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Boys basketball: ‘Cats clinch clean sweep of IVL

February 16, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

CALIPATRIA — The Brawley Union High School boys basketball team wrapped up its perfect Imperial Valley League season with a 65-49 win over Southwest here Thursday.

The Wildcats were forced to play on Calipatria's home court because of construction at Brawley Union High. The change of venue did not seem to affect the Wildcats much as they took the lead midway through the first quarter and never gave it up.

"We didn't play our best but we pulled through in the end," said Wildcat senior Wheeler Morgan who finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists.

"I thought we did all right," said Southwest coach Marty Zwart. "The kids never quit. Brawley played great team basketball."

While the Wildcats may have been looking ahead to a favorable playoff seeding, they did not take the Eagles for granted.

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Bradley Goff, who finished with 24 points, drilled two of his six three-pointers in the first half to help Southwest hang tough. The Eagles led once in the first at 5-4 and finished the quarter trailing 18-14.

For every Goff three, Brawley's Mark Rivera seemed to have an answer. The Wildcats talented junior point guard finished with 22 points (six threes), seven assists and four steals. Rivera buried three threes in the second quarter to help Brawley build a 33-27 lead at the break.

The second half belonged to Brawley. The Wildcats advantage stretched to 17 after the third and was as great as 21 midway through the final quarter.

Richard Santana added 15 points and four rebounds for Brawley. Cory Williams had 14 points for the Eagles.

Brawley improved to 8-0 in the IVL. The Wildcats clinched the league title Tuesday with their win over Palo Verde.

After a 7-8 start, one might not have expected Brawley to run the IVL table. One might have been mistaken, according to Brawley assistant coach Rahsahn Overton.

"I'm not surprised because of our off-season work ethic and we do a lot over the summer," he said. "However, our focus is never on winning league but on going far in CIF."

Morgan was not as confident.

"The team had no idea," he said. "We had only seen one team play so our goal was to play hard every game and see where it got us. But this is sweet."

Next up for the Wildcats (15-8) will be a trip to the San Diego Section Division III playoffs and a probable home game. It is a journey Brawley is anxious to take.

"Tonight will help," said Overton. "Southwest came out and played really good defense. It gave us a chance to get the younger kids to play and to see how the seniors could play as a whole."

Added Morgan, "We're just going to take it one game at a time. The team's going to have to practice and stay focused and hopefully good things will happen."

The Eagles finish the season 6-16, 2-6. Despite his team's less than stellar record, Zwart thinks the season was not a waste.

"We played real hard this year," he said. "There probably weren't enough kids who have played together, but we're looking to build. It's just going to take some time."

Central 56, Imperial 53

IMPERIAL — Central Union High stopped Imperial 56-53 to wrap up both team's regular seasons here Thursday.

Jose Galindo led the Spartans with 26 points (seven threes). Vincent McSee added 10 points and seven rebounds.

David Thomas led the Tigers with 16 points and four boards. Marwan Ratliff chipped in 13 points and Danny Jones added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Central finishes the season 8-17 while Imperial finishes 10-15.

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