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BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : Top-Ranked Crenshaw Loses Two; Johnson Benched

January 02, 1994

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Crenshaw Coach Willie West benched City Player of the Year Kris Johnson and the Cougars were beaten by Richland Northeast, 74-65, Thursday afternoon in the third-place game of the Beach Ball Classic I.

The Cougars, ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today, lost for the second consecutive day. No. 10 Simon Gratz of Philadelphia beat Crenshaw, 70-65, Wednesday.

Johnson, who signed early with UCLA, was in uniform but did not play despite being the team's leading scorer.

"It was a coach's decision," West said. "There's (nothing) wrong with him."

Trailing 64-49 in the fourth quarter, the Cougars nearly avoided the upset, outscoring No. 11 Richland Northeast, 14-0. Antonio Simpson and Tremaine Fowlkes reignited Crenshaw to pull within 66-65 with 1:40 to go. During that stretch, the Cavaliers were plagued by poor free-throw shooting, missing eight free throws.

After Northeast's Corey Todd missed a free throw, Nicky Davis made a followup basket with 1:06 left for a 68-65 Cavalier lead. Davis then rejected a Cougar shot. Simon Gratz (Phila.) 70, Crenshaw 65--Crenshaw had three players foul out, and the Cougars' 28-game winning streak ended Wednesday in the championship semifinals of the Beach Ball Classic I.

Kris Johnson scored 21 points, and Reggie McFerren 14 points to lead the Cougars, who were ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today. McFerren, Antonio Simpson and Tommie Davis, who had only four assists, fouled out.

"We stunk up the place," Crenshaw Coach Willie West said. "We didn't play very effectively in the first half. The officiating was bad, but that was another story."

Simon Gratz, which was ranked 10th in the nation, was led by Lynard Stewart, who scored 27 points. Simon Gratz made 20 of 29 free throws, and the Cougars made six of 12. Crenshaw 64, White Hall (Pa.) 47--White Hall tried to slow the pace, using a four-corner stall, but Crenshaw point guard Tommie Davis played a pivotal role, scoring 15 points Monday in the first round of the Beach Ball Classic I.

Mauldin (S.C.) 71, Loyola 63 (5 OT)--Junior Kevin Garnett scored 40 points as Mauldin beat Loyola in five overtimes in the seventh-place game Wednesday at the Beach Ball Classic II in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Toby Bailey had 19 points for Loyola before fouling out. Hart 67, Manual Arts 55--Hart senior point guard Eric Spindt made nine consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter as the Indians won the 22nd Hart Holiday Classic before an estimated crowd of 900 Thursday night at Hart.

Spindt scored 18 points and had a team-high five assists.

The Toilers were led by senior forward David Rickenbacker, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Forward John Thompson had 11 points and eight rebounds for Manual Arts, which appeared to be frustrated by the Indians' often methodical play on offense. Antelope Valley 73, Garfield 64--Senior guard Freddie Gonzales scored 16 points to lead four Antelope Valley players in double figures in the 15th-place game of the Hart Holiday Classic.

Junior forward Jesus Fernandez scored a game-high 23 points for the Bulldogs, and junior guard Ceaser Gonzales had 12.

Manual Arts 67, Canyon 63--The Toilers outmuscled the Cowboys in the semifinals of the 22nd Hart Holiday Classic on Wednesday night.

David Rickenbacker (11 points, 10 rebounds) and John Thompson (19 points) provided the Toilers with enough big plays to offset the outside shooting of Canyon guards James Manning (23 points) and Greg Minor (20). Charles Woodard added 12 points for Canyon (10-4). Jordan 61, Taft 57--Clem Breedlove scored 15 points and Julio Medrano added 12 points as Jordan won the fifth-place game Thursday in the Eagle Rock tournament.

Verbum Dei 75, Artesia 72--Andre Miller scored 19 points and Jamal Cobbs added 16 points in the fifth-place game of the Artesia Tournament.

Verbum Dei forward Andre Smith chipped-in 12 points.

Agoura 51, Los Angeles 41--Forward Joe Richard scored a team-high 12 points, but the Romans lost in the seventh-place game of the Artesia Tournament.

Verbum Dei 87, Agoura 65--Guard Andre Miller scored 22 points and forward Andre Smith added 13 in a consolation game of the Artesia Tournament on Wednesday night.

Serra 64, Los Angeles 62--Seneca Hester's last-second jump shot caromed off the side of the rim and the Romans lost a quarterfinal game of the Artesia Tournament.

Guard Brandon Thomas, who scored 16 points, led a trio of Romans in double figures. Serra's Ricky Price, who scored a game-high 26 points on eight of 19 shooting from the field, hit a three-pointer that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good, 60-58.

Inglewood 90, Verbum Dei 83--Despite 37 points from guard Andre Miller, the Eagles fell to the Sentinels in a quarterfinal game of the Artesia Tournament on Tuesday.

Miller, who made 16 of 18 free-throw attempts, scored 14 of the Eagles' 22 second-quarter points.

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