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notes and quotes from around the Valley and Ventura


January 21, 1998

Riley comes to life: Jerome Riley was one of the most improved players on the Birmingham football team. Now he's making the same impact on the basketball court.

Riley, a backup a year ago, teams with Fahim Hassenkhail in one of the Northwest Valley Conference's best defensive backcourts. Riley has 30 steals in the last three games, including 12 against Monroe and 11 against Chatsworth.

"He's just become really sound in his defense play," Birmingham Coach Al Bennett said.

Riley must try to shut down Kent Dennis today against Cleveland. Dennis averages 20.3 points a game.


Pizza time: The Thousand Oaks girls' basketball team took care of the ball last week, so Coach Chuck Brown had little choice but to take care of his players.

The Lancers committed only six turnovers in a 53-47 Marmonte League victory over Channel Islands, forcing Brown to reward the team with a pizza dinner.

"That's the fewest turnovers any of my teams has had in 42 years of coaching," Brown said.

"When the girls heard me say that, they kept asking me when I was going to take them out for pizza."


Fit for a tie: When the Valencia boys' soccer team is lacking offensive output, Coach Jerry Stupar knows he can turn to goalkeeper Ricky Zeller.

The Vikings trailed Foothill League rival Burbank, 1-0, in the second half Friday. Stupar put another player in goal and moved Zeller to forward. He scored to pull out a 1-1 tie.

Zeller came out to score once earlier this season. A defender on last year's team, he became this season's goalkeeper by default when the starter broke his leg. Now he's allowing a goal per game and averages six saves.


Night moves: At the start of the soccer season, Simi Valley boys' Coach Rob Looyen made a push to move the site of the Pioneers' home games from the football stadium to an adjacent field that is about 15 yards longer and 12 yards wider but unlike the stadium, does not have lights.

Games were moved from 5:30 p.m. to 2:30, but other schools were slow to acknowledge the switch. Channel Islands never showed for an early season game and Friday, Newbury Park insisted on playing at the originally scheduled time in the stadium.

Now, Looyen has thrown up his hands and Simi Valley will play the rest of its home schedule at night.

"We're having trouble getting officials [for afternoon games] and our players seem to think they play better on the smaller field," Looyen said.

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