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Simi Valley Goes South at Clovis West, 100-64

Boys basketball: Close game turns into a rout as Pioneers have no answer for Golden Eagles in second half.

March 09, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FRESNO — The Branduinn Fullove and Brett Michel era at Simi Valley High came to a less than satisfying conclusion in a first-round game of the Southern Regional Division I boys' basketball playoffs on Wednesday night, but there was nothing that the two four-year starters or their teammates could do about it.

Clovis West simply overwhelmed the Pioneers (28-4) in a second half of a 100-64 victory that ended Simi Valley's season with consecutive losses.

"They're very deep and they come at you in waves," Coach Christian Aurand said. "That was a big key."

Simi Valley, which lost to Mater Dei, 53-39, in the Southern Section Division I-A title game at the Arrowhead Pond on Saturday night, trailed, 48-40, at halftime. But the Pioneers were outscored, 11-0, in the first three minutes of the second half and, 27-12, in the third quarter.

"We felt pretty good at halftime," said Fullove, who had 17 points. "We didn't handle the ball very well, but you can't be too upset when you turn the ball over a lot and are only down by eight."

Simi Valley, which tied the school single-season record set during the 1987-88 and 1998-99 seasons with 28 victories, made 16 of 24 shots (66.7%) in the first half, but had 13 turnovers.

The turnovers continued in the second half, but the Pioneers made only nine of 26 shots.

Clovis West (37-2), which won its fourth consecutive Central Section Division I title last week, scored three baskets after getting offensive rebounds in the second quarter. The Golden Eagles accomplished that six times in the third quarter.

Charlie Rodriguez, a 6-foot-6 sophomore center who scored 25 points, led the Clovis West assault. He scored all of the Golden Eagles' points during an 8-2 run when they extended a 53-40 lead with 6:57 left in the quarter to 61-42 with 4:33 remaining.

"We knew that they shot the lights out in the first half," said Jason Walberg, a Clovis West reserve who had 15 points on five three-point baskets. "But I think we wore them out in the second half. I think their legs were gone and that's why they started missing shots."

Clovis West, which has won 19 consecutive games, had five players score in double figures, led by point guard Chris Hernandez with 20.

Fullove's 17 points gave him 2,216 during his career while Michel's 13 gave him 2,051.

Junior center Dustin Villepigue had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Pioneers.

On this night, there was no overcoming Clovis West's depth.

"We talked to some people who had played them," Aurand said. "And they told us to be careful. That it could be a two-, three- or four-point game for a while and then turn into a 20-point game in two or three minutes. And that's what happened."

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Alemany girls' team takes shot at Bishop Montgomery. Page 10

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