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Chatsworth Gets Together and Gives Cleveland a 79-73 Beating

February 01, 1996|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

RESEDA — For most of the season, the Chatsworth High boys' basketball team depended heavily on seniors Eddie Miller and Jerome Joseph--at times too much so.

After struggling with six losses the first month of the season, Miller, Joseph and their teammates may finally have turned the Chancellors' season around.

Miller, a 6-foot-8 center, scored 30 points in the first three quarters and Joseph scored 11 of his 25 in the final quarter to seal a 79-73 victory at Cleveland on Wednesday, snapping the West Valley League leader's six-game winning streak.

Chatsworth (8-9, 5-2 in league play) has won four consecutive games, putting itself back in the City Section 4-A playoff race after a rough start against a difficult pre-Northwest Valley Conference schedule.

"We still have a goal to win the league," Joseph said. "We know if we win the league we get in the playoffs no matter what. If we don't, [the City Section] might look at our overall record and keep us out."

Miller, who has often played on the outside this season, was a dominating inside presence for the Chancellors, making 10 of 15 shots and grabbing 15 rebounds.

The Cavaliers keyed on Miller in the fourth quarter, holding him scoreless, but freed up Joseph, whose three-point basket halfway through the fourth quarter gave Chatsworth the lead for good, 68-66.

Joseph rebounded Miller's miss with 2:20 left and scored for a 72-66 lead that forced Cleveland to foul the rest of the game.

Forward Kevin Bentley made four free throws and Joseph added two to help clinch the victory.

Cleveland (12-8, 6-1) kept close with a balanced attack and full-court pressure, which forced 22 turnovers.

Forward Donald Holt finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers after being held scoreless the first quarter.

Guard Junior Brignac added 17 points but slowed down after picking up his fourth foul late in the third quarter. Point guard Jerome Grant had 12 points.

Cleveland's Derrick McGhee collided with Joseph in the final seconds and fell to the floor with a head injury. McGhee, who suffered a concussion, was taken to Northridge Medical Center then released.

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