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NOTEOOK : Opponents Find Buena Team Unsafe at Any Speed

January 04, 1990|SEAN WATERS

Buena Coach Glen Hannah thought he was supervising a high school dance, not a basketball team. The Bulldogs, who scored more than 100 points in each of their first three games, suddenly had stopped running their fastbreak.

They were standing around on the floor, each waiting for a teammate to take the first step, according to Hannah.

"We hit a slump for 2 1/2 games," Hannah said. "We weren't playing hard. We looked for other people to do things instead of doing them ourselves."

Hannah held a team meeting. Team captain Jeff Oliver called a players-only meeting the day after Christmas.

And after the meetings, Buena held a basketball seminar last week in the Ventura/Kiwanis tournament.

The Bulldogs beat Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and Oxnard to win their first tournament title of the season, and Oliver was named most valuable player.

"I thought we played a lot harder," Hannah said. "We were more consistent throughout the game. We didn't hit so many peaks and valleys."

No matter the pace, Buena was able to keep up with its opponents, Hannah discovered. Buena and Thousand Oaks combined for a tournament-record 193 points as the Bulldogs won, 102-91.

"We prefer a fast-paced game with lots of fast breaks," Hannah said. "But I think we also proved we can be patient against deliberate offenses."

Bad break: Sophomore Jeff Wright wanted an opportunity to play with his older brother, Ryan, on the St. Bonaventure varsity and got his break when senior Kevin Zoll suffered a knee injury.

Wright, however, injured his hand during a junior varsity game the day before his promotion.

Diving for a loose ball, Wright sustained a fractured bone in the middle finger of his right (shooting) hand.

Wright, who was promoted because of his scoring ability, was hampered by the splint on his finger and averaged only 3.3 points in three games at the Carpinteria tournament.

The Seraphs (4-5) have lost three straight since Zoll, a three-year starter, suffered a torn ligament in his left knee. Zoll is averaging 12 points and four assists a game.

St. Bonaventure's last win was over Santa Paula, 58-35, on Dec. 20.

"We can't find anyone to pick up the slack for Zoll in terms of points, ballhandling and court leadership," St. Bonaventure Coach Marc Groff said.

"We're trying to collectively make up the difference and it's not working."

Groff believes senior off-guard Marvin Sagles (11 points a game) could prove to be the solution to the scoring problem.

Streak stoppers: Nordhoff holds the distinction of being the last team to beat Santa Clara in a Frontier League game. The Rangers beat the Saints, 59-53, in the 1984 league finale to sweep their two-game series and win the title.

Since that loss, the Saints have won 34 consecutive league games and four titles.

The teams meet in a Frontier League opener Friday at Santa Clara.

Nordhoff might not have anyone to match the talents of Division I prospect Shon Tarver, but it does have an outstanding sophomore. Tim Sebek, the son of Coach Dick Sebek, leads the team in scoring (14.1 points a game), rebounding (8.6) and assists (5.8).

Sebek could become the first player in school history to start all four years for the Rangers (6-5).

Not ready for prime time: As his team' tallest and most talented player, 6-5 senior center Mike Spears has been cast in a prominent role for Hueneme. But Spears has had trouble adjusting after a year as a role player.

"Spears is a stud," Hueneme Coach Howard Davis said. "He has the potential to be a great player.

"But what he can do in practice, he can't do in a game. He doesn't know how to dominate a game."

Spears has been averaging 15.5 points a game, but Hueneme has struggled to a 3-7 mark.

Davis said Spears needs to increase his average if the Vikings are to be successful in the Channel League.

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