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Crespi Gets Lincoln on Run, 74-63

Division IV boys' basketball: Surviving 33 points by Davis, Celts get semifinal against unbeaten Garces.


ENCINO — With shots being thrown up at a furious pace and balls ricocheting everywhere, Kingsley Anyanwu of Crespi High was in ecstasy.

"I love that style of basketball--up tempo, run-and-gun," he said. "It was kind of like City [Section] ball."

Anyanwu, a 6-foot-4 senior, scored 28 points, had 16 rebounds and blocked four shots Tuesday night in Crespi's 74-63 victory over San Diego Lincoln Academy in an opening game of the Southern Region Division IV playoffs.

Crespi (24-6) plays at Bakersfield Garces (29-0) in a semifinal game Thursday night.

The Celts had to survive a 33-point performance by sophomore guard Shaun Davis of Lincoln (21-9). He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, but he missed 22 shots in the game.

Crespi led, 28-26, at halftime despite making only 11 of 31 shots. The Celts were hurrying their shots and not setting screens or making extra passes that were so important in helping them win the Southern Section Division IV-AA championship.

"I think we were caught up in the emotion and didn't play well," point guard Allan Ellis said. "Coach [Dick] Dornan told us we had to pass the ball around and find the open man."

Crespi went on an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 40-30 lead. Lincoln got as close as 51-48 with 4:38 remaining after Jordan Webster's three-pointer.

But the Hornets started to foul, and Crespi responded by making 20 of 23 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Davis was a marked man on the court. He came in averaging 26 points. Ellis did his best to get a hand in his face. Anyanwu provided support, twice blocking shots by Davis, who made 12 of 34 shots.

"I just tried to contain him," Ellis said. "I knew he was going to shoot a lot."

But this was a game perfectly suited for Anyanwu, who played two years at Taft before transferring to Crespi.

Anyanwu has the skills to play any position in high school, and he was doing his best imitation of a center with his dominating rebounding and shot blocking. He also ran the court like a guard.

"He's a very special player," Dornan said. "He can drive, he can dish, he can score, he can do it all."

Said Anyanwu: "I taught myself to play it all. I'm really a wing player, but I'll do whatever they need."

Crespi received a critical contribution from 6-6 center Paul Angel, who scored 14 points, including six of six free throws.

Andrew Moore had 16 points, including seven during Crespi's 30-point fourth quarter.

Davis made consecutive three-pointers in the final 45 seconds to pull Lincoln to within 68-63.

"I've never seen somebody his size dominate like that," Anyanwu said of the 5-9 Davis.

But Anyanwu provided his own brand of excitement.

After he scored and was fouled with 1:02 left, Principal David Doyle was so inspired he ran up and down the sideline trying to exhort Celt fans into cheering louder.

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