Amid the flourishing mid-season “shootouts” is Point Loma High, among the increasing number of schools hosting all-day, nonleague “showcase” games.
The contests don’t always turn out to be showcases, because games often have to be scheduled a year in advance and teams’ fortunes change, ebbing and flowing for myriad reasons.
The Pointers call their annual event Saturday, January 18, the “Bennie Edens Basketball Classic.”
Let’s try that again.
The “Bennie Edens Basketball Classic”.
Yes, that’s what it’s known as.
Edens, who passed away in 2008, was an outstanding coach at Point Loma from 1955-97. His teams won 239 football games, second highest total in San Diego Section history.
Bennie never blew a whistle, diagrammed a play, or called a time out in a high school basketball game.
Or got a technical foul. At least not on the varsity level.
The Edens name still resonates, but a more likely coach to honor in the basketball context probably would have been Hilbert Crosthwaite, who holds a singular distinction among all Point Loma hoop mentors.
(Lee Trepanier was a legend among girls’ basketball coaches, most notably with the 32-0 state championship team of 1983-84, led by Terri Mann).
Crosthwaite’s 1959-60 Pointers came out of the weeds to win the Southern California AA championship, the last by a local team before the San Diego Section became reality the following year.
Crosthwaite moved on after the championship run to coach the San Diego Junior College team and took the Knights to the 1962-63 state championship game, losing to Fresno City, 76-69, and finishing with a 25-5 record.
The San Diego State graduate coached at Point for 11 seasons, from 1947-48 to 1951-52 and for five seasons beginning in 1954-55. His overall record at Point Loma was 116-116 and his last squad was playing at that pace for most of the season.
The Pointers tied coach Jim Poole’s Kearny Komets for first in the Western League but were only 12-10 overall when they launched their playoff run.
The Pointers won their opening game at Hemet High against Beaumont, 32-24, then defeated Yucaipa at Redlands University, 55-23. They followed by knocking off Rosemead Bosco Tech, 54-37, and Lompoc, 54-40, quarterfinals and semifinals games at home, and San Marino, 52-36, in finals at Los Angeles State.
That Point Loma probably was the school with the largest enrollment in the AA division was not lost on the straight-shooting Crosthwaite. “We had everything to lose.” he said. “We couldn’t have walked out of here unless we won.”
Crosthwaite and forward Winston Yetta didn’t have to walk. They were paraded around the court after the victory on the shoulders of the other Pointers before a crowd of about 5,200.
As Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union said, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, who spoke after the British Royal Air Force had defeated the more heavily armed German Luftwaffe in World War II: “Winston (Winnie) Yetta enjoyed his finest basketball hour here tonight, collecting 22 points….”
The 6-foot Yetta was joined in the starting lineup by 6-1 Don Sada, 6-2 Larry Moore, 6-0 Mike Dolphin, and 6-0 Doug Lawrence, or 6-6 1/2 Dick Walden.
Meanwhile, action was slow in the UT-San Diego Top 10 last week. Francis Parker dropped a 53-52 decision to 21-0 Brentwood Buckley and went from sixth to eighth. Eastlake replaced Poway at 10th.
Hoover, apparently gaining traction, elevated to ninth after victories of 71-65 over Serra and 73-65 over Woodland Hills Taft.
|#||Team (1st place votes)||W-L*||Points**||Previous*|
|1||St. Augustine (9)||14-2||121||1|
|2||Mater Dei Catholic (2)||14-2||118||2|
|3||La Costa Canyon (1)||15-2||105||3|
**Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis
Others receiving votes: Cathedral, 6; Foothills Christian, Grossmont, 5 each; Mission Hills, 4; Escondido, 3; Steele Canyon, 1.