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High Schools | BOYS' BASKETBALL

Etiwanda Takes Out Taft, 57-54

March 12, 2004|Eric Sondheimer, John Ortega

Down by 10 points with 2 1/2 minutes left, City Section champion Woodland Hills Taft rallied to take a one-point lead, but Etiwanda's Darren Collison scored on a layup with three seconds left to provide the decisive points in a 57-54 Eagle victory in a Southern Regional Division I semifinal game Thursday at Pierce College.

Etiwanda (31-2) survived the second consecutive 38-point playoff performance by Taft's Jordan Farmar, who scored 27 of his team's 29 second-half points. Farmar scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, leading a frantic rally that culminated in an 11-0 Taft surge. Farmar's two free throws with eight seconds left gave Taft a 54-53 lead.

Then Collison, a junior point guard, dribbled the length of the court to score the go-ahead basket. Taft (28-3) called timeout with one second left, but an attempted inbound pass struck a wire on the ceiling, giving the ball to Etiwanda. David Carter made two free throws with less than a second left for the final points.

"I did everything I could," said Farmar, who made 13 of 14 free throws and contributed two three-point baskets in the fourth quarter.

Etiwanda's offensive balance was critical to its victory. Center Jeff Pendergraph scored 15 points, Collison had 12 and Daniel Houtz and Joey Smits each contributed a pair of three-point baskets.

The Eagles will play City runner-up Los Angeles Fairfax, a 55-52 winner over top-seeded Oceanside El Camino, at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Sports Arena for the right to play in next weekend's state final in Sacramento.

Eric Sondheimer

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Compton Centennial 57, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake 45 -- Arron Afflalo scored a game-high 25 points to help the visiting Apaches end a three-game playoff losing streak to second-seeded Harvard-Westlake in a Division III semifinal.

Centennial (30-3) had lost to Harvard-Westlake (23-8) in the Southern Section Division III-A championship game at the Pond on Saturday and in the III-A title game and semifinals of the Southern Regional last year.

The third-seeded Apaches used a 16-0 run Thursday to take a 27-6 lead with 3:51 left in the first half and withstood a Harvard-Westlake rally in the fourth quarter to advance to the regional final Saturday against top-seeded Santa Margarita, a 65-45 winner over Fresno Washington.

John Ortega

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L.A. Verbum Dei 55, Fresno San Joaquin Memorial 53 -- Lowell Grisham, a 6-8 senior forward, put back Mike Pagan's missed jumper at the buzzer to give the Eagles (20-9) the Division IV semifinal victory at home.

Grisham finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds and 6-8 sophomore forward Matt Shaw had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

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