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January 06, 1994|ALAN OTA and SEAN WATERS


Although the Palisades boys' basketball team was competing in the Beverly Hills tournament last week, 6-foot-5 starting center Greg Thomas missed a game.

Thomas, a drummer for the group Oedipus, skipped a game to do a sound check at a West Hollywood nightclub. Sarah Schroeder, a Palisades volleyball player, is the group's lead vocalist.

Thomas' decision struck a bad note with Palisades Coach James Paleno. He lost his starting job.

Thomas earned his starting job back last week in an 84-73 win over Jefferson in the final of the Eagle Rock tournament. Thomas had 16 rebounds Thursday as the Dolphins became the first team in 19 years to win consecutive Eagle Rock tournament titles.


Pacific Hills finished third last week in the Roosevelt Tournament in Honolulu.

Bryan Sterling, who recovered from the chicken pox to make the trip, had career highs of 34 points and 14 rebounds as the Bruins beat host Honolulu Roosevelt, 70-52. Sterling made all 16 of his free-throw attempts.

"It was beautiful," Pacific Hills Coach John Bobich said. "We wore shorts the whole time. I think the low (temperature) was 70 degrees. We went to the beach, did some snorkeling. We went on all the tours. I hated to come back."

Pacific Hills (10-3) has had a successful holiday season. The Bruins also won the El Segundo tournament and finished fifth in the Charter Oak tournament.

"When we're healthy, we're good and we can play with anybody. If we don't come ready to play, we've proved to be a less than average team."


St. Monica (2-10), off to its worst start in 10 years, may have lost 5-11 guard Gabe Pagtama for the season.

Pagtama, who is averaging 15.4 points a game, suffered a hairline fracture of his right ankle and will be out a minimum of three weeks. Pagtama first felt a pain in the ankle on Thursday during the Mariners' 74-72 loss to Granada Hills in the fifth-place game of the Chaminade tournament.

Despite the loss of Pagtama, Coach Leo Klemm remains optimistic about the season.

His son, 6-6 center Adrian Klemm, has recovered from a broken left ankle he suffered during football season. Kenny Jackson, a 6-4 forward, has returned to practice after missing last week because of a shoulder injury.

"I still think were going to be a good team when league starts," Klemm said. "We'll find some good in all of this."


Venice High got a bittersweet taste of basketball's international flavor on Monday when it played host to the boys' and girls' teams from Condell Park High in Bankstown, Australia.

The visitors were on a three-week tour of four cities. In the San Diego Slam 'N Surf tournament, the Condell Park boys won the championship and the girls finished fourth in their division.

Trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Gondolier boys outscored Condell Park, 23-8, in the fourth quarter, to win, 64-55.

"We finally took a game from someone at the end and this was against a very good team," Venice Coach Thermon Moore said. "Intensity on defense is what we needed. And we showed we're making efforts in the right direction."

Venice (8-6) was led by junior forward Quintin McCowen, who had 20 points.

Moore hopes the Gondoliers get off to a quicker start when they open Coastal Conference play at Manual Arts Friday.

"We didn't get down on ourselves. . . for what looked like the eight count," he said. "We need to carry it into league."

In Moore's three previous seasons, Venice has yet to defeat Coastal Conference powers Manual Arts, Fairfax or Westchester and has beaten Palisades only once in three games.

"We definitely have equal talent, but we have to practice harder and play with intensity for an entire game," Moore said. "If we don't, we'll just be a another good team that can't win."

The Venice girls missed 16 free throws in 21 attempts and lost to Condell Park, 56-43.

Karen Haddad had 12 points to lead Condell Park. Senior Carly Furuno and junior Yuriko Jung led the Gondoliers with 12 and 10 points.

Venice will play host to Los Angeles at 4 p.m. Friday to open Coastal Conference play.


Santa Monica junior swingman Damyuhn Campbell has been impressive during the holiday tournaments and Santa Monica Coach Ken Sprague cannot wait until next week to see Campbell compete against Bay League opponents.

Campbell, who joined the Vikings (3-8) as a sophomore, is the team's leading scorer (13) and rebounder (nine) in his second season of organized basketball.

"So far he's doing a good job scoring and playing defense," Sprague said. "He's got good three-point range with a nice high release, a lot of quickness and good ball-handling."

Sprague believes Campbell has a particularly bright future because of his size and athleticism.

"He has all the guard skills, and what impresses me most is that he is 6-foot-6 and still growing," he said. "I fully expect him to be one of the best players in the Southern Section next year. I definitely believe he'll be good enough to play Division I."


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