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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Palmdale Trips Up Littlerock

Golden: Smith scores nine points in fourth quarter and Falcons keep streak alive, 36-33.

January 21, 1998|DAVE DESMOND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LITTLEROCK — Palmdale High faced the sobering possibility of losing its first Golden League girls' basketball game in three seasons on Tuesday night.

Then they took a few shots of Brandy.

Brandy Smith scored nine of her 13 points in the fourth quarter to help the Falcons claim a 36-33 decision over Littlerock, their 34th consecutive league victory.

Palmdale (9-12, 4-0 in league play), three-time defending Golden League champion, trailed by 14 points after one quarter and didn't pull even until Smith scored from inside early in the fourth quarter.

Smith's free throw with 45 seconds left gave the Falcons a 34-33 lead.

Littlerock (10-8, 3-1) had an opportunity to tie the score or go ahead, but sophomore Lizette Rams missed two free throws with six seconds remaining.

Jennifer Keating of Palmdale grabbed the rebound on the second miss, was fouled, and made two free throws to clinch the victory with four seconds remaining.

"We played about as bad as we could play and still won," said Palmdale Coach George Corisis, whose team committed 28 turnovers and made only 11 of 39 shots. "We got very lucky tonight."

Littlerock, which lost its 12th consecutive game to Palmdale, has its best team in the program's seven-season history.

The Lobos appeared to be unimpressed with Palmdale's tradition, streak and past dominance.

"There's no Palmdale mystique," Littlerock Coach Tom Hegre said. "We were not afraid of them or their reputation."

That showed early in the game, when the Lobos led, 16-2, after one quarter.

Carrie Miller of Littlerock scored seven of her 14 points in the first quarter. Teammate Krystel Jones added 11 points.

The Lobos, however, made only five of 33 shots in the final three quarters.

Highland still had a 28-22 lead entering the fourth quarter, but made only one of its last 10 shots.

Smith, a 6-foot-1 junior center, was inserted into Palmdale's starting lineup six games ago.

She sat on the bench much of the early season after joining the team late because she wanted to focus on improving her grades.

"I didn't even know if I was going to play this year," said Smith, who added nine rebounds against the Lobos.

"I'm glad I did."

Summer Hoban of Palmdale scored nine points and Vonetta Lanier added eight.

The Falcons, who were 3-11 at one point this season, have won six of their past seven games and are the only remaining unbeaten team in Golden League play.

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