2017 Week 4: U. City, Mira Mesa Enjoying Ride

How significant is 4-0?

Depends on your perspective.

Nice, but, hey, we’re used to being there, would be the reaction from Mission Hills, Calexico Vincent Memorial, Christian, Crawford, El Centro Southwest, San Marcos, and Calvin Christian.

All of those teams have reached the above juncture at least once since 2013.

Madison, La Costa Canyon, and El Centro Central have reason to feel more than nice.

Madison?

No, the Warhawks, despite winning state championships in ’12 and ’16, haven’t been 4-0 since 2011. La Costa Canyon last was 4-0 in 2009 and El Centro Central in 2008.

Which leaves two others from this eclectic group of 14. They wouldn’t know 4-0 from a leather football.

None of the 2017 University City or Mira Mesa players were around when their schools were unbeaten and untied at this point.

For U. City it hasn’t  happened since 1992, when the Steve Vokojevich-coached Centurions finished with a 9-2 record, best in school history.

For Mira Mesa it was 1997, when the Marauders were 8-4 in Gary Blevins’ second season as head coach.

University City was 60-151-3 (.287) under seven different coaches from 1993 until 2014, when Charles James, now trying to rejuvenate San Diego High, was 7-5.  The Centurions are 19-9 since 2015 under Ryan Price.

BLEVINS FOLLOWED BRAD

Blevins, in his 22nd season, is only the second head coach at Mira Mesa.

Brad Griffith ran the program from its start-up in 1977 until he retired after the 1994 season.

Try finding another of the 90-odd teams playing football in the San Diego Section with similar stability.

Over 196 games during Griffith’s 18 seasons, the Marauders  compiled a 112-76-2 (.577) record, won two league championships, appeared in one San Diego Section title game, and got to the playoff semifinals four times.

Blevins reached game 196 in his 16th season in 2010 and was 120-73-3 (.620), had won or tied for 5 league titles and reached the semis five times and the championship game once.

Mira Mesa is only 28-39-1 since 2011 and their unbeaten start will be facing stiffer challenges, beginning this week against Steele Canyon, followed by Morse and Western League rivals Point Loma, Cathedral, St. Augustine, and Madison, opponents with a combined 11-8 record.

University City is not faced with such a daunting challenge as it prepares for City League play. Crawford, in Week 6, is the most formidable. Combined, Centurion opponents, also including Serra, Hoover, Patrick Henry, and La Jolla are 8-11.

The Union-Tribune Week 4 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (22) 3-0 274 1
2. Madison (4) 4-0 249 2
3. Helix (2) 2-1 242 3
4. San Marcos 4-0 183 4
5. El Camino 3-1 146 7
6. Bishop’s 3-0 92 8
7. Ramona 4-0 89 NR
8. La Costa Canyon 4-0 71 NR
9. Carlsbad 3-1 62 5
10. Lincoln 3-1 53 10

 Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Eastlake (3-1, 36 points), Torrey  Pines (2-2, 30), Christian (4-0, 10),  St. Augustine (2-2, 5), Oceanside (2-2, 1), Cathedral (1-3, 1), Olympian (3-1, 1), Point Loma (2-2, 1).

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul , East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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1959-60: Helix in Tough Loss; Point Loma Surprises

San Diego was leaving the Southern Section at the end of the school year but was going out with an unprecedented show of force.

Hoover was ranked No. 1 and Helix No. 2 in seeding for the 32-team major playoffs.  Glendale, beaten by both Hoover and San Diego, was seeded fourth.

Hoover’s undefeated regular season and the high scoring Highlanders had earned the respect of Southern Section commissioner Ken Fagans, who’d won championships as coach of the dominant Compton Tarbabes in the early ‘fifties.

But the Cardinals and their neighbors in La Mesa eight miles to the East were beaten by the two teams that would play for the title, third-seeded Anaheim (search 1959-60: Cardinals Come Up Short at Finish Line) and unseeded Long Beach Poly.

Helix was beaten, 50-48, at Poly in the quarterfinals, bringing an end to a record-setting, 26-4 season and to the career of coach Bob Divine, who had announced in January that he was stepping down to go into administration.

Divine’s timing was curious, coming in the middle of the season (“This basketball can make an old man of you, the way I coach,” he explained). His team’s sometimes uneven play also was curious.

HIGHLAND FLING

Helix set a County record by averaging 67.9 points a game, breaking the mark of 64.6 set by St. Augustine in 1957-58.

They trailed host San Diego at the half, 36-13, and won, 52-50.

They lost at Hoover, 61-36, the next evening.

–They switched gears after losing the pre-Kiwanis Tournament game to Hoover and poked along on offense so effectively that the score was 33-30 late in the fourth quarter before the Cardinals prevailed again, 39-30.

Coach Bob Divine’s high-scoring Highlanders, from left: Clayton Raaka, Larry Cook, Bob Mackey, Wally Hartwell, and Jim (Bones) Bowers.

They topped Santa Barbara, 65-62, to win the 11th annual Fillmore Tournament in Ventura County after Christmas.

Jim (Bones) Bowers scored 25 points in the Fillmore final and was player of the tournament. Teammates Bob Mackey, Wally Hartwell, and Larry Cook joined Bowers on the all-tournament team.

They defeated middle-of-the-road (12-11) Chula Vista, 49-26, at home but had a 14-game winning streak snapped at Chula Vista, 55-46, depriving the Scots of what would have been a 16-0 run through the Metropolitan League.

Bowers led all scorers with 670 points,

Bowers, who led the area in scoring with a 22.9 average and 670 points in 30 games,  set a school record with 44 points in a 98-54 win over first-year El Capitan.

Helix had other games of 99 and 94 points and set a County record when it shot 64 per cent from the field in a 114-65 romp over the Vaqueros as Bowers (34) and Clayton Raaka (24) set the pace.

FRUSTRATING ENDING

Helix defeated 13-8 Lincoln, 59-46, in the postseason first round and 16-11 Ontario Chaffey, 67-49, in the second round, played at Mount Miguel High.  The crowd outside the gymnasium was almost as large as the standing-room gathering of 1,200 inside.

Helix took an 18-13 lead over Poly in the quarterfinals, but the resourceful Jackrabbits, a notoriously poor shooting team but quick and tough on defense, pulled ahead, 23-21, at the half.

After taking a 29-28 lead in the third quarter, the Highlanders “lost control of the boards and were shabby with their ball handling”, according to the Union correspondent at the game.

Bowers, who had scored 10 points in the first quarter, finished with 19.  Poly defenders double-teamed Bowers and Raaka, who scored nine points, well below his average, and ignored the other three Helix starters.

The strategy worked.

Helix trailed, 49-48, with 30 seconds remaining, but the Jackrabbits’ Tom Sisk made one of two free throws to close out the win.

CAVALRY ARRIVES

After losing to Glendale Hoover, 51-40, on Friday San Diego recovered to defeat Glendale and CIF player-of-the-year Tom Dose the next night, 57-49.

Willie Bolton, Ernest (Moe) Watson, and Lou Scott, who had played in the Cavers’ 53-0, football championship victory against Monrovia the night before, made the trip north the next day and saw action that evening.

San Diego’s 11-10 record was its poorest since a 6-8 record in 1934-35, but the Cavers not only trimmed high playoff seed Glendale on the road but were ahead of CIF champion Long Beach Poly before losing in the final seconds, 40-39.

MELEE AVOIDED

San Diego overcame favored Lincoln with a 14-4 spurt in three minutes of the fourth quarter and defeated the Hornets, 64-59, in what Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union described as a “pell-mell” game in front of a shrieking crowd on the Hornets’ floor.

Alfred Willis, the younger brother of Cavers guard Albert Willis came out of the stands and launched a punch at Lincoln’s Al Catlin, who had been aggressively guarding the older Willis.

Lincoln coach Warren Barritt rushed off the bench and literally back-pedaled Catlin to the end of the gym as referees Doug Harvey and Nolan Harvey sought to maintain order.

San Diego’s victory was achieved despite coach Dick Otterstad’s suspending leading scorer Ben Pargo, who was not at the game.

Football star H.D. Murphy and Watson each scored 17 points as the normally offensively erratic Cavers controlled the backboards and shot 44 per cent on 26×58 shooting.  Lincoln was 23×44 for 52 per cent.

San Diego’s usual starting lineup, from left: Ben Pargo, Willie Bolton, Larry Martin,  Albert Willis, and Ernest (Moe) Watson.

POINTERS TAKE ADVANTAGE

Western League teams were slotted into small schools playoff participation in all sports except football.  Eastern League teams would compete with large schools for all postseason sports.

The positioning was result of the City Prep League’s dividing into two circuits after the 1958-59 school year.

Point Loma, with a 5-8 record at one point in the season and 12-10 after clinching the Western League championship, was the postseason beneficiary.

The Pointers rolled to five consecutive victories to claim the Class AA crown, along the way defeating Beaumont, 32-24, Yucaipa, 55-23, Rosemead Bosco Tech, 54-37, Lompoc, 54-40, and, finally, San Marino, 52-36.

As Jerry Magee wrote, paraphrasing Britain’s World War II leader Winston Churchill, “Winston (Winnie) Yetta enjoyed his finest hour, scoring 22 points…”

Point Loma players hoisted Yetta and coach Hilbert Crosthwaite and paraded them around the floor at the Los Angeles State venue.

Winston Yetta (left) and Don Sada both played quarterback in football, although Yetta was point guard for Pointers’ basketball team.

Yetta’s 10 field goals were reflective of the Pointers’ effectiveness.  They converted 21 of 44 attempts for 48 per cent.

After two disappointing losses for San Diego teams in the semifinals, Crosthwaite admitted to feeling some pressure.

“We had everything to lose,” said the coach.  “We couldn’t have walked out of here if we hadn’t won.”

 FREE AGAIN

Helix’ Clayton Raaka was able to shed a cast on his broken left hand and burst out in a 68-38 win over Escondido.  Raaka scored 15 points in the second quarter, had 20 at the half, and finished with 28.

ANOTHER BREAK

Lincoln’s Al Catlin was discovered to have played the entire season with a broken wrist on his right, shooting hand  that he sustained during the football season.  Catlin then was ruled out of the Hornets’ 59-46 playoff loss to Helix.

SURPRISING

Hilltop, a first-year school, emerged  to post a 20-9 record and win the post-Christmas Chino Tournament and Metropolitan League title.

Hilltop’s 20-9 record was due to presence of Charlie Schneider, Butch Lorson, Robbie Hewitt, Gary Neal, and Don Enos (from left).

DREADED ADMINISTRATIVE GLITCH

San Dieguito, aided by some legislation, clinched the Avocado League championship with a 63-43 win over Carlsbad as John Fairchild, a 6-foot-7 sharpshooter up from the junior varsity, scored 15 points.

The Mustangs’ earlier, 64-54 loss to Oceanside had become a forfeit win after discovery of an ineligible Oceanside player and gave the Mustangs a one-game lead over Mar Vista.

MORE SMALL SCHOOLS PLAYOFFS

San Dieguito led until the final 56 seconds before bowing at Bing Crosby Hall in Del Mar to Orange, 46-45, in Class AA.

Orange was outscored, 24-18, in the fourth quarter but held on to defeat Kearny, 64-63, in a second-round game at Santa Ana.

Army-Navy’s Matt Burnett stole an inbound pass and scored with two seconds remaining to defeat Tustin, 42-40 in  Class A.  The Warriors then were eliminated, 60-38, by San Bernardino Aquinas.

Ramona was sidelined in Placentia by host Valencia, 62-39, the loss punctuated by a scoreless third quarter.

Al Catlin, T.W. (Tommy) Bell, and Ashley Joerndt (from left) comprised Lincoln coach Warren Barritt’s big three.

JUMP SHOTS

The Kiwanis Tournament individual scoring record was broken twice on the first night…Carlsbad’s Bob Wueste scored 40 in a 61-53 win over La Jolla…St. Augustine’s Jacob Crawford knocked down 42 points  an hour later in an 83-40 win over Sweetwater…finals in the Unlimited and Limited divisions were held at one venue for the first time …Hoover was host and topped Crawford, 54-34, for the Unlimited and Mar Vista edged Oceanside, 51-49, for the Limited…for the first time there were no visiting northern teams in the tournament, only El Centro Central from the Imperial Valley… Helix’ 114-point game bettered the  record set by St. Augustine in a 105-34 win over La Jolla in 1957-58…St. Augustine’s Jacob Crawford missed the team bus to Hoover, arrived late, and scored three points in the first half…the Saints, trailing, 35-12, at halftime made a game of it, outscoring Hoover in the second half, 39-38, and Crawford finished with 25 points in the 73-51 loss…Julian, scoreless until one minute remaining in the half, bowed to San Miguel School, 38-22…Fallbrook scored the first 22 points in a 51-18 win over University…Chula Vista received two technical fouls for not advancing the ball in the offensive court in its 49-26 loss to Helix…the Spartans trailed, 5-0, after one quarter and 16-1 at the half…the Spartans went into a freeze in their next game against Hilltop and got into a 15-2 hole…Hilltop won, 58-48…Mission Bay won a double-overtime, 57-55 game against La Jolla when a Vikings player was cited for goal-tending in the second, sudden-death period…Chula Vista moved out of the city’s Recreation Center into its own gym in midseason…Hilltop had a gymnasium when it opened its doors in September…Kearny coach Jim Poole, a 1950 Point Loma grad, was a national badminton champion and worked 20 years as an NFL game official…The Crawford-San Diego, Eastern League contest served as the preliminary to the San Diego Junior College-East Los Angeles Metropolitan Conference contest…the game at San Diego High featured ex-Cavers Arthur (Hambone) Williams and Edward Lee Johnson for the Knights….

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1959-60: Hoover Comes Up Short at Finish Line

Seldom was a defeat as disappointing as that which knocked out Hoover in the semifinals of San Diego’s swansong in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Cardinals sustained a numbing, 39-34 loss to Anaheim in the semifinals round in a season when they were unbeaten for 26* straight games.

Coach Charlie Hampton had returned several key players from the 20-7 club of 1958-59, including twin towers 6-foot, 7 ½ inch Walt Ramsey and 6-5 Bill Wylie.

Ramsey and Wylie were joined again by John Bocko a sharpshooting 6-foot forward, and 6-foot, 1-inch Johnny (Bo) Williams, the glue in Hoover’s backcourt.

Baseball ace Dave Morehead moved up from the junior varsity and became the only underclass starter.

The Cardinals’ almost perfect season:

1—HOOVER 46, ALUMNI 42.

Unlike usually pliant, slightly out-of-shape graduates, the former Cardinals were competitive, losing, 46-42. Ramsey led the varsity with 19 points.

Norris Greenwood, who set a school single-season scoring record of 446 points in 1957-58 and had moved on to Cal Western University, played for the alums along with former first stringers Tommy Dobyns, Art Samuel, Wayne Britt, Harry Stadnyk, and Bill Lee.

Hoover players Dave Morehead, Bill Wylie, John (Bo) Williams, Walt Ramsey, and John Bocko (from left) give coach Charlie Hampton a boost after finishing regular season with 23-0 record.

 

2—HOOVER 48, GROSSMONT 32.

The Foothillers couldn’t find the basket and trailed, 25-5. at halftime. Ramsey scored 25 points.

3—HOOVER 61, HELIX 36, @San Diego.

Surprising, actually shocking, was this win over a team considered by some to be the best in the area.  Helix had all of its weapons intact, including high scoring Jim (Bones) Bowers and Clayton Raaka.   Ramsey (20), Bocko (11), Norm Potter (10) led the way.

4—HOOVER 57, @GLENDALE 49.

The Cardinals and San Diego High made December trips north for several years.  The favored Glendale Dynamiters featured 6-5 Tom Dose, destined to be Southern Section player of the year, but Wylie (20), Ramsey (17), and Bocko (14) kept the hosts and Dose (15) at a distance.

5—HOOVER 64, @GLENDALE HOOVER 51.

The Cardinals pulled away the next night after leading 39-33 at halftime.   Bocko scored 23 and Williams 19.

KIWANIS TOURNAMENT

6—HOOVER 72, MOUNT MIGUEL 15.

Hampton emptied his bench as 12 players scored and 14 saw action in the opening round of the 12th annual event.

7—HOOVER 62, KEARNY 38.

The Komets’ Jim Johnson led all scorers with 19 points but that was offset by Ramsey’s 17, Bocko’s 15, and 11 by  Morehead.

Hampton’s tape measure showed that Ramsey had an inch or two on Dave Sickels.

8—HOOVER 39, HELIX 30.

The Highlanders switched gears and played a slow-down game, this after Helix set an Unlimited Division record with 99 points the day before.

9—HOOVER 54, CRAWFORD 34.

Crawford, in its first year under coach Jim Sams, who would go on to compile one of the San Diego section’s all-time coaching records, took an 8-1 record into the contest.

The Cardinals’ stiff, man-to-man defense kept the Colts scoreless from the field for more than 10 minutes beginning with the start of the third quarter.

In winning its first Kiwanis Tournament since the inaugural event in 1948, the Cardinals’ average victories were by a score of 54-29.

10—HOOVER 49, @POINT LOMA 34.

The Cardinals stepped into the Western League for their last pre-Eastern League competition.

As it had been most of the season the refrain of Bocko and Ramsey, Ramsey and Bocko was heard as John scored 20 and Walt 13.

11—HOOVER 47, LINCOLN 45.

The Cardinals opened the Eastern campaign against the 4-3 Hornets, a talented team that hadn’t lived to its so-called potential under first-year coach Warren Barritt.

In a gritty struggle, Hoover finally put Lincoln away on Williams’ 30-foot jump shot with 3 seconds left.

Williams scored 24 points as Hoover survived.  Bill Wylie was out with a leg infection.  Hampton was “barely audible” from effects of the flu, and Ramsey, battling the flu, played only one quarter and scored one point.

Norm Potter, 6-2, and Dave Sickels, 6-5, replaced Ramsey and Wylie.  Lincoln’s Joe Cisterna sustained a possible shoulder separation and was hospitalized.

The Cardinals made only 18 of 50 shots from the field for 36 per cent.  Lincoln, behind T.W. (Tommy) Bell’s 24 points, shot 43 per cent, 19×43.

12—HOOVER 66, @CRAWFORD 36.

The recovered Wylie led with 15 points and 10 other Cardinals scored.

*(Did Hoover finish the regular season with 24 consecutive wins, as has always been accepted, or was their total actually 23?

(The number appears to be 23.

(Published reports were that the 11-0 Cardinals were scheduled to play only Crawford in the second week of league play.   There was no record of a second game that week or a 13th win.

(The San Diego Union’s weekly, Monday morning rundown of standings, however, listed the Cardinals with a 13-0 record, although the Union’s weekly individual and team statistics were for 12 games).

13—HOOVER 63, SAN DIEGO 44.

Biggest crowd of year, probably 1,600 including standees, at Hoover.   Hampton’s team collected its first victory over San Diego since 1956-57.  Williams and Bocko scored 18 points each.

The 1959-60 Hoover Cardinals, front tow (from left): Rich Keely, Dave Morehead, Gene Crise, Nick Barkett, Johnny Williams, Walt Daniels. Back row (from left): Carlos Avina, Norm Potter, Dave Sickels, Walt Ramsey, Bill Wylie, John Bocko.

14—HOOVER 47, @MISSION BAY 36.

The newspaper reported this as the Cardinals’ 15th win in a row. The Union would be one game ahead of Hoover for the rest of the season.

15—HOOVER 59, POINT LOMA 44.

Wylie was picking up steam, connecting on 12 of 17 shots for 25 points and the Cardinals converted 23 of 43 shots for 53 per cent.  Walt Ramsey scored one point and fouled out with 5:25 left in the game.

16—HOOVER 85, @ST. AUGUSTINE 52.

Ten players scored, with Wylie (26), Bocko (17), and Ramsey (13) leading the parade.

17—HOOVER 57, @CLAIREMONT 50.

The Cardinals apparently were not excited at the prospect of playing a first-year school with a 6-9 record, in its first game in a new gymnasium, and in the afternoon.

The seemingly disinterested East San Diegans were guided by John Bocko’s 20 points. Ramsey added 17 and Wylie 15.

18—HOOVER 66, @LINCOLN 52.

The  Redbirds began the second round of league play with a convincing win at usually troublesome Lincoln. The Cardinals had beaten the Hornets five times by three points or less in the last three seasons.

Hoover converted only 37 per cent of field-goal attempts to Lincoln’s 40 but it commanded the backboards with 61 shots to 52 and with a 30-20 advantage in rebounds.

“Our all-around best effort,” said Hampton, who cautioned that if Hoover (6-0 in the Eastern) fell to San Diego in a couple weeks, “The race could end in a tie.”

19—HOOVER 60, CRAWFORD 36.

They were scoreless for the first four minutes and then solved Crawford’s zone defense, with all five starters scoring at least 10 points.

20—HOOVER 66, EL CENTRO CENTRAL 32.

Hampton picked up a late-season, nonleague game with the visitors from Imperial Valley.  All 12 players on each team saw action.

21—HOOVER 59, @SAN DIEGO 43.

The floundering Cavemen were never really in it, trailing 52-28 after three quarters. Hoover’s Big Three scored 48 of the 59 points.

22—HOOVER 74, MISSION BAY 33.

Kenny Hale, whom Charlie Hampton had replaced at Hoover in 1952-53, had retired  after beginning the Mission Bay program, and the Buccaneers, contenders in the previous three seasons, were not competitive.

Bill Wylie, with John Williams trailing, scored over Crawford’s Garr Jacobsen.

Bucs coach Paul  Beck inherited a team minus such recent standouts as Doug Crockett, Frank Schiefer, Tom Tenney, Jerry Dinsmore, and Bill Cravens.

23—HOOVER 73, ST. AUGUSTINE 51.

“Unbeaten, untied, unawed,” wrote Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union of the Cardinals, who concluded an 8-0 league season and 23-0 regular season.

Hoover led, 35-12, at the half after  stunning the Saints with a 21-4 second quarter.

SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS

24—HOOVER 76, HILLTOP 58.  The first-year Lancers, coached by the taciturn Paul Pruett, who had success at San Dieguito, posted a 20-win season and won the Chino tournament.

The Chula Vistans were game but not ready for prime time.

Hilltop still was in the contest when it trailed, 61-50, midway in the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals eased to the win behind Ramsey’s 25 points, and 18 each by Bocko and Williams.

Writer John MacDonald identified the Hoover back court as “Don” Williams and “John” Morehead.

25—HOOVER 60, COVINA 50,@Walnut.

Writer Magee said the Covina Colts resisted like a young bronc at neutral Mt. San Antonio Junior College in nearby Walnut.

Shorter Covina (23-7), with no starter taller than 6 feet, 3 inches, were coached by the legendary Windorf (Doc) Sooter, who won 647 games from 1947-72.

The Colts took an early, 11-5 lead and battled the Cardinals throughout, but Ramsey hitting jumpers and scoring under the hoop, logged 22 points and kept the Colts reined in.

Hoover, knocking down 50 per cent of its shots in the late regular season, may have felt playoff pressure in the unfamiliar environment, converting only 19 of 53 shots for 36 per cent to Covina’s 18×54 and 30 per cent.

Covina set screens for jump shooter Jerry Barron.  Wylie sat with 4 personals with 6:13 left in third.

The story was similar to a 68-57, 1956 playoff loss to Montebello, when the Cardinals got into foul trouble trying to check jump shooting Jerry Pimm.

Hampton had to shift to a zone defense early in the third period. It was the first time this season Hoover had to abandon its favorite, man-for-man barricade.

Sooter wouldn’t say Hoover was toughest team he faced, “but they were toughest on the backboards.  They were too big for us.”

Hampton declared the contest was his team’s poorest effort of the season.  “Mainly because this was the best defensive team we had played.

“Our boys may have been scared,” added the surprisingly candid Hampton.  “I told them how tough Covina was so often I may have scared them.”

Dave Morehead (left) was able complement to John Williams in back court.

26—HOOVER 41, MONROVIA 33.

Monrovia, routed 53-0 by San Diego in the football finals, brought a 20-4 record and a loss to Covina to Hoover.

Hoover led, 12-4, at the end of the first quarter and scored only 11 points in the second and third.

Monrovia played at agonizingly slow pace and the Wildcats’ 6-7 Les Christensen scored 15 points, controlled most of the tips, and held Walt Ramsey to 6 points.

Ramsey ran into foul trouble again, acquiring his fourth with 2:13 left in the half.   With the visitors pressing at 22-20 in the third quarter, Hampton called on Ramsey, went into a zone defense, and pulled away.

27—ANAHEIM 39, HOOVER 34, @Los Angeles State.

“A basketball team which has won 27 (sic) straight games can’t possibly be in a slump…” wrote Jerry Magee, but Hampton was worried.

“We certainly haven’t played as well in the playoffs as during the season, but I think it has been more of a mental thing than a physical thing,” the coach told Magee.

Hampton went on to say, “We weren’t up for Hilltop.  In the next two games (Covina and Monrovia) we were a little tense, more nervous than we should have been.”

Hampton concluded with “we’ve had two of our better practices.  The boys have acted a lot better the last two days.”

Sunset League champion Anaheim won its 29th game against one loss in a 38-36 quarterfinals game against Santa Barbara that was decided in the last two seconds.  That win followed  a double-overtime, 50-49 victory over Montebello and a 50-47  triumph against Long Beach Wilson.

The Colonists, as they did versus Santa Barbara,  continued to  travel slowly but in style.

Magee wrote that “Hoover manfully struggled back (from a 25-12 halftime deficit) even with its 6-7 center, Walt Ramsey, out early in the third period with five fouls.”

With Wylie and Bocko scoring, Hoover pulled into a tie at 34 with 5:08 remaining.

But Anaheim continued its strategic pattern.  The Cardinals scrambled for possession and fouled.

The Colonists scored the last five points on free throws, winning, 39-34, and advancing to the finals and losing to Long Beach Poly, 46-39.

28–VENTURA 53, HOOVER 50, @Los Angeles State.

Beaten by Poly in the other semifinal, 65-56, Ventura trailed Hoover, 50-45, with 4:11 to go in the third place game the next evening.

The Cardinals went scoreless the rest of the way and dropped a 53-50 decision.

BE LIKE NBA?

Jerry Magee indicated that Hampton, in the coach’s playoff postmortem, seemed to suggest that a rule similar to NBA’s 24-second shot clock should be passed down to the high schools.

“There should be something that should make a team shoot,” said the coach.  “I wanted to go into a zone against Anaheim to protect against fouling but if I had I think Anaheim would have been content to just stand there.”

“Every coach thinks this, but I still think we had the best team,” said Hampton.

 

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2017 Week 3:  Cavers Finding It Fun Again

Baby steps to others are leaps and bounds at San Diego High.

Save for a 13-8-2 record by the Keir Kimbrough-coached squads in 2010 and 2011, the Cavers have endured stretches of apathy and losses that extend into the misty past.

San Diego is 32-109-3 since 2002 and have had 12 winning seasons in the last 48, dating to 1970.

Shan Deniston’s 1974 club, led by the great running back, Michael Hayes, was 6-3 and tied for the Western League championship with Clairemont.

The Cavers have not finished that high since.

Which gives rise to their 2-0 start this season under coach Charles James, who took over the downtrodden program and was recipient of several kicks to the pelvic region in the 1-9 and 2-8 seasons of 2015 and ’16.

SCOREBOARD BUSY

San Diego has scored 82 points in 28-7 and 54-7 wins over San Diego Southwest and Francis Parker.

Such offensive fireworks haven’t been witnessed since…better take a seat…since the heyday of legendary Duane Maley and the fearsome Cavemen of the 1950s.

Maley’s 1958 squad scored 84 points in its first two games, defeating Kearny, 25-0, and La Jolla, 59-0.

The 82 points in the first two games of the 2017 team have been bettered in only four other seasons by the squads originally known as the Hilltoppers, in 1945, 1925, 1920, and 1919.

The Cavers face 2-1 Montgomery this week in what looks like an even matchup, one more challenging than the first two.

Whatever lies in store for the Cavers and James, who has roots at University City and Morse, it’s still a nice way to start the season.

CHANGES

Parris Pisiona, 12-12 since 2015, is out at El Cajon Valley.  He was replaced by the school’s vice principal before a 32-21 win over Clairemont.

The mysteries surrounding the tenures of Jerry Ralph at El Camino and Hans Graham at Castle Park drag on as the coaches remain in limbo.

Neither Ralph nor Graham has coached a game this year.

QUICK KICKS

Beat Casteel High of Phoenix-area Queen Creek this week and Monte Vista coach Ron Hamamoto will tie Helix’ Jim Arnaiz for seventh place among all-time County coaches with 213 victories…Arnaiz held sway at Helix for 27 seasons, 1973-99…Hamamoto, beginning in 1985,  spent 11 years at University, 11 at Rancho Bernardo, 4 at Lincoln, and is in his sixth season with the Monarchs…Mission Hills’ Chris Hauser, who started at Vista in 2000, won his 144th game last week over Desert Hills of St. George, Utah, and is tied with Escondido’s legendary Bob (Chick) Embrey for 18th…San Ysidro, 3-0 for the first time since the school opened in 2004, steps up in competition at Calexico Vincent Memorial, also 3-0 and 18-7 under David Wong since 2015…Damon Baldwin’s Ramona Bulldogs will try to become 4-0 for the first time since 2014 when they begin Palomar League play against visiting Rancho Bernardo….

The Union-Tribune Week 3 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (22) 2-0 274 2
2. Madison (4) 3-0 247 3
3. Helix (2) 1-1 244 1
4. San Marcos 3-0 171 6
5. Carlsbad 3-0 153 7
6. Torrey Pines 2-1 101 9
7. El Camino 2-1 76 4
8. The Bishop’s 3-0 71 10
9. Cathedral 1-2 50 NR
10. Lincoln 2-1 49 5

 Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Ramona (3-0, 44 points), La Costa Canyon (3-0, 44), Oceanside (2-1, 9) St. Augustine (1-2, 9), Christian (3-0, 4), Eastlake (2-1, 3), Grossmont (2-1, 1).

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul , East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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2017 Week 2: Overtime, Then and Now

Palm Springs defeated Scripps Ranch, 42-35, in two overtimes and Army-Navy’s topped Perris Military, 21-20, in one overtime last week.

Both of those game results presumably were more easily reached than the first in 1976.

That was the year of imposition of the new “California Tie-Breaker”.

As noted by Steve Brand, The San Diego Union representative who covered the game:

“History-making events are supposed to be heralded with sounding trumpets and helium-filled balloons.”

But a 6-6, semifinals playoff tie between Morse and El Camino resulted in “disappointment and confusion,” all because of the new rule, wrote Brand.

The young scribe, on a morning newspaper deadline, was not a happy camper.

Brand, as one deadline after another was missed, described “a twenty-minute discussion between officials, coaches, players, and statisticians over first downs, penetrations inside the 20-yard line, and a mysterious stopping of the clock just before the game ended.”

The teams had tied with 7 first downs each and both had made two penetrations inside their opponent’s 20-yard line.  Those represented the first two elements of the new system.

Play resumed when the third tie-breaker kicked in.  Each team was given four plays from the 50-yard line.

Morse lost the coin toss and had first possession.

The Tigers had a net of minus two yards after four plays that included a 15-yard penalty. El Camino took over and essentially fell on the ball four consecutive plays, according to Brand.

The Wildcats were declared winners but the game went into the books as a tie.

Brand noted that the game was played at Vista, a technically neutral site, but the clock “inadvertantly” stopped as time was running out and El Camino close to what would be an eighth and tie-breaking first

What happens if there still is a deadlock after each team has had three possessions of the ball in overtime?

A touchdown and two-point conversion can send everyone home, as long as the other team doesn’t match.

There is no time limit and no finite number of overtime periods.

BEWARE

Earth to San Diego’s usually elite teams:  Give certain Orange County squads a wide berth.

But if you’re Helix, or Cathedral, or Mission Hills, you’re not afraid of challenges, even if the results haven’t always been positive.

Cathedral, the defending state Division 1AA champion, ran afoul of the Trinity League’s Orange Lutheran last week in one of the Honor Bowl games.

The 37-0 loss was the Dons’ most decisive since a 40-14 defeat by another Trinity team, Rancho Santa Margarita, in 2015.

Helix had Santa Margarita neighbor Mission Viejo of the South Coast League on the ropes but a fumble with two minutes left opened a door through which the host Diablos scored a 32-28, Southern California playoff victory in 2015.

Mission Hills, which dropped a 35-21 decision to Mission Viejo in 2012 and now is No. 1 in the weekly San Diego Union-Tribune poll, is one of the handful of San Diego Section teams that annually schedule major intersectional opponents.

The Grizzlies have gotten off seemingly easy this season, defeating Paramount of the Southern Section, 41-14, in their opener and slamming Desert Hills from St. George, Utah, 42-7, last week.

Cathedral is ninth in the Union-Tribune voting after its second consecutive loss (Loomis Del Oro, a stout Sacramento area entry, won, 22-13, in Week 1) and Helix dropped from first to third when it was upended, 23-6, by Lancaster Paraclete in the Honor Bowl.

QUICK KICKS

Mission Hills rose from 41st to 23rd and Madison  from 35th to 27th in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports’ poll…Helix dropped from 10th to 29th and Cathedral, St. Augustine, and Torrey Pines are on the bubble…all six Trinity League teams are in the top 25 and Orange Lutheran rose from 25th to 14th…Lancaster Paraclete moved from 32nd to 21st.

The Union-Tribune Week 2 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (20) 2-0 272 2
2. Madison (4) 2-0 234 3
3. Helix (4) 1-1 231 1
4. El Camino 2-0 200 5
5. Lincoln 2-0 154 7
6. San Marcos 2-0 123 8
7. Carlsbad 2-0 83 NR
8. St. Augustine 1-1 65 4
9. Torrey Pines 1-1 55 9
10. The Bishop’s 2-0 54 NR

 Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Cathedral (0-2, 49 points), Oceanside (1-1, 16) Eastlake (2-0, 13), Ramona (2-0, 10), Valley Center (2-0, 10), La Costa Canyon (2-0, 7).

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul , East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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2017 Week 1:  Helix Up, Cathedral Down, Mission Hills Cruises

Too early for trends, but Cathedral’s defending state 1AA champion has some catching up to do and Helix is positioning itself to make a run such as the Dons’ in 2016.

The Highlanders, preseason ranked 12th in Cal-Hi Sports’ overview, eased to a 35-0 victory over Utah’s No. 15 West Herriman, and moved up to 10th in this week’s poll.

The competition revs a notch for the Scots this week, when they meet Lancaster Paraclete in an Honor Bowl game at Cathedral.

The Spirits, from Southern California’s Antelope Valley, 70 miles North of Los Angeles and 87 miles Southeast of Bakersfield, were an unknown quantity when they first faced a San Diego team in 2016.

Paraclete, 12-4, ushered undefeated and 13-0 Mater Dei out of the Southern California playoffs, 34-18, won the state D-III championship, and opened last week with a 48-24 win over Phelan Serrano.

Cathedral, Cal-Hi’s preseason No. 14, dropped to 22 this week after visiting Loomis Del Oro, near where the Dons topped Stockton St. Mary’s, 38-35, in Sacramento in the state final in 2016.

The Dons were tied, 12-12, in the third quarter but Del Oro, 13-3 a year ago, preseason ranked fifth in the Sacramento area, pulled away to a 22-12 victory.

Cathedral gets back into the fray this week in another Honor Bowl game at home against Trinity League toughie Orange Lutheran, which defeated La Mirada, 11-3 a year ago, 35-13 last week.

Mission Hills opened with a 41-14 yawner at Paramount and gets Utah’s St. George Desert Hills this week.

QUICK KICKS

Grossmont was surprised, 22-13, by The Bishop’s and there was an online report that Foothillers coaches and players suffered from intestinal flareups after the team meal…coach Tom Karlo is 5-1 in openers at Grossmont and was 7-0 from 2005-11 at Mount Miguel…Crawford improved to 26-15 in its occasional rivalry that dates to 1958 with neighboring Hoover…the schools are only a mile and a half apart in East San Diego, but the Colts’ 31-0 victory was in their first meeting with Hoover since 2010 and the first over the Cardinals since 2003…Carlsbad’s 49-0 beatdown of Del Norte was the Lancers’ most one-sided in an opening game since 54-0 over Hoover in 1980…football is not catching on at Del Norte…the Nighthawks are 27-50 all-time since 2010…Bonita Vista’s 39-7 loss to Poway marked the Barons’ poorest first-game effort in school history going back to 1967…Christian’s 60-38 win at Hurricane, Utah, was the Patriots’ seventh opener in a row without a loss and made coach Matt Oliver 12-1-1 in first games…Manuel Diaz, Sr., was 1-5 in openers at Clairemont from 1997-02…son Manuel, Jr., won the first game of his head coaching career, leading Clairemont to a 34-0 win over Orange Glen…what a difference year makes:  San Ysidro whacked Coronado, 41-14, after losing to the Islanders, 39-12 in 2016…Imperial beat Yuma Cibola of Arizona, 55-14, after losing to the same team,  33-27 last season…St. Augustine, despite a 51-12 victory over North Las Vegas Canyon Springs, dropped from 22 to 23 in Cal-Hi rankings.

The Union-Tribune Week 1 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Helix (28) 1-0 258 1
2. Mission Hills 1-0 238 2
3. Madison 1-0 209 4
4. St. Augustine 1-0 200 5
5. Cathedral 0-1 150 3
6. El Camino 1-0 121 8
7. Lincoln 1-0 86 9
8. San Marcos 1-0 74 10
9. Torrey Pines 0-1 45 6
10. Oceanside 0-1 45 7

 Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  The Bishop’s (1-0, 36 points), Eastlake (1-0, 15) Ramona (1-0, 11), Carlsbad (1-0, 10), Valley Center (1-0, 6), Poway (1-0, 3), San Pasqual (1-0, 2), La Costa Canyon, 1-0), Valhalla, 1-0) 1 point each.

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul , East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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2017 Week 0: Helix starts off as No. 1

Enriched by the transfer from St. Augustine of running back-defensive back Isaac Taylor Stuart (a four- or five star recruit, according to  grading services), coach Robbie Owens’ Helix Highlanders begin the season as the No. 1 team in the San Diego Section, according to the 28-member Union-Tribune voting panel.

The Scots, 10-3 a year ago, received 19 first-place votes.  Cathedral, defending state D-1AA champion,  received seven, and Mission Hills and Lincoln one each.

Helix is 12th in Cal-Hi Sports‘ preseason, California top 50 poll.

Cathedral, 14, and St. Augustine, 22, are the other San Diego Section teams in Cal-Hi‘s first 25.  Madison is 36th, Mission Hills, 43rd, and Torrey Pines is on the bubble.

The state CIF has 1,587 schools, although many do not field teams..  The internet site Max Preps  lists 94 schools fielding teams of the 127 dues-paying members in the San Diego Section.

 

Rank Team 2016 Points 2016 Final
1. Helix (19) 10-3 258 3
2. Mission Hills (1) 7-5 214 9
3. Cathedral (7) 15-0 204 1
4. Madison 13-2 198 2
5. St. Augustine 10-3 178 6
6. Torrey Pines 8-3 88 8
7. Oceanside 8-3 76 NR
8. El Camino 3-8 63 NR
9. Lincoln (1) 7-5 58 NR
10. San Marcos 7-5 49 NR

 Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  The Bishop’s (14-1, 24 points), Point Loma (5-7, 22), Mater Dei (13-1, 15), Rancho Bernardo (11-1,15), Grossmont (9-2, 14), Carlsbad (4-8, 13), La Costa Canyon (6-6, 13), Eastlake (2-9, 8), Olympian (8-5. 6), Valley Center (10-2, 5), Ramona (5-6, 2), Valhalla (8-3, 1).

Voters: (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials) John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul , East County Preps.com; Ramon Scott, East County Sports.com; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego Preps.com; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith, partletonsports.com; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown, sdfootball.net; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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2017: John Williams, Played on Great Hoover Team

Name Hoover’s starting five in 1959-60 and Johnny (Bo) Williams probably would be the fifth to come to mind.

But Williams, a 6-foot, 1-inch guard, was an effective offensive player (269 points in 27 games) and outstanding defender for arguably the finest San Diego-area team before Bill Walton and Helix arrived a decade later.

Williams, 75, passed away recently at his home in Modesto, California.

The ’59-60 Hoover Cardinals were 23-0, the first major area team with an undefeated regular season, and the No. 1 seed in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Cardinals fell short, losing to Anaheim, 39-34, in a stunning upset in the semifinals round and to Ventura in the third-place game, 53-50.

The losses left Hoover with a final record of 26-2.

The Cardinals’ starting lineup also included 6-foot, 7-inch Walt Ramsey, 6-5 Bill Wylie, 6-0 John Bocko, and 6-1 Dave Morehead.

Morehead teamed with Williams in the backcourt, later signed a bonus baseball contract , and pitched a no-hitter for the Boston Red Sox in 1965.

Hoover players Dave Morehead, Bill Wylie, Johnny Williams, Walt Ramsey, and John Bocko (from left) give coach Charlie Hampton a boost after finishing regular season with 24-0 record.

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2017: Dave Grayson, Legendary Caver, Hornet

David Grayson, who retired before the 1971 NFL season as one of the pro game’s all-time defensive backs, passed away recently at age 78.

Grayson intercepted 48 passes from 1961-70 in the American Football League and NFL as a member of the Dallas Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders.

The 5-foot, 10-inch, 187-pounder with sprinter speed  was named to the all-time all-AFL team, the high point of a great career that began in the San Diego City Prep League.

Grayson was a starting defensive back and played fullback on the 11-0-1, 1955 San Diego High team that won the Southern California championship and was acclaimed the national high school team of the year.

Grayson (30) was co-captain of the 1960 Oregon Ducks. Teammate Len Burnett is  82 in second row, Cleveland Jones is 25 in second row, and Roscoe Cook is 98 in fourth row.  All played at San Diego High or Lincoln.

Grayson and teammate Luther Hayes transferred to Lincoln after their junior football seasons at San Diego and they put the fledgling program of coach Walt Harvey’s on the map the following year.

Lincoln posted a 5-2-1 record in 1956 and came within a few feet of tying San Diego and Hoover for first place in the City Prep League.

Grayson’s  45-yard pass interception return set up one touchdown in the season-ending, 26-19 loss to San Diego and his 36-yard option pass to a diving Leonard Burnett put the Hornets on San Diego’s eight-yard line with time running out in the fourth quarter.

Hayes gained five yards but then was stopped short of the goal line  as the game ended.

“I should have given the ball to Grayson,” Harvey said of the last play years later.

The coach’s reasoning was that the quicker Grayson, shorter and more compact than the lanky Hayes, would have been able to find space in the Cavers’ defensive line and get the Hornets into position to tie the favored Cavemen.

The 170-pound Grayson made the all-City League team on offense and was one of the premier sprinters in the County during the spring track season with a best time of 10 seconds in the 100-yard dash.

Grayson and Lincoln also posted a time of 1:29.2 in the 880-yard relay and qualified for the CIF Southern Section finals.

Grayson was a member of San Diego Junior College’s 1957 Metropolitan Conference football championship squad and teamed with Roscoe Cook, Bobby Staten, and Fred Lucas as the Knights set a national JC record of 1:25.6 in the 880-yard relay in 1958 at the West Coast Relays in Fresno.

Grayson won 100-yard dash in :10.1 in Lincoln’s dual track meet with Hoover on March 21, 1957. Others (from left) are Hoover’s Bill Stephenson and Arnold Tripp, Lincoln’s Russ Boehmke, Hoover’s Larry Fischer, and Lincoln’s Bill McCready.

Grayson then moved onto to the University of Oregon, competed in football and track, and was co-captain of the Ducks’ 1960 football squad.

AL WAIBEL, 91

Waibel was a passing quarterback for the 1943 Oceanside Pirates, who were unbeaten with a 6-0 record in the World War II-shortened Southern Prep League campaign.

Waibel was head coach at Fallbrook from 1959-64.

The often undermanned Warriors did not join the newly formed San Diego Section in 1960 and competed in the Riverside County De Anza League, winning the league title and posting as 6-3 record.

VINCE KILPELA, 80, EARLY HORNETS STAR

The most-valuable player in the 1955 Lions Club Baseball Tournament was lefthanded pitcher Vince Kilpela of the emerging Lincoln High program.

Kilpela signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and led the Sooner State League with 272 strikeouts in 1956.

Kilpela posted a 14-9 record for Ardmore, Oklahoma, pitching a whopping 231 innings and completing 25 starting assignments.

He also pitched at Fresno, Winston-Salem, and Billings, but a sore arm ended Kilpela’s career in 1957.

 

 

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1967-68: Mount Miguel on Mountain Top

They were cast in the 6-foot, 11-inch shadow of Bill Walton and Helix’ 33-0 team of 1969-70.

History has overlooked the Mount Miguel clubs that dominated the Grossmont League and San Diego Section in the late 1960s.

The Matadors were 25-6 in 1966-67 and 32-0 this season.

But coach Dick Ridgway’s squad did not embrace an intersectional schedule.

The Matadors won a couple December tournaments of local import and ran roughshod over area teams, eight times scoring more than 100 points.

Walton and Helix “went national”.

The Highlanders dominated the prestigious Covina Tournament, winning by 42 points in the finals against Pasadena and, in an earlier round, routing eventual Southern Section champion Long Beach Millikan by 24 points.

Walton was featured in Faces in the Crowd, a weekly feature of Sports Illustrated.

Ridgway, who played for coach John Wooden at UCLA in the early ‘fifties, employed a pressing zone defense that Wooden’s teams had perfected to domination on the collegiate level.

When not defending, Mount Miguel’s Ken Greenman, splitting Madison’s Tim Amrine (10) and Phil Edwards (44) for basket in 67-44 playoffs win, also was offensive threat, averaging 18.5 points a game,

Junior varsity graduate Ken Barstow, a 6-foot, 7-inch center, joined 6-5 forward Mike Ela and two split-second guards, Blake Mathews, and Ken Greenman, who formed the offensive and defensive attack along with forward Dave Lower.

Bill Center of The San Diego Union covered the Matadors and Walton’s Helix squads.

Which was better?

”Very close,” said Center.  “Walton was such a great athlete that I think Helix would win.”

But Center reserved a special place in his hoops hierarchy for the Spring Valley entry.

“Mount Miguel played so well together,” said Center. “It was the most fun team to watch that I covered. It was so unselfish and Mathews and Greenman were the perfect players to run his (Ridgway’s) press.”

The Matadors outscored their 32 opponents by an average score of 85.1-46.6 and set a County single-game scoring record in a 121-64 victory over Santana.  They beat Point Loma, 118-54, and scored 92 points in the last three quarters in a 111-62 win over El Cajon Valley.

Ela scored 685 points and averaged 21.4.  Greenman scored 594 and averaged 18.5.  Mathews scored 467 and averaged 14.6.

Helix, a year away from beginning its great run, was 0-4 against its neighboring rival.  The Matadors prevailed, 80-62, 86-57, and 67-56 in the regular season, and 69-55 in the CIF finals.

Oceanside got closer than anyone, bowing, 58-47, in the playoff quarterfinals after trailing, 31-28, at the half.  The Pirates, led by big Jim McCargo, Steve Waddell, and Willie Buchanon, had won 14 straight.

DIFFERENT VIEW

Point Loma coach Don Buechler tossed cold water on the idea that Mount Miguel could beat the best team in the Southern Section.

Buechler would know.  His team dropped a 118-54 decision to the Matadors and also played a powerful Northern squad.

Point Loma scheduled an unusual, late-season, nonleague home game against the 27-0 Compton Tarbabes, who would conclude a 32-0 season with the Southern Section championship a couple weeks later.

Compton easily raced past the 14-11 Pointers, 106-43, and Buechler was asked to compare the Matadors and the Northern powerhouse.

“They’re the best team I’ve seen in many a season,” Buechler said of Compton. “There is no team in our area that can match them man-for-man, rebounding, shooting, and individual defense.

“Everyone takes turns killing you.”

DECEMBER TOURNAMENTS

KIWANIS

Mount Miguel won the Unlimited Division, 83-50, over Eastern League power Morse.  The Matadors topped Granite Hills in an earlier game, 103-38, but fell short of the record 104 by Newhall Hart against Oceanside in 1954.

Castle Park claimed the Limited Division championship, 63-56, over Chula Vista and Vista topped Fallbrook, 55-54, in overtime to win the newly created Classified Division.

UNIVERSITY

Top seed Mount Miguel defeated No. 2 Lincoln, another Eastern League big shot, 69-52, after scoring 107 in one tournament game and 118 in another.

CHINO

Chula Vista, which had been playing in this post-December event almost from the time the school opened in 1947, swept to four straight victories including a 73-56 decision over Santa Clarita Simi Valley in the championship game.

SAN BERNARDINO KIWANIS

A free throw with 1:30 remaining in the game was what separated Long Beach Poly from San Diego in the Jackrabbits’ 63-62 championship game victory. Cavers Steve Clifford and Orie McLemore were all-tournament.

MUSTANG

San Dieguito won its own tournament, 48-47, over Coronado.  The Mustangs posted a 4-0 record in the round-robin event, followed by Coronado (3-1), San Marcos (2-2), Poway (1-3), and Bonita Vista (0-4).

Madison’s Ron Dahms (50) is closest but Kearny’s Lee Tyler (15) gives chase. Komets’ Bruce Williams (left) and Warhawks’ Phil Edwards (44) are near, yet far.

EL CENTRO ELKS

Six-foot, 10 1/2-inch Ron Dahms scored 25 points to lead Madison to a 62-47 win over Orange Glen, which was making its second straight appearance in the finals.

Several other San Diego teams were involved.  Brawley edged Crawford, 56-55, for third place, the Colts missing Rodney Boone, who sustained a back injury the day before.

El Centro Central topped Morse, playing without Monroe Nash, home in bed with the flu, 50-46, for fifth place.  La Jolla defeated Holtville, 54-43, for the consolation title.

PLAYOFFS

Despite protests from Metropolitan League coaches that their top teams, Chula Vista, Castle Park, and Hilltop, were dissed in the 16-team pairings, the postseason playoff committee approved its original seedings.

No. 1 Mount Miguel ousted 24-5 Castle Park, 64-44, in the first round and 17-8 University upset 26-3 Chula Vista, 52-50.  Hilltop upheld South Bay pride by bouncing 15-10 Clairemont, 69-51.

Hilltop (23-9) reached the semifinals before bowing to 21-10 Helix, 69-57.  Mount Miguel thumped Madison, 67-46.

The 27-5 Warhawks defeated Hilltop, 73-54, for third place.

Steve Bajo scored 29 points as Marian (21-6) was a 91-44 winner over 11-5 La Jolla Country Day in the Class A final.

Marian’s Steve Bajo is surrounded by coaches George Ziegenfuss (San Diego State), Phil Woolpert (University of San Diego), and Bob Kloppenburg (Cal Western) at Union-Tribune luncheon. Bajo opted for USD.

FOUL

Santana defeated El Cajon Valley, 90-76, by converting 50 of 70 fouls shots.

Game officials called 72 infractions, an average of more than two a minute, including 45 against the Braves.

Seven El Cajon Valley players and three Sultans were whistled to the bench with five personals each.

The Braves converted 22 of 36 free throw attempts and would have won, 54-40, if only field goals counted.

REALLY FOUL

Bizarre finish in a Western League game between University and Clairemont.

The score was tied at 62 with the Chiefs in possession when the Dons’ Kevin Madden was called for a personal foul with four seconds remaining.

Madden complained, apparently too loudly, and was additionally assessed a technical.

Clairemont’s Pat Casey missed the first free-throw in the one-and-one for the personal.

But Clairemont remained in possession as the Chiefs still had a free throw coming for the technical.

Chiefs coach Russ Cravens opted for his best player and scorer, Frank Petersen, to attempt the T free throw.

Petersen found the bottom of the net, giving Clairemont a 63-62 lead.

Four seconds still remained and the Chiefs retained possession at midcourt.

Game over?

Clairemont stunningly was called for a rules violation with one second remaining.

The Chiefs, according to student correspondent Homer Williams, were called for “a violation of the rule which requires the team ahead move the ball into an attacking area.”

Clairemont coach Cravens was outraged, lashing out at the official, who  promptly slapped Cravens with a technical.

All’s well that ended well.  University’s Dennis Kramer, who was 4 for 4 from the foul line, missed the technical freebie.

“SCORING” THE BASKETBALL

It’s a trite term overused in the modern game, but scoring was what San Diego preps did best this season.

Ten players averaged at least 20 points a game and 10 teams scored at least 63.3 points a game.  Figures unheard of as recently as 10 years before.

Monroe Nash of Morse had highest average, 24.3 points a game,

Madison’s Ron Dahms scored 706 points, third to the 737 that Crawford’s Larry Blum scored in 1962-63 and to the 736 by St. Augustine’s Tom Shaules in 1957-58.

Morse’s Monroe Nash won the scoring championship with a 24.3 average, with 608 points in 25 games.  Dahms averaged 22.06 and was edged by sophomore Paul Halupa of Bonita Vista, who scored 574 points in 26 games for an average of 22.08.

Halupa’s total represented the most ever by a 10th grade player.

HEAVENS! MR. HAVENS

Hoover’s John Havens broke two school records.

Havens’ 38 points in a 91-69 win over Granite Hills in consolation play of the Kiwanis Tournament bettered the 36 by Dick Barnes in 1944-45.

Havens, who averaged 18.4 points as the Cardinals struggled to a 9-17 record, had a season total of 478, bettering the 446 by Norris Greenwood in 1957-58.

NEEDED: ONE COPY EDITOR

San Diego coach Bill Standly did not take kindly to what he considered editorial impudence by the staff of The Russ, as noted by Don King in Caver Conquest.

Standly was not amused after reading a headline in the school newspaper that described a “Bush Sports Calendar.”

James (Bouncy) Moore averaged 14.2 but was better known in track and field, third in state long jump at 24 feet, 4 inches, in 1968 and national collegiate champion at University of Oregon in 1970. He had all-time best of 26-11 3/4.

After all, the coach had put together a strong nonleague and intersectional schedule as his team was defending its 1966-67 San Diego Section championship.

Standly was mollified somewhat when a Russ editor apologized and explained that the headline was a typographical error and should have read “Busy Sports Calendar.”

WALTON SAMPLE

Helix outscored Hilltop, 24-12, in nine minutes of the second and third quarters in their 69-57, CIF semifinal playoff victory before 3,573 persons at Peterson Gym, “with sophomore center Bill Walton and forward Paul Drozd leading the way.”

Writer Bill Center elaborated:

“Walton, a spindly, 6-6 center who was brought up from the junior varsity for the playoffs, took charge around the basket, batting down two shots and grabbing three defensive rebounds, which set up Highlander scores.”

Walton also scored eight points in this first, brief appearance on the big stage, which he would command for the next several years, at Helix, UCLA, and in the NBA.

IT’S A CRAZY GAME

–Mar Vista led visiting Coronado, 43-22, at halftime and lost, 65-64, as the Islanders took their only lead in the game on Jim Haught’s looper with 21 seconds remaining.

–Lincoln’s Jerry Powell scored 20 points, including 10 in a row and 12 in the final seven minutes, as the Hornets topped Crawford, 64-56.

Jerry Powell, laying up against Crawford, was Lincoln standout.

–St. Augustine, 2-12, beat 12-5 Lincoln, 69-66.  Hoover, 6-12, beat 14-6 Morse, 51-48.  Crawford, 8-12, defeated 15-5 Lincoln, 56-53.

–Monroe Nash, despite 4 personal fouls, scored 19 points in the final 11 minutes as Morse beat San Diego, 72-70, in two overtimes.

–Madison jumped to 34-16 lead over Point Loma, but then was outscored, 50-32, and the teams deadlocked at 66, forcing overtime, which Madison dominated and won, 70-67.

–James (Bouncy) Moore broke free for a layup with two seconds to go in the second overtime as San Diego defeated Crawford, 75-73, after the teams deadlocked at 62 in regulation play and 66 in the first overtime.

–Helix trailed Monte Vista, 29-12, and then led, 56-39, before finally moving past Monte Vista, 68-65.  Bob Kellison and Bill’s brother, Bruce Walton, led the Scots with 13 points each.

Hilltop’s John Tschogl (left) and Chula Vista’s Bob Olson led their teams to a combined 49 wins and school scoring records.

JUMP SHOTS

Although eliminated in the playoffs’ first round, it was a banner year for the Chula Vista Spartans, who won their third Metropolitan League championship in five seasons under coach Larry Armbrust and tied the school record for most wins…Bob Olson scored 35 points in a 77-59 win over Coronado and broke the school record of 33 set by Koichi Yamamoto in 1956-57 and equaled by Eric Mortenson in ’65-’66…Clairemont’s Frank Petersen was the season’s single-game scoring leader with 48 points in an 85-51 win over first-year Bonita Vista…the 21st annual December Kiwanis Tournament expanded to three divisions…there now were 16 Unlimited entries, 16 Limited, and 8 Classified…the Oscar Foster era had ended at San Diego, but the Cavers still posted a 20-8 record with one returning starter (Orie McLemore) and four junior varsity graduates…Hilltop joined Mount Miguel in 100-point club with a 104-46 win over Bonita Vista as forward John Tschogl set a school record with 41 points…Tschogl played at the University of California at Santa Barbara and for two seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Philadelphia 76ers…3,075 persons attended the Saturday night playoff finals at Peterson Gym, bringing two-night attendance to almost 7,000….

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