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BETWEEN THE LINES | HIGH SCHOOLS

This Was One Tip That Ended Up Creating Reruns

December 18, 1996

Keith Johnson of Taft High couldn't sleep Friday night.

Not until he saw The Play for himself--again and again. Johnson, who videotaped the telecast of the City Section 4-A Division football final at the Coliseum, rushed home to his VCR after the Toreadors' 22-20 loss to San Pedro to find out what went wrong.

He wanted to see how the pass he nearly intercepted was instead tipped into the hands of receiver Tim O'Donnell, who scored on a 43-yard play that gave San Pedro a 22-13 lead.

"I watched it over and over," Johnson said.

Four times to be exact.

"I had it," Johnson said. "I don't know what happened."

Bad timing: It happened only once in four playoff games, but it proved the difference between being a City 3-A football champion and a runner-up.

In four playoff games, Van Nuys was scored on only once in the second half--outscoring four opponents, 34-7. The one second-half touchdown Van Nuys allowed was the one that beat the Wolves, 14-7, in the final against Wilson.

"We'd hoped that being a second-half team, we'd play a little bit better," Coach Mark Pomerantz said. "We just couldn't get it done."

Not so fast: For Saturday's Southern Section Division X football final between Nordhoff and St. Bonaventure, the Ojai Valley News printed up hundreds of placards with a bold "Go Rangers" and "1996 DIV. X CHAMPS" on one side.

Nordhoff lost, 18-14.

Unfinished business: Shortly after Nordhoff lost, Ranger Coach Cliff Farrar reflected on his team's second home defeat in a section title game in three seasons.

"There's only two teams in the entire division that make it here," Farrar said. "If you think of yourself as a loser because you don't win the championship, then you didn't enjoy the journey."

No mas: The Chaminade High boys' basketball team has seen enough of Simi Valley. The Eagles (5-3) have lost two games to the Pioneers, both by nine points. Simi Valley (5-0) is ranked fifth in The Times' regional poll.

Sophomore point guard Cayce Cook of Chaminade, a transfer from Las Vegas, is the son of Pepperdine assistant Darwin Cook.

To the extreme: Louisville High faced tough competition and even tougher weather during the Jasper Place girls' basketball tournament last week in Edmonton, Canada. The Royals (5-2), a Southern Section Division IV-AA semifinalist last season, placed third with a 2-1 record, losing to Chino.

Louisville braved temperatures in the 10-degree range before returning home Sunday.

"We went from wearing long underwear and gloves to shorts and T-shirts in one day," Coach Paula Getty-Shearer said.

Senior Becky Witt scored 51 points and was selected to the all-tournament team.

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