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Manual Arts Falls to Westchester, 86-78


Westchester discovered the best way to defend David Rickenbacker of Manual Arts was to prevent the 6-foot-5 forward from getting the ball.

Rickenbacker scored 21 points, most from inside the key, but was not much of a factor as the Comets beat the Toilers 86-78 Wednesday in a game matching the two best teams of the Coastal Conference.

Westchester (16-3), which used an effective pressure defense and prevented the Toilers from setting up their offense, also made 21 of 24 free throws.

"They got to every loose ball and hit their free throws," Manual Arts Coach Randolph Simpson said.

Westchester held its largest lead, 44-26, after Cullen Countee made a 15-foot jump shot to start the third quarter. The Toilers fought back and outscored the Comets, 17-9, before Rickenbacker sat down with his third foul with 4:17 left in the third quarter.

Two minutes later, the Toilers (12-4) had a chance to cut the deficit to six, but forward John Thompson missed a shot when he was fouled hard by Comet forward Kelly Washington. Thompson was given a technical foul when he threw the ball at Washington.

Toiler guard Jasmine Johnson hit a three-point shot at the end of third quarter and Thompson hit another three-point shot to begin the fourth quarter as the Toilers pulled to within three, 60-57.

But a six-point Comet scoring run was followed by a 10-minute delay in the game as school police broke up a fight in the visitors' seating area, and the momentum seemed to shift again.

"I think the technical foul and the fight took away our momentum," Simpson said. "We beat ourselves."

MANUAL ARTS--Johnson 3, Dawson 6, Rickenbacker 21, Thompson 25, Carter 9, Luckett 8, Pinckney 4, Channel 2.

WESTCHESTER--Smith 4, Sanders 5, Washington 6, Countee 20, Young 6, Hart 6, Ogaki 15, Walker 19, Wells 5.

Records: Manual Arts 12-4; Westchester 16-3.

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