people."

Update: Rick Strickland, a former Thousand Oaks High defensive back who played at Santa Barbara City last season, has accepted a scholarship to the University of Montana. Mike Trevathan, a former high school teammate of Strickland, started at wide receiver last season as a freshman at Montana.

Hot shots: Northridge made its first 12 field-goal attempts, including four three-point shots, in a 98-69 rout of Cal State Los Angeles in a California Collegiate Athletic Assn. basketball game Tuesday. It was a shooting exhibition that left Coach Pete Cassidy shaking his head in wonder afterward.

"It's never happened before, at least not in my lifetime, not to my team," he said.

Counting free throws, Northridge made its first 17 shots.

Century mark: Northridge had a chance to score 100 points in a game Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 21, 1985, when the Matadors defeated Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 106-92.

A bit of trivia: In the 1985-game against Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Northridge set a school record by making 48 of 54 free throws.

Passing fancy: Troy Dueker fell one shy of his Northridge record of assists in a game with 11 against Cal State L. A. Six of those came in the first six minutes of the game. Dueker played only 23 minutes.

Taking it in: Gary Gray, former Granada Hills High center now playing at UC Santa Barbara, enjoyed his team's win over then-No. 2-ranked Nevada Las Vegas on Saturday, but he figured little in the game's outcome.

Gray was 0 of 2 from the field, 0 of 3 from the free-throw line and had 4 fouls in 27 minutes. The 6-9 freshman gave the Gauchos a hand with his rebounding, however, grabbing seven.

Big numbers: Cal Lutheran guard Steve deLaveaga is leading the Golden State Athletic Conference in scoring with an average of 29 points a game. Azusa Pacific's Bill DesRochers ranks second, averaging 24 points.

The Kingsmen lead the GSAC in free-throw percentage (75%).

Revenge factor: College of the Desert is the last hurdle for the Valley women's basketball team in its quest for the Southern California Conference title.

Valley (22-3, 8-1), ranked third in the state, trails Desert by a game going into Friday's showdown. Desert dealt Valley its only conference loss two weeks ago, ending the Monarchs' 13-game win streak.

"We were outrebounded for one of the few times this season in the last game," Valley Coach Doug Michelson said.

Sophomore forward Dametra Johnson averages 26 points in conference games to lead Valley in scoring. Guard Bernadette Tillis leads the SCC in assists with an average 12.7 a game.

Oh, so close: Tight finishes are nothing new for the Moorpark men's basketball team. The Raiders have been within a basket of winning three of their past four games after regulation play ended.

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