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March 09, 1995|MITCH POLIN

TWO IN A ROW

The Harbor College women's basketball team overcame numerous obstacles to win its second consecutive state community college championship last week.

Coach Louie Nelson, the architect of Harbor's success, was fired in January after he allegedly punched guard LaTrece Polk in the face during a practice. Polk, one of the team's top offensive players, played briefly in only one game after the incident.

Because of player defections, only eight of the 15 players who started the season with the Seahawks were with the team when the playoffs began. Harbor also finished the season with assistants Loretta Thomas and Herbert Ivy as the team's interim co-coaches.

None of the problems seemed to matter once the playoffs started.

Harbor had a close call when it defeated Chaffey, 70-68, in the Southern California regional final. The Seahawks also had difficulty before getting past College of the Sequoias, 77-75, in the first round of the state tournament--the first time they have defeated Sequoias in four attempts.

The Seahawks then cruised past second-ranked Ventura, 81-67, in the semifinals and led most of the way in their 71-66 victory over San Mateo in the title game.

In becoming the third school in the state to win back-to-back championships, the Seahawks (33-6) established a school record for most wins in a season. They were led by sophomores Rayjanette Lampkin and Michelle Duckworth.

Lampkin, a 5-foot-8 forward who was named most valuable player of the state tournament, averaged 21.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in the tournament after averaging 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds during the regular season. She had 19 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game.

Duckworth, a 5-7 guard who averaged a team-leading 27.9 points during the regular season, also was named to the all-tournament team and was chosen to the all-state first team. Lampkin made the all-region team.

ROAD BLOCKED

The Narbonne High girls' basketball team is all dressed up with nowhere to go.

The Gauchos (19-7) finished the season with 12 consecutive victories and won the first basketball championship in school history with a 47-40 victory over Chatsworth in the City Section 3-A Division final last week. But because the City 3-A champion does not receive a berth in the state tournament, Narbonne's season is over.

James Anderson, who co-coaches the Gauchos along with Maria Johnson, said he is disappointed that Narbonne doesn't have a chance to compete in the state tournament.

"I think we could go and maybe match up with a lot of teams," he said. "It's a shame we couldn't go on and get the opportunity to see what we can do."

That is why Anderson will lobby for the Gauchos to move up to 4-A next season. For the moment, though, Narbonne is content to revel in its accomplishment.

"Everyone's really excited about it," Anderson said. "To get a major championship means so much to this school and the program considering the reputation we've had here in the past."

With five starters returning next season, including 6-4 junior center Robin Hayes and 5-10 sophomore forward Kawai Matthews, there is a good chance that Narbonne's losing reputation will remain in the past.

Anderson said his biggest challenge will be maintaining consistency.

"I told the kids it'll be a lot different now because everyone will expect them to be right up there," he said. "But I think they accepted that, they enjoy being in the spotlight and they want to get back there again."

MOVING UP

Ron Prettyman, who established a solid reputation as an administrator during his 12-year stint at Southern California College in Costa Mesa, has been named athletic director at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

He replaces Kay Don, who retired as the school's athletic director in August.

MOVING OUT

The search is on for a women's basketball coach at Loyola Marymount after Todd Corman's announcment last week that he is resigning effective May 30.

Corman, who coached the Lions for 10 seasons, resigned after Loyola lost to top-seeded San Francisco, 58-36, in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament last week at Santa Clara.

"My wife and I have discussed the possibility of leaving Los Angeles and the only way to accomplish this would be to leave my position at Loyola Marymount," Corman said.

The Lions finished 6-21 and were last in the WCC this season. Corman's record at Loyola is 98-179.

Corman's best season was 1988-89, when the Lions were 17-11 and third in the WCC at 9-5.

School officials said they hope to name a new coach by June 1. Corman will continue to run the program, although assistant Lynn Flanagan has been handling much of the team's recruiting for the April signing period.

MOVING ON

A milestone victory for Cal State Dominguez Hills women's basketball Coach Van Girard also earned the Toros a trip to the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time in school history.

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