John Burrell and Jamal Dedeaux are no Beavis and Butt-head. Burrell doesn't hurl and Dedeaux is not French for dude.
The pair of Highland High forwards do put on an entertaining show on weeknights, however. And they work best in tandem.
Burrell, a 6-foot-2 junior forward, averages 20.3 points a game. Dedeaux, a 6-3 senior forward, averages 20.5. They give Highland (13-5, 2-2) the area's only team with two 20-point scorers.
"Division I teams are missing the boat with Dedeaux," Coach Tim Knight said. "He can score from anywhere and he has the potential to be a good college defender.
"Burrell is very active. He doesn't function as well when we run set plays for him, but on put-backs and flashing within the offense, he creates a lot of points."
The Burrell and Dedeaux show is fine, but Knight would like to introduce guest stars.
"We are desperately trying to get everyone involved so we are not two-dimensional," he said. "Those two are very unselfish as far as spreading around the ball, but it always seems back in their hands."
Code violation: A shoving match with a junior varsity player Friday at school resulted in a one-game suspension for senior forward Jeremiah Nesbitt of Thousand Oaks. The absence of the Lancers' leading scorer was costly as Simi Valley defeated Thousand Oaks, 68-56, in a Marmonte League game.
The school's code of conduct for athletes mandated the suspension. Nesbitt has emerged recently as one of the league's top players, having scored 50 points in his last two games.
The loss dropped Thousand Oaks (10-10, 4-4) to fifth in the league.
Simi Valley forward Scott Schnetzler is out for two weeks because of an ankle injury, but the Pioneers (16-3, 5-3) are one game ahead in the race for the league's fourth playoff berth.
Taking responsibility: Manuel Escamilla shouldn't be so hard on himself. He takes blame for Santa Paula falling short by one agonizing point of snapping Santa Clara's mind-boggling league winning streak.
The Cardinals lost in double overtime, 63-62, and the streak lives, having reached 88 with Santa Clara's victory over Calabasas on Friday night.
In the packed Santa Clara gym, Santa Paula froze at the free-throw line, blowing a seven-point fourth-quarter lead and missing nine of 10 free throws in overtime.
Escamilla missed the front end of two one-and-one opportunities in the final seven seconds of the first overtime with the score tied. Then Chris Cannon missed two free throws at the end of second overtime.
Escamilla couldn't believe his eyes.
"I wasn't nervous at all," he said. "Both times I was feeling the same way. I would make the shots and we would win the game, but they both just bounced off the rim."
For the rematch at Santa Paula on Feb. 7, Escamilla, the team's leading scorer, promises to take more shots from the field. He took only four in the first half and didn't score until midway through the second quarter. He finished with 13 points.
"I wanted to get everyone involved, people asked why I wasn't shooting," he said. "Maybe it wouldn't have come down to those free throws. Then we don't make those mistakes and we don't lose."
Ready, set, spike: When an Alemany quarterback was told to spike the ball to kill the clock during a football game two years ago, Coach Pat Degnan was chagrined to learn the play was not allowable under high school rules: His team was flagged for intentional grounding.
Beginning this fall, Alemany and others may spike away.
A rule change will allow a quarterback to intentionally throw the ball forward to the ground as long as it is thrown immediately after receiving a direct hand-to-hand snap.
The rule is one of 16 passed by the National Federation Football Rules Committee at its recent meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., and is similar to one that has been in effect for several years at the college and professional levels.
"Since quarterbacks will be able to spike the ball legally late in games to conserve time, it takes pressure off the officials to make a difficult judgment call when quarterbacks are trying to legally stop the clock," said Dick Schindler, assistant director of the Kansas City-based National Federation of State High School Assns. and editor of high school football rules.
The committee also adopted rules concerning sportsmanship and fighting. One rules change will result in disqualification from a game for the second unsportsmanlike foul by a player or nonplayer. In another change, the committee formulated a definition of fighting and provided a penalty of 15 yards and disqualification.
Tight squeeze: Through no fault of his own, a Division I football prospect isn't what he used to be. UCLA assistant coach Gary Bernardi blames new NCAA rules limiting scholarships.