Good players are said to put on their "game face" for an important opponent, but for Wayne Carlander, Ocean View's All-American forward, it was the legs.
"When his legs are shaking, and he's bouncing up and down during warm-ups--look out," Ocean View Coach Jim Harris said.
Harris detected the vital signs before Ocean View, Orange County's top-ranked team, played Long Beach Poly, the top team in the Southern Section poll, in the San Dimas tournament.
He was right. Carlander had 34 points, 20 rebounds and six assists in a 67-55 victory. Ocean View went on to win the tournament championship.
"No one in high school can guard him one-on-one," Poly Coach Ron Palmer said. "He can control a game."
As you might expect, Harris went a bit further in his praise: "Wayne is the best player in the country--passing, shooting, dribbling, you name it. Remember, he did all this tonight against the best."
Actually it was an average night for Carlander: He averaged 33 points and 20 rebounds entering the game.
Carlander later led USC to a Pacific 10 championship in 1985 and played in Spain.
5 YEARS AGO
Brea-Olinda Coach Gene Lloyd knows talent, even if it's in a 9-year old.
He was watching his son play in an age-group recreation league game and noticed another player dominating.
"The kid was the same age as my son, but he was taller and more coordinated than anyone else on the floor. Even then I knew he was going to be something special."
He was. Kevin Walker grew to be 6-10 and accepted a scholarship to play for UCLA before his senior year.
Walker averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds as a Brea-Olinda senior. The Wildcats went 23-5 in 1985-86 and were eliminated in the second round of the Southern Section 3-A Division playoffs by eventual champion Rolling Hills, 60-56.
1 YEAR AGO
I'm Here for the Pizza, Dude: Although the Ocean View Tournament of Champions had a near-capacity crowd for the final between Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly, most of the conversation was on the extras--such as Ocean View cheerleaders and boosters working as waitresses and serving pizza to those in attendance.
"We've tried to give the tournament an ambience with banners, flags, two canopy entrances and spotlights on the gymnasium," said Roy Englebrecht, the tournament's executive director. "We wanted to give the fans a steak and the sizzle. I didn't want this to be just another high school tournament in just another high school gym."
Poly defeated Mater Dei, 54-47. And the pizza was good.