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Canyons Clips Moorpark in Frantic Finish

February 14, 1988|JIM COLEMAN

Moorpark College and College of the Canyons have met three times this season and on each occasion the outcome has been decided by two points.

Saturday night at Canyons, the Cougars held off a late Moorpark rally to defeat the Raiders, 81-79, in a Western State Conference game.

The win avenged two earlier losses to Moorpark.

"It must have been their turn to win one of those," Moorpark Coach Al Nordquist said.

It appeared Canyons (18-12, 8-4 in conference play) might win easily Saturday, but a furious Raider finish complicated matters.

The Cougars led, 80-71, when forward Butch Mettinger (13 points, 9 rebounds) hit a jump shot with three minutes to play, but that would be Canyons' last points until a free throw by freshman center Carlos Ortiz with 42 seconds left.

In the meantime, Moorpark (14-12, 4-7) got two free throws and a three-point shot from Tom Neumayr and a three-point shot from Rick Murphy to cut the lead to 80-79 with 1:20 remaining.

Canyons' Kevin Price missed a three-point shot at the other end, but Moorpark's Jerry Markray was whistled for his fifth personal foul on the rebound, sending Ortiz to the line.

The 6-4 freshman made the front end of the one-and-one but missed the second free throw and Murphy rebounded for the Raiders. Murphy missed a long jump shot but Moorpark's Gerald Walker rebounded and the Raiders called time out with 10 seconds left.

Nordquist wanted to get the ball to Neumayr, but Neumayr was double-teamed and passed to guard Todd Johnson, who drove the middle and missed a jump shot from eight feet. Moorpark's David Bussey rebounded, but was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.

"We thought we set a good pick for Tom, but we didn't get the ball to him in time," Nordquist said.

Said Canyons Coach Lee Smelser: "We were trying to keep Neumayr out of the three-point area. He got the ball and gave it right up again. I was kind of surprised.

"Johnson got a pretty decent shot, but he dribbled into traffic."

Neumayr finished with a game-high 21 points, while Murphy and Bussey added 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Troy Lehman led the Cougars with 17 points.

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