2017 Week 9: Musket Time for Helix, Grossmont

Grossmont probably wouldn’t recognize the musket trophy if it defeats Helix this week.

The Foothillers (6-2) and Highlanders (7-1) meet for the 61st time in what is known as the battle of the musket, although there has been only carnage lately.

Helix has won the last 19 meetings, by an average score of 39-10.

Since 2008, the average Helix victory is 51-13. The Foothillers’ last win was 14-11 in 1992.

‘Twas not always thus.

Grossmont was 19-20-2 against its younger rival from 1951-92.

It’s not that Grossmont isn’t one of the better teams in the San Diego Section.  Since alumnus Tom Karlo moved over from Mount Miguel in 2012, the Foothillers are 52-22.

A Helix student, probably named Campbell, donated a long-bore musket weapon favored by Scottish highlanders before the schools met for the first time in 1951.

STILL WINNING

Mission Hills, Ramona, San Diego, El Centro Southwest, and Calvin Christian each 8-0, and 7-0 The Bishop’s are undefeated heading into the regular season’s penultimate games.

This week is particularly significant for coach Damon Baldwin and Ramona.

Defeat Poway and the Bulldogs will be 9-0 for the first time since 1959 and the era of Allen Brown and Melvin White.  They were among the leaders of the Bob McCutcheon-coached 12-0 team that was 23-0 over two seasons.

Wagner kicked them long for Hilltop..

SAY, AREN’T YOU…?

Sweetwater has won 4 of 5 since a 66-0 loss to Lincoln and is recovering from the 1-9 and 2-8 of the last two seasons.

The Red Devils’ coach has a familiar name, if you’re familiar with placekickers.

Bryan Wagner set a San Diego Section record with a 53-yard placement for Hilltop in 1979.  Wagner’s kick now is the eighth longest in section history, bettered by 6 different kickers.

Wagner was in the NFL for nine seasons, but never attempted a field goal.  He was a punter for five different teams, including the San Diego Chargers in 1994.

HEAT WAVE

The hot weather this week reminds of another blast- furnace stretch.  On Sept. 27, 1963, the temperature in San Diego was a record 111 degrees.

The high was 104 the next day and at least 100 when Helix and Hoover kicked off at Hoover at 8 p.m.

Hoover rallied late in the fourth quarter for a 14-13 victory before a crowd of more than 6,000.

QUICK KICKS

Mission Hills stayed at 14th and Helix at 29th in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports state rankings while Ramona got with the program at 50th…San Marcos has “bubble” status….

The Week 9 Union-Tribune poll:

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (26) 8-0 278 1
2. Helix (2) 7-1 254 2
3. Ramona 8-0 214 3
4. San Marcos 7-1 162 8
5. Torrey Pines 6-2 151 7
6. The Bishop’s 7-0 111 6
7. Lincoln 7-1 111 9
8. La Costa Canyon 6-2 99 4
9. St. Augustine 5-3 38 10
10. Madison 6-2 35 5

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

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Pouint Loma (5-3, 14 points),  El Centro Southwest (8-0, 12) , Valley Center (7-1, 7),  El Camino (4-4, 6), Eastlake (6-2, 6), Otay Ranch (6-2, 3), San Diego (8-0, 2), Carlsbad (4-4, 2), Grossmont (6-2, 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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2017:  Tucker, Howard, Lipscomb, Tomlinson

Four outstanding athletes who graced the San Diego sports scene were among those who passed in the past months.

HORACE TUCKER

He was late reporting for football practice at San Diego High in 1952, because Tucker and teammate Floyd Robinson were involved with the American Legion Post 364 baseball team that was runner-up to a Cincinnati squad in the national tournament.

Tucker was baseball-football star.

Tucker’s .452 average led all batters in the event and he won the Louisville slugger award.

A year later Tucker was the Cavers’ leading scorer in football with 6 touchdowns and 4 extra points, his 40-point total setting the pace for 4 others Cavers who scored at least 5 touchdowns in the 7-3 season.

JERRY LIPSCOMB

Mount Miguel didn’t suffer the usual fate of first-year schools in 1957, posting  a 5-3 record and followed with another 5-3 mark in 1958..

Lipscomb was the Matadors’ starting halfback and became an immediate star for the new school.

Lipscomb scored 41 points in 1957 and 52 in 1958, earning all-Metropolitan League honors as a senior and an invitation to play for the San Diego team in the annual Breitbard College Prep game against the all-Los Angeles City squad.

CLAUDELL HOWARD

A three-sport letterman in the era of Ed Buchanan at Kearny, Claudell was one of the top broad jumpers in his class in Southern California.

Howard was the Class C champion in the 1957 finals at Ontario Chaffey with a leap of 21 feet, 6 ½ inches, finished second in Class B in 1958, and also played football and basketball.

BOB TOMLINSON

His 68-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage gave Sweetwater a temporary, 6-0 lead over the powerful San Diego Hilltoppers in 1945.

Tomlinson was the fourth leading scorer in the Victory League with 7 touchdowns in 6 games.  He trailed only behind only the San Diego’s Harry West, Cosimo Cutri, and Joe Adamo, who played nine games.

Tomlinson also was a standout at San Diego State and was the first coach when Hilltop in east Chula Vista broke ground in 1960.

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2017 Week 8: About Cavers, Hamamoto, Gilster, Saints

San Diego continued to impress; coaches moved on leaders in all-time victories, and St. Augustine rebounded.

San Diego improved to 7-0 with a 34-7 over Kearny, which took a 6-0 record into the game, as big, fast Raiden Hunter rushed for 270 yards in 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.

An impressive Central League turnout of about 4,500 persons included a San Diego cheering section that filled the visiting stands.

A win over Patrick Henry this week would send the Cavers to 8-0, a feat accomplished by San Diego teams in 1916, ’25, ‘45, ’47, ’50, ’55, ’57, and ’58. Only the ’16 (12-0) and ’55 clubs (11-0-1) got to the finish line unbeaten.

San Diego has two games remaining after the Patriots, at Crawford and at Coronado.

UP THE LADDER

Monte Vista’s 24-17 win over Santana moved the Monarchs to 4-3 and gave coach Ron Hamamoto his 214th victory, moving Hamamoto past Helix’ Jim Arnaiz into seventh place among San Diego County coaches.

Valley Center’s 37-21 victory against Rancho Buena Vista left the Jaguars with a 6-1 record and was the 213th in Rob Gilster’s career, tying Gilster with Arnaiz for eighth.

Next up for Hamamoto and Gilster is Ed Burke, who won 215 games at San Dieguito and Torrey Pines.  Burke won another 40-plus at King City before coming to the San Diego area.

REVITALIZED

St. Augustine, beaten by Carlsbad, swamped by L.A. Loyola, and pushed around by Helix earlier in the season, knocked Madison from the ranks of the undefeated with a solid, 19-10 victory.

The effort of the Saints’ defense helped overcome the loss of star wideout J.R. Justice, who sustained what may be a season-ending leg injury the previous week.

By winning their second straight and moving to 4-3, the Saints are positioning themselves for the Catholic bragging rights battle with Cathedral in the season’s final regular-season game in three weeks.

QUICK KICKS

Lincoln (6-1) is off to its best start since the Tony Jackson-coached Hornets opened 8-0 in 2000…that Lincoln team finished 11-2, beaten twice by Mission Bay…a win over El Camino this week would give Mission Hills’ Chris Hauser his 150th coaching victory, achieved by 14 others…the Grizzlies also advanced to 14th in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports state rankings while Helix gained a notch to 29th…La Costa dropped out of the top 50 and now has “bubble” status with Ramona, which is 7-0, off to its best start since 2013, and third in the Union-Tribune poll this week.

The Week 8 Union-Tribune poll:

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (25) 7-0 277 1
2. Helix (3) 6-1 255 3
3. Ramona 7-0 210 2
4. La Costa Canyon 6-1 159 5
5. Madison 6-1 147 6
6. The Bishop’s 6-0 136 7
7. Torrey Pines 5-2 131 NR
8. San Marcos 6-1 101 4
9. Lincoln 6-1 579 8
10. St. Augustine 4-3 18 NR

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

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  El Camino (4-3, 16 points),  El Centro Southwest (7-0, 9),  , Valley Center (6-1, 2), Eastlake (5-2, 1), San Diego (7-0, 1), Carlsbad (4-3, 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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1948-49: “Little Guys” Hold Sway

City schools Hoover and San Diego usually wielded the sharp end of the stick, but smaller schools, for the second year in as row, stepped up.  Coronado, from the mostly suburban Metropolitan League, and Vista from the rural Southern Prep represented the area in Southern California playoffs.

There was no minor division or small school postseason alignment, in which the Islanders and Panthers, with relatively paltry enrollment numbers, probably would have been included.

You make the postseason, be prepared to play anyone, size of school no matter. One bracket of 16 teams met on successive weeks, two days each, almost all games at Redondo Beach Redondo.

A Small Schools division for the postseason would not be in place until the 1949-50 season, according to CIF historian John Dahlem.

Coronado likely would have enjoyed similar success in a group with more even student body numbers, as did the mid-1950s Islanders, who advanced to the finals two years in a row.

Coronado coach Keith Broaders is surrounded by his starting five of Dick Tulley, Don Davis, Tom Brown, John Kurtz, and Mark Davis (from left).

Thus, when Coronado thumped Inglewood, 46-28, in the first round, John De La Vega’s account for the Los Angeles Times began: “Little Coronado high school, unbeaten champions of the Metropolitan league in San Diego county, furnished the big surprise yesterday….”

The Islanders, coached by Keith Broaders, hammered the Bay League champions but were beaten, 39-29, by Ventura in the second round, closing out a 21-2 season.  Loyola earlier eliminated Vista (14-8), 48-24.

The exiting teams had faced the Southern Section’s premiere squads.

Loyola reached the round of 4 and defeated Coast League champion Compton, 34-33, and Ventura handled Alhambra, 58-41, for the championship.

UNNECESSARY LOSS?

Coronado’s record was listed as 21-1 in Bill Finley’s Evening Tribune High School Record Book 1945-69.

The obvious loss was to Ventura, but research showed that Broaders also scheduled a game in which he reportedly utilized only substitutes and the Islanders were upset by Brown Military, 29-27, in overtime.

Finley’s excellent publication reflected the difficulty finding complete, individual scoring statistics or total won-loss records from newspapers’ coverage in the early years until well into the late 1950s.

COAST NOT CLEAR

The three local teams, Grossmont, San Diego, and Hoover, won six of seven games at home on the opening weekend of Coast League play. The only setback was Grossmont’s 36-35 loss in overtime to Compton.

Three days later Grossmont beat San Diego, 41-40, on Herbie Fennel’s free throw with three seconds remaining before a full house at Grossmont.

The Cardinals and Foothillers soon dropped off the pace, however, and San Diego assumed the lead, taking an 8-1 record into its final game against 6-2 Compton.

The Hilltoppers had edged the Tarbabes, 34-27, early in league play but Compton prevailed in the rematch, 31-29 and then defeated Muir, 50-48, to forge a tie for the title.

WHICH IS WHICH?

One San Diego report declared that Compton and San Diego would flip a coin to determine the champion, but another said the winner of the teams’ first-round meeting in the Beverly Hills Tournament would determine the league’s sole playoff representative.

The Hillers came up flat, losing, 55-33, and closed out a 15-7 season.  Grossmont signed off at 10-8, Hoover at 9-11, and St. Augustine at 11-6.

John Davidson, curator of Junipero Museum in Presidio Park, has bird’s eye view of unusual sight, water in the San Diego River near channel leading to sea.

NO GAME, SNOW!

The dateline said San Diego, not somewhere in northern Minnesota, or numerous other wintry outposts.

Snow had forced postponement of two games.

That is not a misprint.

In the dead of winter a couple high school basketball contests in San Diego County were called off because of the flaky white stuff.

Southern Prep League games sending Brown Military to Mountain Empire in Campo and Vista to Julian could not be played “because of bad traveling conditions,” according to The San Diego Union on Jan. 14, 1949.

Five feet of snow in the higher elevations, the newspaper reported, “silenced rural telephone circuits so completely that the Police Department rushed a mobile radio transmitter to Julian to establish an emergency communications center.”

Down below the 4,000-foot elevation the coastline was hit with storm waves that caused damage to small craft and wreaked havoc on the beaches along U.S. 101.

San Diego rainfall totals were almost two inches above normal.

A view of the San Diego River from the Junipero Serra museum in Presidio Park showed water runoff to the ocean for the first time in three years.

DECEMBER MEDIOCRITY

Eight of the 11 San Diego-area teams in the 23-team, two-division, second annual Kiwanis Tournament were defeated in the first round of the three-day event at San Diego, Hoover, and San Diego State.

Hoover played twice on the first day, defeating Long Beach Poly, 34-31, and then lost to Beverly Hills, 22-18.

San Diego, outed by Long Beach Wilson, 36-33, came back to win the Unlimited Division consolation title, 43-27 over La Jolla.  Chula Vista defeated Oceanside, 23-20, for the Limited Division conso’ crown.

Sweetwater won the Limited Division championship, 40-24, over Brawley.  El Monte trimmed Beverly Hills, 60-40, for the Unlimited title.

San Diego’s Bob McClurg and Eddie Simpson made the all-tournament team.  Simpson scored 42 points in the 4 games.  Jim Loews of El Monte was leading scorer with 56.

MORE EXITS

While the Metropolitan and Southern Prep leagues got ready for league openers, the three Coast League locals went north to Compton College for the annual Western States Tournament.

San Diego topped Alhambra Mark Keppel, 45-37, and then went into the consolation bracket after a 43-37 loss to Los Angeles Mt. Carmel.  Hoover topped Long Beach Poly, 43-41, but lost to Compton, 48-36.

Grossmont fell to Mt. Carmel, 47-37, in the opening round.

The threesome were quickly sent back home from the losers’ bracket.  Long Beach St. Anthony nudged San Diego, 39-38, Long Beach Wilson nipped Hoover, 56-55, and Santa Barbara beat Grossmont, 50-44.

HIGH SCORERS

Alan Logan of Ramona had the highest reported individual scoring total with 30 points in a 40-25 win over Brown Military.  Bob (Bama) Shell scored 28 in St. Augustine’s 47-39 victory over Chula Vista.

Shell scored 23 points and Lou Kuslo 17 as the Saints defeated Los Angeles Cathedral in the Southland Catholic League event.

Shell was denied an opportunity to score more when Long Beach St. Anthony backed out of its own hoop carnival so team members and students could trek to the Los Angeles Coliseum to watch their football team play Santa Barbara for the Southern Section title.

Bob (Bama) Shell and Lou Kuslo (from left) pushed the ball for St. Augustine.

NOTHING, ZIP, NIL, NADA

The timeworn maxim that “they couldn’t hit a bull in the — with a barn door” resonated with those watching a Grossmont junior high tournament middleweight division game.

Coronado shut out Ramona’s Mt. Woodson Mountain Lions, 37-0.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Sixteen-year-old Casey Moffet of Shelby, N.C., drove to the basket, missed a layup, and crashed through a wooden wall in a game against Waco, N.C.

Moffet penetrated the ½-inch plywood (?) barrier and fell 10 feet to the frozen clay surface outside the gym.  He sustained, head, shoulder, and arm injuries.

SET SHOTS

Ivan Robinson scored the winning basket for the San Diego High alumni against the Hilltoppers’ varsity and played the next night for the Alumni against the San Diego Junior College Knights…Vista defeated San Dieguito, 40-30, to gain a tie for the SPL title and then won a playoff, 34-31 over San Dieguito to earn the league’s playoff berth…future Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian was a starting guard for the Pasadena Bullpups…after opening with a victorious Coast League weekend, San Diego stumbled against Point Loma, 30-14, and St. Augustine, 42-33…the Saints won the sixth annual Coronado C  & D tournament, 21-9 over Hoover in the Cees and 18-17 over Coronado in the Dees…

 

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2017 Week 7: Big Week for Komets, Cavers

There was no Week 6 blog, with the attendant rankings from The San Diego Union, because we were celebrating my beautiful bride’s birthday on a seven-day cruise south, along the Mexican Riviera. I had a fat attack, unable to resist the relentless, daily, gastronomic temptations.

There are several interesting games this week, two in particular:  San Diego and Kearny, each 6-0, meet on Kearny’s almost-new, lighted field, with the winner taking a big step toward a Central League championship, although Crawford would have to be heard from, and El Centro Southwest (6-0) plays host to Brawley (4-2) for Imperial Valley bragging rights.

KOMETS-CAVERS

Kearny has pulled ahead, 19-16, in a series that dates to 1950, when San Diego defeated the undermanned Komets, 58-12, but lost star player Charlie Powell for the rest of the season and half of basketball when Powell took a knee to the kidneys in the third quarter, when the Cavers led, 58-0.

Three seasons later the confident, 7-0 Komets played San Diego for the City Prep League championship but were dismissed, 27-0.  Birt Slater was in his first season as an assistant coach to Duane Maley at San Diego.

Coincidentally the unveiling of a plaque this week that will recognize the Kearny gridiron as “Birt Slater Field” salutes the man who left San Diego, made Kearny a dominant program in the ‘sixties and ‘seventies, and changed things with the Cavers.

Slater’s impact at Kearny endures.

Kearny had lost its first nine games against San Diego and faced a good Cavers team in the final regular-season game in 1963. The Larry Shepard-led Slater team shocked the Cavers, 52-14, sending the Komets flying into the playoffs and to their first San Diego Section championship.

Slater didn’t like talking about it but that breakthrough for Kearny may have represented the most satisfying victory of the 134 he amassed from 1959-76.

Slater had been in line for the San Diego job as early as the winter of 1956-57, but his  appointment would be contingent on when Maley retired, but Maley didn’t step down until after the 1959 season.

Birt had  moved on.

EVEN?

The Cavers are off to their best start since Maley’s 1958 club won its first six games.  The level of competition isn’t the same and San Diego shouldn’t be confused with those great Cavers teams of the ‘forties and ‘fifties, but winning has gotten alumni buzzing and students finding a reason to go to games.

Comparative scores seem to indicate a tossup.  Coach Will Gray’s Komets beat Francis Parker, 40-3, and San Diego Southwest, 59-28.  San Diego, under former University City mentor Charles James, defeated Parker, 54-7, and Southwest, 28-7.

DESERT DUSTUP

Brawley and El Centro Southwest joined the San Diego Section in 2000 and Brawley, in keeping with its seniority, has ruled the Eagles’ roost.

The Wildcats are 17-1 against Southwest since 2000.  The average score of the 18 games is 38-8, including 72-8 and 63-0 indignities.  Brawley has won 10 Imperial Valley League titles since the millennium and finished no lower than second in all other seasons.

Coach John Self has picked up the mantel handed down by John Bishop, known as the Desert King during his many years in the Valley, and Bishop had followed the tradition of Bob Farrell, whose ‘fifties Brawley teams were formidable Southern Section small-school operatives.

Southwest’s one victory in the series, 32-27 in 2010, marked the only season the Eagles have won the league championship.

But the school near Interstate 8,  at South 23rd Street and Ocatillo Drive, has won 24 of its last 30 games since 2015 under coach John Mitosinka, while Brawley is 18-10 over the same period.

CALIFORNIA TOP 50

Mission Hills is 16th, Madison 23rd, Helix 30th, and La Costa Canyon 43rd in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports statewide rankings.

San Marcos, 45th last week, dropped out after a quasi-surprising, 38-21 loss to Torrey Pines.  Ramona, 6-0 for the first time since 2013, attained “bubble” status.

The Union-Tribune Week 7 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (23) 6-0 275 1
2. Helix (3) 5-1 240 3
3. Madison (2) 6-0 239 2
4. La Costa Canyon 6-0 191 5
5. Ramona 6-0 153 6
6. The Bishop’s 5-0 122 7
7. Torrey Pines 4-2 92 NR
8. San Marcos 5-1 90 4
9. Lincoln 5-1 56 8
10. Carlsbad 4-2 17 NR

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

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  El Camino (3-3, 15 points),  El Centro Southwest (6-0, 5),  Eastlake (4-2, 4), Valley Center (5-1, 4), St. Augustine (3-3, 2), Christian (5-1, 1), Grossmont (4-2, 1), Mira Mesa (5-1, 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: They Made the NFL on Opening Day

Twelve former San Diego Section stars made the 32-team NFL rosters of 1,693 players at the start of the 2017 season.

Thirteen made the list in 2016 and 15 in 2015.

Helix was one of 40 schools with 3 players active.  St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had 12, followed by Long Beach Poly with 7, two schools with 6, and six  with 5.

Florida led all schools with 212 players, followed by California (191), Texas (179), and Georgia 120.  Miami led by city with 25. Houston (17), and Fort Lauderdale (15) rank second and third.

The NFL incorrectly listed five players as having attended either San Marcos, Serra, or Cathedral from the San Diego Section.  Those players were from Santa Barbara San Marcos, Gardena Serra, and Los Angeles Cathderal.

Please contact me with corrections or additions.

Name High School College Position NFL Team
Jamal Agnew Point Loma U. San Diego Cornerback Detroit
Joe Cardona Granite Hills Navy Long Snapper New England
Cory Littleton Mount Miguel Washington Linebacker L.A. Rams
Stefan McClure Vista California Safety Washington
Erik Magnuson La Costa Canyon Michigan Guard San Francisco
Brian Schwenke Oceanside California Center Tennessee
Alex Smith Helix Utah Quarterback Kansas City
Kenny Stills La Costa Canyon Oklahoma Wide Receiver Miami
Jamar Taylor Helix Boise State Cornerback Cleveland
Levine Toilolo Helix Stanford Tight End Atlanta
Aaron Wallace Rancho Bernardo UCLA Linebacker Tennessee
Damien Williams Mira Mesa Oklahoma Running Back Miami
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2017 Week 5: Helix Defender Near Top of List

Opinions are like a certain area of the anatomy.  Most of us have one.

The opinion of Scouts.com, which maintains a running list of  who’s who in high school football and who is being recruited by whom, is that the following table is indicative of the probable 10 best players in the San Diego Section.

The table reflects Scout.com‘s individual ranking for California players and is updated daily.

Helix’s Isaac Taylor-Stuart is considered the No. 4 player in the state, behind only three, five-star wide  receivers, Amron-Ra St. Brown, Santa Ana Mater Dei; Devon Williams, Lancaster Antelope Valley, and Jalen Hall, Long Beach Poly.

Other rating services will differ.

Rank Name Pos. School Stars
4 Isaac Taylor-Stuart DB Helix ****
17 Jack Tuttle QB Mission Hills ****
41 Kyle Phillips WR San Marcos ***
45 Chris Brown RB El Camino ***
54 JR Justice Athlete St. Augustine ***
119 Donovan Laie Tackle Oceanside ***
120 Rocky Katoanga OLB El Camino ***
124 William Dunkle Tackle Eastlake ***
140 Chris Olave WR San Marcos ***
152 Rashad Scott WR Helix ***

A FEW AT 5-0

At the regular season’s halfway juncture there are six teams with 5-0 records and eight with 4-0 records.

Three City League teams are on a collision course.  Kearny and Crawford are 5-0 and San Diego is 4-0.

The Komets, overlooked by us last week, are off to their best start since 1978.  Crawford was 5-0 as recently as 2013. San Diego is traversing ground not covered since the 5-0 team of  2011.

San Diego is favored this week as it opens league play against visiting Clairemont (2-3). Crawford is idle and will prepare for tough University City (4-1) at Hoover the following week.  Kearny also is off and awaits Coronado (1-3)  at home next week.

Other 5-0 teams are Mission Hills, San Marcos, Ramona, and La Costa Canyon.

Clubs with 4-0 records:  Calvin Christian, Christian, El Centro Central, El Centro Southwest, Madison, Mira Mesa, The Bishop’s.

TWO-SPORT THREAT

La Costa Canyon’s Karson Lippert, football player or track man?

He’s taken the field by storm in each.

Last week the 165-pound junior rushed for 312 yards in 20 carries ad scored on runs 80, 82, and 90 yards as the suddenly lethal Mavericks ran past Carlsbad, 36-21.

Lippert caught everyone’s attention in June at the state meet in Clovis, finishing a surprising and scorching second in the 400 meters in :46.91, second fastest in area history.

La Costa Canyon is off to its best start since 2009 but faces the meat of its schedule the next three weeks against Avocado League toughies El Camino, Mission Hills, and San Marcos.

GRIZZLIES,WARHAWKS ON MOVE

Mission Hills and Madison continue to make incremental gains in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports rankings.

The Grizzlies, No. 1 in San Diego, rose from 18th to 17th on Cal-Hi‘s state list.  Madison moved from 26th to 25th, and Helix dropped from 30th to 31st.

San Marcos crashed the top 50 at 48th and La Costa Canyon got some “on-the-bubble” cred.

The Union-Tribune Week 5 poll :

Rank Team 2017 Points Last Week
1. Mission Hills (23) 5-0 274 1
2. Madison (4) 4-0 241 2
3. Helix (2) 3-1 239 3
4. San Marcos 5-0 193 4
5. La Costa Canyon 5-0 137 8
6. Ramona 5-0 134 7
7. The Bishop’s 5-0 126 6
8. Lincoln 4-1 57 10
9. El Camino 3-2 52 5
10. Eastlake 4-1 42 NR

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

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  Carlsbad (3-2, 14 points), Torrey  Pines (3-2, 13), Christian (4-0, 13),  Valley Center (4-1, 2), Mira Mesa (4-0, 1), Point Loma (3-2, 1), St. Augustine (2-3, 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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1947-48: McColl’s Haul

Bill McColl was working on the second leg of a football-basketball-baseball “triple crown.”

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 200-pounder was bound for  an all-America career at Stanford University and an eight-season stint as an end with the Chicago Bears of the NFL, followed by a post-athletic career as an orthopedic surgeon that included three years as a missionary doctor in Korea.

But first things first.

McColl, a strapping 200-pounder, moved easily with or without ball.

McColl made three all-Southern California teams, in football, basketball, and baseball (equaled only by Bonita’s Glenn Davis in 1942-43, and Pomona’s Marty Keough in 1951-52), and McColl managed to help coach Raleigh Holt’s track team as a high  hurdler and low hurdler when not crushing high school fastballs offered by Coast League pitchers in the spring.

McColl is remembered most for his football achievements but he was the most important figure in the Cardinals’ postwar, 57-23 run and one of the leading scorers in Southern California this season as the Cardinals posted a 20-8 record.

McColl scored 398 points for a 14.2 average, outstanding for the era, and he held the school record until 1957-58, when Norris Greenwood scored 446 points, as field goal percentage was improving everywhere and the game was evolving.

KIWANIANS HOOP

The first annual Southern California Invitational Basketball Tournament, better known as the Kiwanis Tournament, sponsored by local clubs of that name, became part of the area basketball scene.

Sixteen teams, including Northern visitors Compton, Long Beach Wilson, Redondo Beach Redondo, Inglewood, and Santa Monica, participated.

McColl set the tone for Hoover with 24 points in a 45-25, opening-round victory over La Jolla and the Cardinals went on to the championship, defeating St. Augustine, 41-33, Wilson, 46-42, and San Diego, 36-26.

Danny Newport’s 17 points helped San Diego defeat Compton, 39-37, in overtime and force the all-local finals.

Santa Monica routed Kearny, 75-16, for the most team points, and Sweetwater’s Fred Stafford went McColl one better with 25 points in a 54-21 rout of Kearny.

The victories were the high point of the season for the Cardinals and San Diego.

Hoover was runner-up to Compton in Coast League play with a 6-2 record.  San Diego, 16-9 overall, fell to 3-5 in the league.

San Diego defeated Hoover, 39-34, for third place in the Western States tournament at Compton College.  Compton was a 40-37 winner over Whittier for the championship.

The Tarbabes were eliminated in the semifinal round of the Southern Section playoffs by Ventura, 45-38.  Whittier edged Ventura, 45-36, for the title.

Hoover’s season ended when it was upset by Ontario Chaffey, 29-19, in the first round of the Beverly Hills Tournament.

All-Western States Tournament team included San Diego’s Ernie Smith (left) and Danny Newport (fifth from left) and Hoover’s Bill McColl (third from left). Courtesy, John Dahlem.

MIDTERM LOSSES

It happened often in basketball around the middle of January when midterm graduation took place.

Sweetwater, consolation bracket champion by virtue of a 51-42 win over La Jolla in the Kiwanis, jumped to a 4-0 start in the Metropolitan League.

But standouts Fred Stafford and Wylie Huffman were lost to graduation and the Red Devils, under first-year coach Bill (Red) Burrows, flattened out to 5-3 as Coronado raced to the title with a 7-1 record.

Burrows, who had coached football and track at Mountain Empire in 1946, quickly learned the vicissitudes of basketball.  The Red Devils dropped their next game after Stafford’s and Huffman’s departures, 36-32 in overtime to Point Loma.

Coronado slipped into first place on the same day with a 31-27, overtime win against La Jolla.

SINGLE BRACKET

There were no small schools playoffs, so Coronado and San Dieguito, the Southern Prep League champion, were slotted into a 16-team major division tournament.

The Islanders (13-7) bowed to El Centro Central, 30-26, in the second round. San Dieguito (12-11) fell to Whittier, the eventual champion, 53-26.

HOT BIRDS

Hoover converted 16 of 32 shots from the field to Compton’s 11 of 32 and, led by McColl’s 18 points, earned a Coast League split with the champion Tarbabes, 38-31. 

OFF THE TOP

Basketball had become a dynamic, modern game since Dr. John Naismith found use for a spheroid and a couple peach baskets in 1891.

Catholic Tournament found more roomy environs at Olympic Auditorium.

But tiny gyms continued to be a part of the fabric and romance of the sport.  None apparently more tiny than Los Angeles’ Mt. Carmel High.

That’s where St. Augustine’s traveling Saints were participants in an almost comic situation in the Southland Catholic postseason tournament.

The Saints were members of the league in football but independents in basketball, although they played many of their games against league entries.

St. Augustine trailed Los Angeles Cathedral, 35-34, as the clock wound down in a first-round game.

The Saints’ Julie Zolezzi launched an arching, half-court set shot over a Phantoms defender in the final second of play.

Zolezzi’s shot struck an overhead rafter, recharted its trajectory, and found the basket, swishing through.

Saints win, 37-36?

The game referee disallowed the basket in what The San Diego Union described as a “touchy” decision.

St. Augustine recovered to defeat Santa Monica St. Monica’s, 44-21, to reach the consolation bracket finals, and then lost to Long Beach St. Anthony, 60-45.

Lou Kuslo led the Saints’ offense.

The last two games were conducted without incident at a more expansive venue, the 10,000-seat Olympic Auditorium wrestling-boxing emporium.

The Saints concluded a 10-11 season, with Lou Kuslo their leading scorer with 230 points in 20 games, 11.5 average.

LOYALTY

San Diego canceled a December game with San Bernardino because the team wanted to join other students in going to Los Angeles to watch the Hilltoppers’ CIF football championship contest with Santa Monica.

DREADED ADMINISTRATIVE GLITCH

Grossmont players voted to reverse their 41-39, three-overtime victory over Kearny and the Komets were declared 36-35 winners, as announced by Grossmont principal Lewis Smith.

Game officials Art Stone and Ed Ruffa did not know the rules of overtime.

Kearny scored a free throw near the end of the first extra session of three minutes and thought it was a 36-35 winner on its home court, the Linda Vista Community Center.

Ruffa and Stone, however, ruled that a game could not be won in overtime by one point.

Family relocation deprived Cannon of possible scoring title.

That was the officials’ first error and it was a whopper.

A second overtime was played, ending in a deadlock at 39.

Grossmont scored first in the third, “sudden death” extra session and went home with an apparent, 41-39 win.

Ruffa and Stone had goofed again when they allowed the third overtime.

Rules were that the second overtime should have been sudden death. Grossmont would have been a 38-36 “winner”.

Kudos to Grossmont.  Sportsmanship won out.

FOOTHILLERS MOVE UP

After much discussion, Grossmont was essentially ousted from the Metropolitan League, effective at the end of the school year, and would be joining Coast League in 1948-49.

Metro schools wanted no part of the Foothillers, with their huge enrollment (more than 2,000 to others’ about 500) advantage, their domination in the postwar era and the unwieldy, nine teams  of the existing league.

Several meetings and proposals took place from Jan. 14, 1948, until a decision was reached on Feb. 7:

–A Southern Section committee initially recommended that Grossmont leave the Metro after other league schools complained.

–Grossmont  reportedly rejected the CIF proposal and suggested a 10-team Metro of two divisions, divided by enrollment. Division winners would meet in a one-game playoff to determine a champion.

–Since there were nine teams, a 10th  “Team X”, would have to be selected at the league meeting in February.  A  subcommittee was formed to determine the feasibility of San Dieguito’s or St. Augustine’s becoming members.

–Grossmont honchos finally agreed to the Southern Section recommendation/demand and said bon voyage to the Metro and would join the Coast League.

The Foothillers would be part of the old, once-powerful Coast until San Diego schools formed the City Prep League in 1950.

–Grossmont was in the CPL until returning to the Metro in 1954 and finally became part of the new Grossmont circuit in 1961.

SIGNS OF THE TIME

The Midway Drive-In Theater on West Point Loma Boulevard celebrated its one-year anniversary on March 4, 1948.

The Midway, one of the earliest outdoor venues in the United States, drew more than 500,000 customers, according to manager Robert Shure.

Some pedestrian “customers” could watch from the fencing outside the theater, speakers provided by management.

HEIGHT NO PROBLEM

Wally Piekarski, all of 5 feet, 5 inches, scored 91 points in Chicago Tilden Technical’s 122-22 victory over Paul Dunbar High.

SET SHOTS

Hoover’s was 4-1 against San Diego…the teams played a nonleague game, a Kiwanis Tournament encounter, another in the Western States tournament, and two Coast League contests…Coronado did not enter the Kiwanis Tournament, instead scheduling a squad from the navy’s USS El Dorado which whipped the Islanders, 54-23… More than 1,400 persons were on hand as Grossmont defeated Point Loma, 35-32, in a Point Loma home game at San Diego High…the Pointers’ expansive, 1,800-seat venue, with a balcony, would not open until the 1949-50 season…more than 1,500 showed up at San Diego the following evening as Hoover, behind Bill McColl’s 19 points, defeated the Hilltoppers, 32-23…future San Diego coaching legends Les Cassie (Hoover) and Duane Maley (San Diego) matched wits in the B game, won by Hoover, 32-30…Charles Cannon of Grossmont led the Metropolitan League in  scoring through six games with a 13.1 average but was denied a chance to win the title when he moved back to Midwest with his family with two games remaining…Sweetwater’s Lester Stephens, one of four to pass Cannon, won the title with a 11.9 average, 95 points in 8 games…San Diego defeated Coronado, 17-16, to win Class C and Coronado topped Hoover, 11-10, in Class D in the fifth annual Coronado Lightweight tournament…football-track star Ernie Smith of San Diego also could hoop, moving into the Hillers’ starting lineup immediately after the football finals…Smith was the Cavers’ single-game high leader when he scored 23 points in a 40-34 win over Pasadena Muir…

San Diego’s Ernie Smith contests rebound by Hoover’s Don Metzler.

Hilbert Crosthwaite, with forward Neal Packer, posted 14-5 record in first season at Point Loma.

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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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