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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Santa Clara Takes Walk After Loss

Division V: Cvijanovich escorts Saints off the court immediately following 80-46 setback to Horizon in semifinals.

March 13, 1998|GLAE THIEN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SAN DIEGO — Lou Cvijanovich had nearly run out of words.

It was not a kind visit for the Santa Clara High coach and his team at Horizon Christian on Thursday night. The Saints fell, 80-46, in the Division V semifinals of the Southern Regional in boys' basketball.

Cvijanovich voiced displeasure with the officiating during the game but then declined comment except for a brief statement after taking the Saints directly off the court without congratulations for the winners.

"We were extremely proud of our players because they held their composure," said Cvijanovich, who has won 798 games in his 40 years as coach. "Otherwise, I don't want to make a comment because you saw the game."

The reaction by the Saints (15-14) surprised Horizon Coach Zack Jones, whose Panthers (27-2) extended their school's home winning streak to 47 games.

"I've coached around the world and never had a team walk away after a game in that manner," Jones said. "I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't get to talk to Lou after the game because I respect him a lot for what he's done in high school basketball in California."

Neither team shot well at the outset but Horizon Christian pulled away with eight straight points for a 15-6 lead with 5:10 before halftime. The last two field goals in the streak came after Santa Clara turnovers.

The Panthers also had a 30-12 edge on the boards on the way to a 27-18 halftime lead. They hit only 10 of 31 shots from the field in the first half, slightly off the 7-of-20 showing by Santa Clara.

"At the beginning, our adrenaline was flowing. It wasn't because we were nervous," said Jones, discussing his club's early shooting woes. "The kids get so fired up that they just overdid it. After about seven minutes, we got our composure."

All 12 Horizon players scored--led by Zack Jones Jr. with 15 points and Jeremy Robinson with 14. Nick Jones scored 17 points for the Saints.

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