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High School Basketball Playoffs : Crescenta Valley Draws Tall Order for Opener

February 18, 1988|HEATHER HAFNER

The following is a preview of Glendale-area teams that have qualified for postseason play:

SOUTHERN SECTION

BOYS' 4-A

Crescenta Valley at Simi Valley, Friday at 7:30 p.m.--Crescenta Valley has made the playoffs 17 of the past 20 seasons, but this time it took the disqualification of Muir for the Falcons to earn a postseason berth. Crescenta Valley (14-10, 6-4) finished third in the Pacific League and will face the Southern Section's top-ranked 4-A team and a pair of the Southern California's best players in the first round. Simi Valley (22-3, 12-0) is led by senior center Don MacLean and senior forward Shawn DeLaittre. MacLean, 6-10, is averaging 34 points and 13 rebounds a game. DeLaittre is averaging 21 points and eight rebounds. "It's going to be a great challenge," Crescenta Valley Coach John Goffredo said. "We haven't played Simi since those kids got there. They have two Division I players on their team and we have none. And they still can shoot the outside shot. " The majority of Simi Valley's outside work is handled by senior guard Butch Hawking, who averages 12 points and 8 assists a game. Crescenta Valley has been led this season by Brad Adam, a 5-9 senior guard who has a 22 point average. Center Marc Schrobilgen is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds and 6-6 forward Mike Harrison averages 12 points. Senior guard Ben Somera and either Eric Anderson or Joel Larson at forward round out the starting lineup for Crescenta Valley. "I don't think that we're a tremendously talented team and we know it," Goffredo said. "We've done well because they work very hard."

Hoover at Ramona, Friday at 7:30 p.m.--Ramona (21-5, 10-0) won the Ivy League behind the strong inside play of Thomas Ware, Paul Barton and Geoff Gorham. Ware, a 6-5 senior center, is averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds a game. Barton, a 6-6 senior forward, averages 20 points and 8 rebounds and Gorham, a 6-7 junior forward, is averaging 18 points and 6 rebounds. Hoover (13-10, 7-3) finished second in the Pacific League and relies mostly on outside shooting. Guard Joe Velasquez led the Tornadoes in scoring at 18 points per game and backcourt mate Vigen Serop averages 15 points. Hoover Coach Kirt Kohlmeier said that his team will need to improve its inside shooting and rebounding against Ramona. Forward Ramon Velasquez (6 points and 5 rebounds), center Joe Ferguson (7 points and 7 rebounds) and forward Sean Regan (10 points and 5 rebounds) will be charged with containing Ramona's inside game. "We're not the kind of team that runs off a lot of quick points," Ramona Coach Tony Masi said. "We start slowly and run them down. Sometimes it's scary to me." Ramona, which has won 12 games in a row, lost to Simi Valley in the second round of the playoffs last season.

Wild-card winner at Glendale, Friday at 7:30 p.m.--Glendale (20-4, 8-2) won its first Pacific League title since 1985, when the team finished 28-0 and won the Southern Section 4-A title. Glendale, which will play the winner of Wednesday's Charter Oak-Irvine game, is led by guard Jeff Sofro. The senior point guard averages 21 points. Forwards Dan Johnson and Justin Lord are averaging 15 and 11 points, respectively. "Sofro is an excellent player and shooter," Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. "We're real strong inside with Dan Johnson and Justin Lord has really stepped it up." Center Rod Cassidy is averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds and senior guard Kevin Kowalski is averaging six points a game. "Simi is the heavy favorite," Davidson said. "But of all the other teams, it's whoever gets the breaks and gets the little things done. We can play with anybody. But if we have a poor game, we can lose to anybody."

2-A

Keppel at La Canada on Friday at 7:30 p.m.--La Canada (13-2, 10-0) has a height advantage with brothers Chad and Greg Givens standing 6-7 and 6-4, respectively. Keppel's tallest player is 6-1 center Steve Hua, who is averaging eight rebounds. Paul Akahoshi is Keppel's leading scorer with a 14-point average. Akahoshi, who has taken 100 more shots than any of his teammates, will be guarded by Greg Givens, who is regarded as La Canada's top defensive player. La Canada Coach Tom Hoffman expects Keppel to utilize a full-court press and play tenacious defense. "If we don't make the turnovers, we should be able to control the game with our size," Hoffman said. Chad Givens, a center, leads La Canada in scoring at 22 points a game. Greg Givens, a forward-guard, is averaging 10 and guard Chris Jones has a 12-point scoring average. La Canada won its first Rio Hondo League title since 1982. Keppel finished third in the Mission Valley League.

GIRLS' 4-A

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