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March 09, 1995|SEAN WATERS

LABOR PAINS

Early Saturday morning before his team played Crenshaw in the City Section 4-A Division playoffs, Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani dropped his wife Shannon off at Kaiser Hospital in Bellflower.

Shannon, who was in her 32nd week of pregnancy, went into premature labor and entered the hospital at 10:30 a.m., according to Harvey.

"I called every half hour," Kitani said. "The doctors tried to stop the pregnancy, but by 7 p.m. (they) had . . . stopped trying."

After the Lions lost to Crenshaw, 78-76, Kitani returned to the hospital to be with his wife.

Sunday afternoon, the couple celebrated the birth of their first child, Grant Cameron Hitoshi, who weighed 3 pounds 6 ounces.

OVERMATCHED

The Crossroads girls' basketball team felt like an ice cube in a hothouse when the Roadrunners played Cerritos Valley Christian Friday in the Southern Section Division IV-A championship game at the Pyramid in Long Beach.

Christian grabbed a 37-16 first-half lead and cruised to an easy 66-44 win.

"We melted away in the first half," Crossroads Coach Larry Wiener said. "We were in awe of the situation. We tried to regroup, but the damage had already been done."

It was the first championship appearance for Crossroads, who nonetheless qualified for the Southern California Regional. On Tuesday, they lost to Corcoran, 49-44.

The Roadrunners hoped to play up-tempo against the taller Cerritos Valley Christian, who are led by 6-foot-2 forward Jodi Parriott and 6-2 center Tandee Taylor.

Parriott had 34 points and 11 rebounds and Taylor added 17 points and 12 rebounds.

"Parriott was a dominating player," Wiener said. "She did everything they needed."

Erin Irving had 11 points and Yasmeen Benjamin added 10 to lead the Roadrunners.

"This is the furthest Crossroads has ever gone and the players have nothing to be ashamed of," Wiener said.

JUST SHORT

St. Bernard Coach Jim McClune grabbed his stat sheet to describe how his team lost to Corona del Mar, 47-46, Friday in the Division IV-AA championship game at the UC Irvine Bren Center.

"We each made 19 field goals," McClune said. "We made three three-point shots. They made three threes. They were six for 10 at the free-throw line. We were five for 11."

"One free throw. Essentially that was the difference in the game."

Brian Coleman made two free throws with 36 seconds left to give Corona del Mar the lead. The Vikings had a chance to win it, but Darren Harris missed five-foot shot with four seconds left.

"We tried to press and force the tempo of the game, but we got into foul trouble," McClune said. "They don't miss their foul shots."

Tuesday night, the Vikings suffered another disappointing defeat, losing to Bishop Garces Memorial, 69-67, in the first round of the Southern California Division IV Regional.

After St. Bernard's Michael Johnson tied the score, point guard Dominic Anzeldo made a three-foot shot at the buzzer to win it.

NEW COACH

Culver City delayed announcing its new football coach, awaiting approval from the Culver City Board of Education.

Assistant Principal William Coates submitted his recommendation, but the matter was not discussed at Tuesday's board meeting.

Coates refused to divulge his recommendation, but it is believed to be Centaur assistant Steve Carroll.

Carroll, 35, was a special teams and outside linebacker coach last season under Centaur coach Rob Moore. He was also a defensive coordinator under former coach Lou Lichtl in 1992.

In the interim, Carroll was the head football coach at Mayfair of Lakewood. Before coming to Culver City, Carroll was defensive coordinator under Andy Szabatura at Bishop Montgomery from 1985-87 and the Knights' coach from 1988 to 1991.

"I would hope that the administration at Culver City high would hire Steve to be the head coach," said Lichtl, who coached the Centaurs from 1988-1992. "He's on campus. He's familiar with the situation and he has proven track record."

CHANGE OF MIND

Westchester High center Ben Sanders said he will start the recruiting process all over again after Tim Grgurich announced his resignation as Nevada Las Vegas coach last week.

"As of right now, I'm opening it up and going through the recruiting process once again," said Sanders, a 6-foot-6 center who has been contacted by Tulane and Washington State. "I still have an offer to go to UNLV, but it's doubtful I'll go there."

Grgurich, who had been hospitalized much of the season because of mental exhaustion, resigned March 2, a day after the school reportedly received an NCAA letter of inquiry containing alleged violations. Those violations were reported to have occurred under Grgurich's predecessor, Rollie Massimino.

IMPATIENT

Ben's older brother Jason Sanders, said he may sign with Azusa Pacific, a National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics school.

Jason Sanders, who attends San Diego State, gave up his scholarship to play with the Aztecs during November because he was unhappy with the direction of the program.

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