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November 10, 1994|ROB FERNAS

CRYING FOUL

Inglewood High will not return to defend its title at the Pacific Shores basketball tournament this month because Coach Pat Roy believes his team was subjected to biased officiating in last season's championship game.

Inglewood defeated tournament co-host Redondo, 86-64, in the final at Redondo. One of the officials was Ken Greenleaf, a 1974 Redondo graduate and former Sea Hawk basketball standout who Roy claims did his best to prevent Inglewood from taking control of the game.

"(Greenleaf) called the game too tight," Roy said. "It was biased, without a doubt.

"We would love to go back, but I'd rather pull out than put the kids through that again. I want our kids to be treated fairly."

Checking the scorebook, it's difficult to understand why Roy was so upset. Redondo was called for 22 fouls, one more than Inglewood, and drew a technical foul early in the fourth quarter that led to a 10-0 Inglewood run.

Redondo Coach Jim Nielsen denounced Roy's charges of officiating bias.

"I'm 180 degrees opposed to everything Roy has said," Nielsen said. "If that is his stand, it is unconscionable. I've always found Greenleaf to be a man of integrity. I liked him officiating games when I was at Mira Costa and I liked him officiating games when I was at North Torrance. He never sides with a team one way or another. I've never had any problems with him.

"If Roy doesn't want to be in the tournament, that's his decision, but the tournament will go on with him or without him."

Not having Inglewood means that the tournament will be without an attractive drawing card in Sentinel forward Paul Pierce, one of the nation's top prep players. Artesia, a tournament newcomer, and Peninsula are the top-seeded teams in the Pacific Shores, which begins Nov. 28 at Redondo and Mira Costa.

Inglewood opens the season Dec. 9 with a nonleague game at Westchester, which handed the Sentinels two of their four losses last season.

CHANGE OF HEART

Anthony McNair, an All-Ocean League forward who took advantage of the new open enrollment policy to transfer to Inglewood at the start of the semester, has transferred back to Morningside.

"Things didn't work out," Roy said. "I recommended that he go back."

COACH INJURED

Things went from bad to worse last week for Don Weems, the beleaguered Harbor College football coach.

Weems, who took a leave of absence from Harbor last month because of an undetermined illness, was hit by a car and seriously injured Friday night while crossing Pacific Coast Highway near his home in Hermosa Beach. A spokesman for Kaiser Hospital in Harbor City, at the request of the family, refused to provide details of Weem's injuries.

News of Weem's accident stunned his colleagues at Harbor.

"Everybody is pretty shocked," Athletic Director Jim O'Brien said. "We are all saying our prayers for him and his family. I don't know the extent of his injury, but I know it is very, very serious."

O'Brien denied rumors that Weems has already been told he will not return as Harbor's coach next season.

"That's not true," O'Brien said. "The facts are he's out ill. Now with this, I don't know what his status is going to be. He obviously can't coach right now. To my knowledge, he fully plans on coming back."

SECOND HOME

The Clippers have entered into an agreement to use a Carson gym as their practice facility.

The NBA team's new home away from home is the Veterans SportsComplex, a state-of-the-art athletic club built by the city of Carson for $9 million. Opened in 1990, the SportsComplex features a gym with an NBA-sized court.

Scott Yotsuya, Carson deputy city administrator, said the Clippers were looking for a permanent practice site when they contacted his office.

"We gave them tours and they liked what they saw," Yotsuya said.

The city's three-year agreement with the Clippers includes an extension option and provides for visiting teams to also practice at the facility.

"We hope it is a long time before they ever leave us," Yotsuya said.

Yotsuya declined to disclose financial terms of the agreement, but he said that in the past year his office has become more aggressive in soliciting business from the professional sports and entertainment industries. Several television commercials have been filmed at the SportsComplex gym, including a Rold Gold Pretzels spot featuring "Seinfeld" co-star Jason Alexander and a Nike spot with Tim Hardaway of the Golden State Warriors. Two weeks ago, fitness expert Kathy Smith filmed her latest workout video at the facility.

Yotsuya said the additional revenue is being used for maintenance and other services at the SportsComplex.

BREAKDOWN

It seems hard to believe given the importance of the outcome, but El Camino College football Coach John Featherstone suggested the Warriors may have taken their opponent too lightly Saturday.

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