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Valley Wins Quarterfinal With Flurry at the Finish

Men's basketball: Monarchs use 12-0 run in final minutes to beat Fresno, 81-75, in state tournament.


STOCKTON — That good old second-half magic worked for Valley College again.

This time it bailed out the Monarchs in an 81-75 victory over Fresno in a quarterfinal game of the men's junior college state championships Thursday at the University of the Pacific.

"I need the cardiac unit right now," Valley Coach Doug Michelson said.

They might want to keep the unit around for tonight. The Monarchs (27-8) meet Sequoias (25-10), which defeated top-ranked L.A. City (34-3), in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. at Pacific.

Moorpark defeated San Joaquin Delta, 46-42, to advance to the other semifinal at 8 p.m.

Valley trailed, 40-33, at halftime and 69-59 with 5:39 to play before launching a 12-0 run for a 71-69 lead with 1:37 remaining.

Center Michael Crawford and guard Felix Lang sparked the rally. Crawford, who finished with a team-high 19 points, and Lang, who finished with 13, each scored five points in the blitz.

"We always play from behind and find a way to win," said Crawford, a freshman from Simi Valley High.

Crawford, who played much of the second half with four fouls, made a free throw with 17 seconds to play to put Valley ahead, 77-75.

Fresno (30-4) had a chance to tie the score, but forward Terri Miller was stripped of the ball on a drive to the basket. Lang picked it up and tossed it to Jerrohn Jordan.

The Rams were forced to foul Jordan, who made both free throws with three seconds to play for a 79-75 lead. Jordan scored on a layup as time ran out.

The pace was fast much of the game, something Michelson didn't believe would benefit the Monarchs.

Valley trailed, 7-0, before taking a 15-7 lead behind Crawford, Lang and Isaac Williamson, who scored five points in the run. Crawford and Lang each had four points.

Crawford drove home two of his four points during the run with a running dunk off a missed layup by point guard Joe Bakhoum.

"That's not our tempo," Michelson said. "But we run on opportunity.

"We were literally hanging in there. . . . The kids have a tremendous will to win. Maybe that's better than execution."

Jordan finished with 18 points, Williamson had 12 and Lang 13.

Miller led Fresno with 17 points.

Moorpark 46, Delta 42--The Raiders made only 20 of 55 shots (36%) but held Delta to 31% (17 of 54) to overcome a 24-18 halftime deficit.

"We didn't shoot well, but we played phenomenal defense," said assistant Howard Davis.

Kenny Plummer finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists to lead Moorpark (27-7). Dan Galvanoni had 12 points and four assists and O.J. Thomas had six points, four steals, three rebounds and three assists.

The Raiders forced 20 turnovers and converted them into 21 points.

Delta (30-5) hit only two of 20 three-point shots.

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