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Outnumbered Montclair Prep Prevails

January 22, 1992|T.C. PORTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Montclair Prep's basketball winning streak stands at 14 games and, as a result, a scorekeeper is resting with ease.

For a while Tuesday night, it looked as though neither would be the case.

The host Mounties defeated L.A. Baptist, 60-44, in a matchup of first-place Alpha League teams. Chris Sanger and Jared Sonne had 20 points each, helping Montclair Prep overcome a 27-20 halftime deficit.

But the biggest story of the first half occurred off the court.

Montclair Prep (16-1, 3-0 in league play) was charged with a technical foul midway through the second quarter for substituting a player whose number was incorrectly recorded in the score book. Moments later, it happened again.

Turns out the scorekeeper--a last-minute replacement--had copied the Mounties' road numbers. The jerseys for five non-starters are different at home. If they entered the game, a technical would be called.

So none of them played.

But even with a roster shortened to six players, the Mounties prospered in the second half, outscoring the Knights, 25-11, in the third quarter and 15-6 in the fourth.

"We got stronger and stronger," Montclair Prep co-Coach Howard Abrams said. "We had guys in there who were hot, so it probably was a blessing that we had no one to play for them."

One substitute who figured to play was David Orso, the Mounties' top outside shooter. Orso would have given Montclair Prep an answer to Mark Heerema, the L.A. Baptist guard who scored 18 points.

L.A. Baptist (10-5, 2-1) led by as many as nine points in the first half, running on every possession. The Mounties' full-court press, meanwhile, was little factor.

But a 12-4 run after intermission put the Mounties ahead, 32-31, and when L. A. Baptist center Dane Brown came out with foul trouble (he finished with four fouls), the Mounties were able to dominate inside.

Sanger scored 18 points in the second half, most on lay-ins.

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