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NOTEBOOK : Pepperdine Tries to Extend WCC Streak

March 05, 1992|SEAN WATERS

The Pepperdine basketball team will attempt to tie a West Coast Conference record for consecutive victories when it plays host Portland in the first round of the conference tournament at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Waves (21-6, 14-0 in conference play) have won 30 consecutive games, one shy of the University of San Francisco's record set from 1954-57. The University of San Diego was the last team to beat Pepperdine in league play, 91-88, on Jan. 11, 1991.

Coach Tom Asbury, who guided Pepperdine to victories over Portland, 79-56, and Gonzaga, 75-63, last week, has used the streak to motivate his players. But he acknowledged that the streak puts pressure on the Waves.

"The flip side is it gives us a tangible goal every single night out," Asbury said. "We put that big number on the board and tell them to go get it."

Unlike the record-setting Don team, which had Bill Russell and K. C. Jones, the Waves are without a marquee player.

Guard Doug Christie, favored to repeat as WCC player of the year, and center Geoff Lear have led the Waves. Christie has averaged 19.3 points a game and Lear 16.9, with 7.6 rebounds.

But with the pressure building, are the Waves a target for an upset?

"We got the bull's-eye on our chest," Asbury said.

Here's the pitch--The high school baseball season starts Friday with nine area teams competing in the Westside tournament.

The tournament has become one of prep baseball's premiere events since Crossroads Coach Chuck Ice helped reorganize it nine years ago.

Some of the players who have competed in the tournament include San Diego Padre outfielder Darrin Jackson (Santa Monica High), San Francisco Giant shortstop Royce Clayton (St. Bernard High) and the recent No. 1 draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, Dmitri Young (Rio Mesa).

"I think this tournament lets people know there is more than basketball playoffs going on," Ice said. "We offer a chance for the top teams to play each other, and we drum up interest in baseball from the local community.

"I think the measure of our success is that teams want to play in our tournament, and right now we have five teams on the waiting list for next year."

The tournament is divided into two divisions, with four pools in each division and four teams in each pool.

First-round games begin at 3 p.m. with Taft at Beverly Hills, Venice at Crossroads, University at Santa Monica, Westchester at St. Bernard, Hamilton at Marshall, and Palisades at San Pedro.

The second round will be played Saturday at 11 a.m., and pool play will conclude Wednesday at 5 p.m. Semifinals will be played March 13, and the two championship games will be March 14.

Red-carpet treatment--When they played golf at UCLA, Jay Delsing, Steve Pate, Corey Pavin and Duffy Waldorf had difficulty getting a tee time at the Riviera Country Club. Now they're paid to play.

As card-carrying members of the PGA Tour, the former Bruins each played four rounds at Riviera in last week's Nissan Los Angeles Open.

Rarely do four golfers from the same college qualify for the final two rounds of a tour event.

Delsing led the Bruin brigade, finishing in a four-way tie for 10th. Delsing, who scored a hole in one on the first day, had a four-day total of 277 and earned $9,600.

Waldorf finished three strokes behind Delsing and won $3,513. Pavin, the leading money-winner on the 1991 tour, finished at 281 and won $2,363, and Pate, the winner of the Shearson Lehman Bros. Open in San Diego, earned $2,210.

"I feel pretty lucky to be playing on the tour with the same guys I played with in college," Delsing said. "We stayed great friends. If I'm not winning a tournament, I'm pulling for one of them to win."

Back in the saddle again--Jack Dyck will return next season to coach the Beverly Hills High boys' basketball team after a one-year absence. Dyck will replace Bill Smith.

Under Smith, the Normans finished last in the Ocean League with an 0-8 record and were 5-19 overall. Artesia beat Beverly Hills, 54-41, in the first round of the Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs.

Dyck had coached the Normans for 12 seasons. During his one-year leave, he remained at the school as an athletic director and physical education teacher.

Shrine game selections--Santa Monica High offensive tackle Luke Davis, Culver City's versatile Dameron Ricketts, and running back Sharmon Shah and defensive end Dwayne Sanders of Dorsey were among 31 players selected Monday to the South squad for the Shrine All-Star football game.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Ricketts is listed as both a quarterback and wide receiver.

The Shrine game will be played July 25 at Long Beach Veterans Stadium.

Going for the gold--Dara Torres, who grew up in Beverly Hills and graduated from Westlake School, qualified for her third Olympic team Sunday with a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter freestyle in the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Indianapolis.

Torres' time of 55.48 seconds wasn't good enough to place her in the top two, which would have allowed her to compete as an individual this summer in Barcelona, Spain, but it was fast enough to earn her a spot on the 400-meter freestyle relay team.

Torres was a medalist in the 1984 and 1988 Games.

Times staff writer Steven Herbert contributed to this notebook.

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