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Shipp Has Touch for Fairfax

March 21, 2004|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — The Los Angeles Fairfax boys' basketball team looked a bit lost in the first half Saturday against Concord De La Salle in the Divison I state final -- until Josh Shipp rediscovered his shooting touch.

Shipp, a UCLA-bound senior guard, tied a Division I state record with five three-point baskets, all in the second half, and the Lions allowed the fewest points in state finals history in a 51-35 victory at Arco Arena.

"To end my senior year with a win is great," said Shipp, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

The victory earned Fairfax (27-5) its first state title, extended the City Section's streak of victories in the Division I state final to eight and improved the section's record to 14-1 in championship games.

Neither team played well during a low-scoring first half. De La Salle (30-3) missed 17 of 21 shots and committed 11 turnovers. Fairfax was out-rebounded, 20-12, and had just one assist. The teams combined for four field goals and nine points in the first quarter.

Shipp made one of seven shots and scored three points in the first half. He and 6-foot-8 junior center Jamal Boykin picked up their third fouls in the third quarter, but that didn't stop Shipp from making three three-pointers and scoring 11 points to extend Fairfax's lead to 29-22. Jerren Shipp, a sophomore, then made a three-pointer to start the fourth quarter and Jamal Clay converted a thunderous dunk on a breakaway after a turnover to put the Lions in command, 34-22.

De La Salle closed to within nine, 34-25, but Josh Shipp hit consecutive three-pointers to tie the record set by L.A. Crenshaw's Alastair Faux in 1996.

"I had a lot of ins and outs in the first half," Shipp said of his shots. "I just kept shooting the ball."

De La Salle, which broke the record for fewest points in a state final that was set earlier Saturday by Oakland Bishop O'Dowd in a 60-36 loss to Compton Centennial, made 12 of 48 shots, including five of 27 three-pointers.

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