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High Schools | DAILY REPORT

Exhibitions to Feature Chinese Team

October 04, 2003|John Ortega;Lauren Peterson;Eric Sondheimer

The Chinese Junior Olympic basketball team, which has four players 7 feet or taller, will play exhibition games against a group of high school players from the Inland Empire on Sunday and from the San Fernando Valley on Thursday.

Inland Empire Basketball Program plays host to the Chinese team at 7 p.m. Sunday at Los Osos High in Rancho Cucamonga. Inland Empire is a senior-oriented team led by Daniel Fleming, a 6-7 forward from Murrieta Valley, 6-0 point guard Tim Denson of Corona Santiago, 6-1 guard Ira Graham of Fontana, 6-6 forward Andrew Green of Perris and 7-1 center Michael Boone of Loma Linda Academy.

The Slam Jam Basketball Program of the San Fernando Valley, led by 6-6 All-City player Nick Young of Reseda Cleveland, plays host to the Chinese at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cleveland High.

The Chinese team is composed of 15- to 17-year-old players with minimal international experience. Mingming Sun, 17, is the tallest player at 7-6.

Lindsay Flacks of North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, who won the Division IV girls' title in the Stanford Invitational cross-country meet last Saturday, appears to have learned a lesson.

After being slowed by a groin injury at the end of the 2002 season, the Wolverine senior has concluded there are times when she needs to reduce her training load if her body is hurting.

Flacks, who will run today in the Kenny Staub Invitational at Crescenta Valley Park in Glendale, sustained a groin injury playing club soccer during the early part of her junior cross-country season, but tried not to let it slow her.

As a result, the injury worsened and forced her to drop out of the Southern Section Division IV preliminaries and miss the final.

She finished ninth in the Division IV race of the state championships the next week, but that was disappointing because she placed third as a sophomore.

"She just didn't have that confidence that she needed because of the injury," Harvard-Westlake Coach Kim Hieatt said. "The [groin] is still something that we're always aware of. She knows she has to back off from some of the harder interval workouts."

The West Torrance girls' cross-country team presents a challenge, as Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula found out recently.

Peninsula had not been beaten in league competition since the school opened in 1991, but West Torrance defeated the Panthers in the first Bay League meet of the season on Sept. 25.

"It's a big win," West Torrance Coach Kent Wyatt said of his team's 40-41 victory. "We thought we could run with them after the way we ran at Woodbridge, but it's a big deal to actually do it."

West Torrance, which hasn't advanced to the Southern Section preliminaries in the previous six years, finished 26 points behind first-place Peninsula in the 14-team South Bay Challenge on Sept. 17. But the Warriors surprised many at the Irvine Woodbridge Invitational three days later when they won the Division II title.

Woodbridge marked the cross-country debut of Angela Spadafino, an athlete who previously excelled in volleyball and track, and was the first time this season that all of the Warriors' top runners ran in the same meet.

"That was the first time we realized, 'Hey. We've got something here,' " Wyatt said. "Our goal at the start of the season was to advance to the section prelims. Now our goal is to make it to [the state championships]."

John Ortega

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Kaes Van't Hof, a senior at Santa Ana Mater Dei, has committed to USC. Kaes, a left-hander who was the boys' CIF interscholastic division runner-up in last year's Ojai tennis tournament, will follow in his father's footsteps. Robert Van't Hof, teaching pro at Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach, played at USC from 1978 to '80, winning the NCAA men's singles championship in 1980.

-- Lauren Peterson

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Nathan Longshore of Canyon Country Canyon, considered among the top quarterbacks in Southern California, announced Thursday he has committed to California. Longshore has been a fan of Cal Coach Jeff Tedford, who helped former Newhall Hart quarterback Kyle Boller. Still to be decided is when Longshore, a Mormon, would take his planned mission.

Josh Shipp, a 6-foot-5 All-City basketball player from Los Angeles Fairfax, has committed to UCLA, becoming the third City Section player to accept a scholarship offer from new Bruin Coach Ben Howland.

Jordan Farmar from Woodland Hills Taft and Lorenzo Mata from South Gate earlier committed to UCLA.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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