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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | WAR ON THE FLOOR ROUNDUP

Added Intrigue to Arenas Watch

July 01, 1998|PAIGE A. LEECH and MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

CHATSWORTH — Dressed in orange and black street clothes and orange suede shoes, Gilbert Arenas of Grant High was sporting his school colors as a spectator Tuesday at the War on the Floor boys' basketball tournament at Chatsworth.

When Sylmar High took the floor for a game against Kennedy, Arenas, who has hinted he might transfer to Sylmar, didn't head for a phone booth for a quick change.

But he may have a "S" on his chest soon.

"Maybe I'll play tomorrow," Arenas said.

Arenas, who might be the region's top recruit next year, told his Lancer teammates and Grant Coach Howie Levine after a summer league game on June 22 that he will no longer play for the Lancers during the summer.

Levine countered by saying if Arenas plays for another school team this summer, he will not be welcomed back on the Grant team in the fall, Arenas said.

So the cat-and-mouse game continues. And Arenas sits.

But Sylmar didn't need the services of the sharp-shooting guard against Kennedy on Tuesday in a 46-35 pool-play victory, its second in as many days.

Sylmar looked outstanding at times, average at others. The Spartans took a 14-4 lead in the opening minutes, but allowed Kennedy back into the game with an 11-4 run.

"I thought we played terrible," Sylmar Coach Bort Escoto said. "I thought we played down to the competition."

Escoto blamed "typical summertime conditions" as the possible reason for his team's mental lapses.

"It's hot, they play a lot of games, guys showing up just before game time, guys having to work in the snack bar all day," he said.

"It's not your ideal basketball conditions."

Seemingly unfazed by the unfavorable conditions was forward Jeremiah Turner, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Turner, who grabbed six rebounds in the first half, scored five of the Spartans' first 10 second-half points to give his team a 34-19 advantage.

Anthony Cosby scored 10 for Kennedy (0-2).

Chatsworth 61, Simi Valley 57--The Chancellors led by as many as 16 points in the second half before holding on to upset the Pioneers.

Ronald Ruffin and Marlik Morris each scored 15 points for Chatsworth (1-1) and Marc Cannon had 13.

Rafael Berumen, who missed the opening game of the tournament with a leg injury, scored 21 points for Simi Valley (1-1).

Clovis West 62, Canoga Park 49--The Hunters (1-1) suffered from two Clovis West scoring spurts and could not recover.

Jammie Harris had 18 points for Canoga Park.

Clovis West (2-0) formed a 13-0 run to take a 15-4 lead in the opening minutes and led, 34-22, at halftime.

Canoga Park started fast in the second half and closed to 42-40 on a tip-in by Mike Gomes.

But Clovis West put together a 14-0 run to take a 56-40 lead with 5:13 remaining.

Compton Centennial 87, Taft 68--Without two players who were stuck in traffic, the Toreadors (0-2) started slowly, trailed by 10 at halftime and never got closer than nine points in the second half.

Raja Boykins scored 19, Eric Bowen had 16 and Ronald Gray added 10 for Taft.

Point guard Eric Alvarez and reserve Derrick McCoy arrived for the final eight minutes.

Centennial is 2-0.

Buchanan 72, Granada Hills 46--Point guard Jason Perry made eight three-pointers and finished with 30 points against Granada Hills (0-2).

Perry's four three-pointers helped Buchanan (2-0) build a 37-20 halftime lead.

Cleveland 54, Santa Monica 40--Kenny Mason, Kent Dennis and Brian Smith, all returning starters, combined for 41 points for the Cavaliers (2-0).

Mason scored 21 points, including five three-point shots. Dennis scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half and Smith added nine.

Notre Dame 55, Valencia 50--Cody Pearson scored 20 points in the first half and the Knights won their second consecutive game.

Pearson, who will be a sophomore, was Notre Dame's sixth-man last year but took charge immediately, scoring 18 points in the first half.

Royce Minor scored 21 points and Eskias McDaniels added 13 for Valencia (0-2).

Burbank 2, Inglewood 0--The Bulldogs (1-1) took a forfeit victory when Inglewood failed to show.

Crespi 2, Compton Dominguez 0--The Dons were no-shows against Crespi (1-1), forfeiting their second game in as many days.

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