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Roosevelt Girls' Team Quits Tournament

January 02, 1994|KIRBY LEE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Roosevelt High girls' basketball coach Lorenzo Garcia withdrew his team from the Los Angeles Invitational tournament and forfeited a semifinal game against Lynwood on Wednesday, charging mismanagement and favoritism in pairings by tournament director Jerry Weiner.

The Roughriders, who defeated Dorsey 59-48 in a quarterfinal game on Tuesday at East Los Angeles College, had been scheduled to play Santa Monica Crossroads in the semifinals. Lynwood was scheduled to play Inglewood Morningside.

Garcia, however, was informed by Weiner late Tuesday night that the Roughriders would instead play Lynwood, the defending State Division I champion.

"Weiner would rather see Lynwood play Morningside in the final than Roosevelt because it would produce a bigger draw for him," Garcia said. "It seems to me (Weiner) is catering to groups of people and treating Roosevelt like a second-class citizen. He should stick to his guns instead of dictating changes to accommodate himself."

Weiner blamed the misunderstanding on a scheduling mistake on his part and said he had "inadvertently transposed" the pairings on the bracket sheet posted at the East L.A. gym.

Games for the 32-team tournament are also played at Gardena High and Pierce College and Weiner said it would be "logical" for Morningside to play Crossroads at Gardena High.

Weiner also changed on short notice Roosevelt's first-round opponent from Eagle Rock to the Lynwood junior varsity Monday.

"Nothing against Lynwood, but I feel mistreated and this time it was too much," Garcia said. "This was the straw that broke the camel's back. I made a big mistake entering this tournament. "

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