Ronnie Arch, one of the Central City area's top basketball players, did not accompany Crenshaw High on its trip this week to Ft. Worth, Texas.
Arch, a 6-foot-6 senior guard, has left the team for personal reasons, according to Coach Willie West.
"He has personal problems that have nothing to do with the team," West said Wednesday before the start of the Ft. Worth boys' basketball tournament. "He did not make the trip."
West said there is no assurance that Arch will rejoin the team when the Cougars begin Southern Pacific Conference play Jan. 11 against two-time City 3-A champion Banning.
"If he solves his problems, he will be welcomed back," West said. "There's nothing I can do about it. It's something he has to take care of."
Arch, the team's best outside shooter, scored a team-high 19 points in his last game, a 96-80 loss to Washington Dec. 21 in the Pacific Open finals. He is a third-year varsity letterman for the Cougars, who have won two consecutive State Division I titles.
Arch could not be reached for comment.
His father, Ronnie Arch, said that his son had to attend personal family business in Los Angeles and could not make the trip.
"He wanted to be there, but for all practical purposes he could not make it," his father said.
Antonio Simpson, a 6-2 senior shooting guard, replaces Arch in the starting lineup, West said.
Loyola guard Moose Bailey, who signed a letter of intent with the University of Portland in November, may withdraw from his commitment to attend an East Coast prep school next fall, his father confirmed Monday.
"There is some truth to that rumor," said John Bailey, whose oldest son, Toby Bailey, is a freshman guard at UCLA. "It's something we're considering."
Bailey, 17, would attend a fifth-year high school to receive a postgraduate degree and would be eligible to play another season of high school basketball.
David Rickenbacker, the former Manual Arts standout, failed to meet college athletic eligibility requirements and did not enroll at San Diego State, where he was offered a scholarship. The 6-5 forward is playing basketball for Eastern Utah Junior College. . . . Reggie McFerren, a 6-6 starting guard for Crenshaw the past two seasons, has left Kansas State.
Matt Pentecost, a Loyola High offensive tackle, said he has verbally committed to accept a scholarship to UCLA, where his mother and father attended school.
Pentecost, a 6-4, 255-pound senior, was also recruited by Arizona, Brigham Young, Notre Dame and Washington. He was selected to the all-state second team Tuesday by Cal-Hi Sports Magazine, the only area player to be honored.
"I signed with UCLA because I want to stay close to home," Pentecost said.
Franklin quarterback Jeff Deno's 33 touchdown passes this year was tops in the state, according to Cal-Hi. Deno also passed for 2,657 yards to rank sixth statewide. Newhall Hart quarterback Steve McKeon was the leader in California with 2,931 yards.
Johnnie Sanders, Franklin's top receiver, had 17 touchdowns to lead the state in touchdown catches.
Sirr Parker, Locke running back, will take a recruiting trip to the University of Texas on Friday, according to Saints Coach E.C. Robinson.
Parker, who rushed for 1,129 yards and 16 touchdowns, has recently returned from trips to Arizona, Notre Dame and Washington. He will have one other official trip to make before the February signing period.
Locke lineman James Lewis made a verbal commitment to Arizona. Lewis, a 6-5, 285-pound senior, started at offensive tackle and defensive end.