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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

High School Notebook

February 16, 2000|DAVE DESMOND

It was a good week for Agoura, which won three games to tie Simi Valley and Royal for second in the Marmonte League. The Chargers won a coin flip and reached the Division II-AA playoffs, where they host a postseason game for the first time in eight seasons under Coach Ollie Otis.

"We're going to try everything we can to pack the place," said Otis, whose team plays Gahr.

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Oxnard High's girls are 21-6 despite having no player averaging more than 10 points per game.

That's because scoring isn't the focus. It's defense.

A Yellowjacket practice can sometimes resemble a street fight more than a shoot-around.

"They can get pretty rugged," assistant Richard Arias said.

Recently, key players Michelle Morgan and Rhoda Cutchon went down with knee injuries during the same practice.

Both are expected back Saturday, when Oxnard hosts either Crescenta Valley or Palmdale in the second round of the Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs.

The Yellowjackets are 16-6 against teams in the playoffs and are allowing only 39.8 points per game. Oxnard opponents have scored fewer than 40 points 15 times this season.

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Third-seeded Newbury Park, which has a bye in the first round of the Division II-A playoffs, has the region's longest winning streak among girls' teams.

The Panthers (22-4) have won 17 consecutive games and their first Marmonte League championship since 1995 despite losing top player Bridget Harris last month to a season-ending knee injury.

Newbury Park will host either Burroughs or Bonita on Saturday in a second-round game.

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Senior guard Amy Lowe of top-seeded Alemany (21-5) will miss at least two weeks of the Division III playoffs with a knee injury.

Lowe, a senior and one of the Indians' most tenacious defenders, injured her knee on Feb. 3 against Harvard-Westlake while diving into the stands for a loose ball.

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It's a hectic time of year for most playoff coaches, but few have been busier than Brian Taylor of Harvard-Westlake.

Last week, he flew to the East Coast, where he was inducted into the New Jersey Sportswriters' Hall of Fame. Taylor was a high school All-American there before starring for Princeton and the New Jersey Nets, among other pro teams.

Last weekend, he attended the NBA All-Star game in Oakland and participated in meetings of the retired NBA players' association.

"It was amazing," Taylor said. "We had a great time."

Taylor managed the trips while missing only one practice at Harvard-Westlake, which hosts Western on Thursday in the first round of the Division III playoffs.

Taylor is also involved with plans for an upcoming visit to the Southland by presidential candidate Bill Bradley.

Bradley, a Princeton alum, helped recruit Taylor to the Ivy League school in the 1960s.

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