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Shipp Scores 33 to Lead Fairfax

March 14, 2004|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

Josh Shipp scored 33 points, a record for a Southern California Regional championship game, and the Los Angeles Fairfax boys' basketball team advanced to its first state championship game in school history with a 75-68 overtime victory Saturday over Etiwanda in the Division I final at the Sports Arena.

Shipp scored nine of his team's 14 overtime points.

"He's such an incredible competitor," Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said of Shipp, a UCLA-bound guard. "We're still suffering [from the loss in the City Section final] and this makes it a little better. The kids have shown so much resilience."

Etiwanda (31-3) held a 13-point lead late in the third quarter but fell behind by five late in the fourth. It tied the score on Darren Collison's three-point basket with four seconds remaining in regulation.

But Shipp, who broke a 16-year-old record for scoring and a 19-year-old record for field goals made (14), scored on a dunk off the tip in overtime, made a turnaround jumper and then a running jumper to give the Lions a 68-61 lead.

The Lions (26-5), who will play Concord De La Salle next Saturday in Sacramento in the state final, also got key play off the bench from freshman Chace Stanback and sophomore Jerren Shipp. Stanback scored eight points in the second half, including a three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter that gave Fairfax a 50-47 lead, its first since early in the third quarter.

Jerren Shipp then followed with consecutive three-point baskets to give the Lions a 58-53 lead with 4:25 remaining in the game.

Collison, who scored a season-low two points in a loss to Long Beach Poly in the Southern Section Division I-AA championship game last week, scored 27 to lead the Eagles.

The Lions can also give some credit to the City Section and Etiwanda for their first trip to the state final. Fairfax couldn't get past Western League rival Westchester the last three seasons, but the City Section banned the two-time defending Division I state champion from the postseason for an alleged recruiting violation over the transfer of 6-foot-9 junior center Amir Johnson from Los Angeles Verbum Dei.

Fairfax also couldn't beat Woodland Hills Taft in the City final last week, but Etiwanda knocked the Toreadors out of the playoffs in a regional semifinal Thursday.

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