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March 17, 1994|MITCH POLIN

PREPS

The Lynwood High girls' basketball team will be aiming for back-to-back championships when it meets undefeated Atherton Sacred Heart for the State Division I title at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum.

Lynwood (32-1) reached the title game with a 62-51 win Saturday over Clovis West in the Southern Regional final. The Knights defeated San Francisco Balboa, 65-51, in the championship game last season.

Sacred Heart (37-0) defeated Cupertino Monte Vista, 63-37, in the Northern Regional final last week.

Perhaps the two key ingredients in Lynwood's success have been senior forward Timicha Kirby and senior guard-forward Tawana Grimes.

The 5-foot-11 Kirby played one of her best games of the season against Clovis West, scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Grimes was held to eight points in the game, but had nine rebounds.

Lynwood was the only Southeast-Long Beach team to advance to a state title game. The Dominguez, Long Beach Poly and St. Paul boys and the Valley Christian girls reached the Southern Regional semifinals in their respective divisions before being eliminated last week.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

The Long Beach City College men's basketball team established a new standard for success with its 63-61 win over Ventura in the state community college championship game Saturday.

It was the school's first title since 1976 and fifth in its history. That enabled Long Beach to pass South Coast Conference rival Cerritos for the most championships in state history.

For Long Beach Coach Gary Anderson, it was the third time he has had a hand in a championship at the school. He played for the Viking team that won a title in 1971 under Lute Olson, now coach at the University of Arizona. Anderson was also an assistant under Coach Bill Fraser when Long Beach won in 1976.

The Vikings were led to their latest championship by forward Kevin Beal, who scored 19 points and had eight rebounds, and guard Marcus Rogers with 17 points and seven steals.

Point guard Sharif Metoyer, who finished with only four points, scored the winning basket with 1 minute 44 seconds remaining.

In winning the title, the Vikings defeated a Ventura squad that had been ranked No. 1 in the state all season. It was the second year in a row that Ventura had been seeded No. 1, only to lose in the title game.

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Long Beach City College football Coach Larry Reisbig, who guided the Vikings to their first postseason appearance in 29 years, has been named state coach of the year by Cal-Hi Sports magazine.

Reisbig guided Long Beach to a 9-2 record, its first winning season in nearly a decade. The Vikings lost to Fresno City College, 18-15, in the Dairy Bowl in December. It was their first bowl appearance since the 1965 Prune Bowl.

Reisbig is 14-6-1 in two seasons at Long Beach.

COLLEGES

The Long Beach State baseball team is already off to a flying start.

The 49ers, who won their second consecutive Big West Conference title last year en route to a third-place finish in the College World Series, are 16-3. They are ranked No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball magazine and fifth by Baseball Weekly.

Long Beach plays host to eighth-ranked Wichita State (7-3) for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Blair Field in Long Beach. The Shockers reached the World Series final last season.

Wichita has been led by second baseman Joey Jackson with a .350 batting average and pitcher Jason Jordan, who is 3-0 with a 2.20 earned-run average in five starts.

Perhaps the key to Long Beach's success has been its pitching, which did not allow an earned run in a three-game sweep of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo last week. Leading the way have been starters Scott Rivette at 5-0 with a 1.53 ERA and Mike Fontana at 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. Gabe Gonzalez has also sparkled in relief with a 1.15 ERA and seven saves.

Freshman designated hitter and first baseman Jeff Tagliaferri is batting .457 and junior outfielder Nic Frank is at .375.

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The Long Beach State men's basketball team, which was eliminated from postseason contention with an 87-74 loss to Pacific in the Big West Conference tournament last week, has had four of its players receive all-conference honors.

Senior guard Rod Hannibal made the all-conference first team, junior forward Mike Atkinson made second team, and junior center Terrance O'Kelley received honorable mention. Swingman James Cotton was named freshman of the year.

Cotton, a former standout at St. John Bosco High, was the leading freshman scorer in the Big West with an 11.4-point average. Hannibal and Atkinson both averaged 15.6 points during the regular season for the 49ers, who finished 17-10.

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Danielle Scott of Long Beach State became the first athlete from the Big West Conference to earn first team all-conference honors in two sports when she named to the women's basketball team last week.

In volleyball, Scott was the 1993 national player of the year and 1992 and 1993 Big West player of the year, having led the 49ers to the national title last season. In basketball, the 6-2 center led the Big West in rebounding with a 10.4 average.

Long Beach teammate Melissa Gower, a 6-1 forward who averaged 16 points and 9.8 rebounds, was named to the all-conference second team.

BRIEFLY

Former St. Joseph High and UCLA standout Lisa Fernandez has been named female winner of the Amateur Softball Assn.'s first Amoco USA Softball Leadership trophy.

The award is based on athletic achievement, leadership and community involvement.

Fernandez, who is hoping to compete for the United States in the 1996 Summer Olympics, was a four-time All-America selection at UCLA and was named the ASA sportswoman of the year in 1991 and 1992. She also won the 1992-93 Honda-Broderick Cup as the nation's outstanding female collegiate athlete.

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