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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | BOYS' BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

Oxnard Flips Over Homespun Turn of Events

February 22, 2001|JOHN ORTEGA

Oxnard will host Rialto Eisenhower in a Southern Section Division I-AAA quarterfinal Friday night after winning a coin flip held at the section office in Cerritos on Wednesday.

Oxnard (25-3), the No. 7-seeded team in the division, defeated Moreno Valley Canyon Springs, 95-81, in a second-round game Tuesday to advance to its first quarterfinal since 1965.

Coach Henry Lobo did not relish the thought of another long bus ride to Friday's game.

"It's always big to play at home because you get the fan support," Lobo said. "But not having to travel is also a big thing. If we had had to travel [a minimum of 120 miles] two games in a row, it would have been real tough. We would have given it our best shot, but it would have been tough."

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Foul trouble limited Oxnard center Nicholas Curtis to five points in the first half against Canyon Springs. But the Yellowjackets were tied, 44-44, at halftime.

Johnathan Monette scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half, Jonathan Davis had 10 of his 13 and Shamir Simmons had eight of his 12.

"That was huge," Oxnard guard Jason Parker said after scoring 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. "Everyone knows that Nick is the man for us, so it was big when the other guys stepped up like that."

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Lobo didn't mince words when asked about second-seeded Eisenhower.

"They're the best defensive team we will have faced this season," he said. "They're athletic. They're big. They're quick. There's a reason why they're 24-4."

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