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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Oxnard Keeps Its Cool, Stops Canyon Springs Cold, 95-81

Division I-AAA boys' basketball: Yellowjackets trail in fourth quarter on road but pull away with 19-2 surge.

February 21, 2001|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MORENO VALLEY — Playing fundamentally sound basketball and staying calm in the heat of the battle are traits that haven't always characterized Oxnard High the previous three seasons.

But the senior-dominated Yellowjackets displayed large amounts of both qualities in the fourth quarter of a 95-81 victory over Canyon Springs in a second-round game of the Southern Section Division I-AAA boys' playoffs on Tuesday night.

Oxnard (25-3) trailed, 67-65, after Carlton Arnwine of Canyon Springs made a layup with 6:47 left in the game.

But the Yellowjackets went on a 19-2 run to take an 84-69 lead with 2:24 remaining.

Jason Parker, a 5-foot-10 point guard, started the run with an eight-foot jumper in the lane and 6-8 center Nicholas Curtis ended it with two free throws.

Oxnard, which plays No. 2- seeded Rialto Eisenhower in a quarterfinal on Friday at a site to be determined today, made five of six shots and eight of nine free throws during the run while holding Canyon Springs (18-10) to one-for-nine shooting.

The Yellowjackets had only one turnover during that stretch after committing 15 in the first half.

"We've said all season that you've got to play four quarters if you're going to beat us," Oxnard Coach Henry Lobo said after the Yellowjackets reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 1965.

"This was a big game for them and they were playing in front of a good crowd in their house. But when we were tied at halftime, we felt like we had taken their best shot. We felt that if we played our game [in the second half], we were going to take them out."

Parker, who had 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, concurred.

"We knew that if we got back to basics, stayed calm and played our game, we'd have a great chance at winning," Parker said.

Oxnard, which has won 15 consecutive games, fell behind, 20-11, in the first six minutes. But the Yellowjackets cut their deficit to 24-22 at the end of the first quarter and were tied, 44-44, at halftime.

Johnathan Monette of Oxnard had 17 of his 24 points in the first half and guard Jonathan Davis had 10 of his 13.

Curtis had 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Jason Braxton had 24 points for Canyon Springs.

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