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Kilpatrick Can Build on Prosperity

March 10, 2001|STEVEN HERBERT

Kilpatrick's unprecedented success will have long-term benefits for its players, Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer Richard Shumsky said.

"When you give a child the ability to succeed, they'll make more appropriate life decisions in the future," said Shumsky, a Los Angeles County probation officer for 32 years.

The Mustangs' best boys' basketball season ended Thursday night with a 60-59 loss at Price High in a Southern Regional Division V semifinal.

Andrew Howard made the second of two free throws with half a second remaining after Kilpatrick was assessed a technical foul for calling a timeout it did not have.

Kilpatrick is a juvenile detention facility in Malibu's Encinal Canyon operated by the probation department.

The majority of its players have never played organized basketball before, Shumsky said.

The Mustangs (27-3) reached their first Southern Section final, losing to Downey Calvary Chapel, 66-53, last Saturday in the Division V-AA game at the Arrowhead Pond, and qualified for their first state tournament.

"We're very proud," said Shumsky, who attended Thursday's game. "The kids came a long way."

Shumsky praised Kilpatrick's players for the way they handled the loss.

"I'm delighted that the kids overcame the bitter disappointment and conducted themselves like gentlemen," Shumsky said Friday.

"I don't think too many teams--college, professional or high school--would conduct themselves in such a manner because that was heartbreaking."

Shumsky said he attended seven games during the season. Supervisors Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky also attended games and "were impressed" by the team, Shumsky said.

Kilpatrick has the satisfaction of giving Price its toughest game in the postseason. The Knights breezed though the Southern Section Division V-A playoffs with victories by 69, 52, 57, 43 and 38 points, and won their state tournament opener by 15.

"This is an outstanding basketball team," Price Coach Michael Lynch said of Kilpatrick. "They had something to do with how close the game got. They've got a great player [Keilon Fortune] who got them right back in it."

Fortune scored 24 points, including 12 of the Mustangs' final 19.

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