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STATE REGIONAL BASKETBALL QUARTERFINALS : Crenshaw Buries Simi Valley

March 14, 1993

Crenshaw's 70-49 win over Simi Valley in a first-round Southern Regional State Tournament game Tuesday night at Cal State Dominguez Hills was the Cougar's 15th consecutive victory in 12 weeks. The Cougars' last loss was to Washington in the Los Angeles Officials Tournament on Dec. 22.

Crenshaw came out shooting, with guard Maurice Robinson scoring six of his 10 points in the first quarter for a 20-10 Cougar advantage.

Tremaine Fowlkes, who had 19 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, and Kristaan Johnson, who finished with 14 points and six rebounds, both scored six points in the second quarter to widen Crenshaw's lead to 34-22 at the half.

Center Vernon Simmons, who finished with 14 points, scored 12 of Simi Valley's first 22 points.

Forward Craig Griffin, who scored a game-high 21 points, had 10 points in the third quarter, including eight during a 14-8 run to cut Crenshaw's lead to 46-38 at the 1:22 mark. "(Simi Valley) had to come out playing hard because (Crenshaw) outmatched us," Griffin said.

But Crenshaw, which had runs of 11-4 and 11-5, got seven points from Fowlkes in the fourth quarter, and outscored the Pioneers 24-11 in the final 10 minutes of the game.

"I liked (my) players' intensity but they lost focus when they got the lead," Crenshaw Coach Willie West said. "(The players) must forget what they have accomplished in the past and focus on what they have yet to accomplish."

Records: Crenshaw 25-2; Simi Valley 25-6.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

Crenshaw 60, Capistrano Valley 54--Capistrano Valley High, the Southern Section Division I-AA runner-up, wasn't as physical as some of the City Section teams Crenshaw guard Tanya Barton has faced. "They weren't as rough," she said.

The senior couldn't say the same Tuesday night about playing on the 94-foot court at Cal State Dominguez Hills, which is 10 feet longer than a high school court. Crenshaw, though, turned it on down the stretch to come away with a first-round victory in a State Regional Playoffs Division I game.

"I had them running a lot more in practice, but there's no way to prepare for a big gym like this until playing in it," Crenshaw Coach Major Dennis said.

Crenshaw opened an eight-point first-half lead and forced 28 turnovers, but found little breathing room in the second half.

The City 4-A champion fell behind by five points before using a five-point run in the last 2:45 to extend a one-point lead to 58-52 with 26 seconds left.

Capistrano Valley overcame a 39-33 third-quarter deficit, scoring 11 unanswered points to take a 44-39 advantage with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

Crenshaw needed a big play from point guard Cathleen Grice to go ahead for good. The 5-foot-4 senior made a half-court shot at the end of the third quarter to give Crenshaw a 47-46 lead and spark an eight-point spurt.

Grice and Kristi Lattin, who along with Barton had 13 points each, scored at the beginning of the fourth quarter to help open a 51-46 lead, but Capistrano Valley trimmed the deficit to 53-52 with 3:36 to play on consecutive baskets by Katie Scott.

The longer court and the furious pace forced Grice to leave the game with just under two minutes to play to catch her breath before returning a minute later. She finished with points and six rebounds.

Records: Capistrano Valley 24-5; Crenshaw 24-2.

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