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Central boys finally win

February 16, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS, Sports Editor

The streak is over.

Led by Jerrel Henderson and Vincent McSee, Central Union High's boys basketball team hammered visiting Imperial High 67-53 on Tuesday.

It was the Spartans' first win of the season after 22 losses.

"We've been working hard to get to this point," said Central coach Kevin McFadden.

A couple times, the Spartans fell just short, he added, such as Friday's overtime loss to Southwest High.

"It was going to be somebody," Imperial skipper David Milan said, referring to the team that would be the first to lose to Central. "It just happened to be us."

With the partisan home crowd counting down the final 10 seconds, McSee stood near mid-court, slowly dribbling the ball and flashing a grin from ear to ear. At the final buzzer, McSee let out a whoop and threw the ball in the air, as Spartan fans rushed onto the court.

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"I don't feel very happy," Henderson said. "I mean we've won only one out of 23."

Still, Henderson celebrated the win with his teammates and fans after a stellar performance.

Henderson finished with 17 points, including 12 off four three-pointers. He also had four rebounds and a steal.

"I'm really in there for rebounding," Henderson said. "My scoring is supposed to be secondary."

Central needed Henderson's outside touch to notch its first win because the Tigers' Danny Jones was an immovable force in the middle.

Jones nearly finished with a triple-double. By halftime, he had racked up 17 points to go with seven rebounds and eight blocked shots. Jones was a swatting machine, sometimes thundering his block back into the stands.

Unable to go inside much because of Jones, the Spartans looked to the outside for relief. Central finished with eight treys; six came in the second half when the Spartans took the game to the Tigers.

"The kids got a little more physical in the second half," McFadden said. "They really wanted it."

Imperial led at the break 30-26, but a 23-point third period helped boost the Spartans into the lead for good. McSee was the catalyst, scoring eight of his 16 points in the quarter.

Javier Guerrero also scored eight points in the period, including a pair of threes.

Imperial tried to stay with the Spartans, even trailing 41-39 with less than three minutes to go in the third. Then Guerrero buried a three, Randy Andrews converted after a rebound and Luis Robles canned a trey as Central opened a 49-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Imperial never got closer than five points in the final period.

Down the stretch, Henderson hit two free throws along with two threes and Angel Fernandez converted a steal into a lay-up to help push the final margin to 14.

"Some of our guys didn't run our offense in the second half," Milan said.

He noted the Tigers' big men were open underneath "but we stopped getting the ball to them."

Jones finished with 22 points to lead all scorers. He added 12 rebounds and nine blocked shots.

Matt Taylor hit 12 points for Imperial, Brenden Lopez canned nine, Marwan Ratliff scored six and David Thomas added five.

In addition to Henderson and McSee, Central got 10 points from both Robles and Guerrero, seven from Fernandez, five from Paul Porter and two from Andrews.

McSee grabbed 13 rebounds. Fernandez had five steals and four assists.

Central (1-6 Imperial Valley League) hosts Brawley Union High at 7 p.m. Friday. Imperial (9-12 overall, 2-5 Desert League) hosts Holtville at 7 p.m. Friday at its winter homecoming.

Southwest 83, Palo Verde 63

Brad Goff set a CIF San Diego Section record as he buried 15 three-pointers to finish with 45 points Tuesday as Southwest High's boys basketball team burned visiting Palo Verde High 83-63.

Devon Hood had 16 points and eight rebounds for Southwest and Jesse Hoyt added nine points and six boards.

Southwest (8-13 overall, 5-2 IVL) plays at 7 p.m. Friday in Calexico.

Brawley 60, Holtville 42

HOLTVILLE — The Brawley Union High boys basketball team remained undefeated in league play as it knocked off Holtville High 60-42 here Tuesday.

Carlos Corral led Brawley (7-0 IVL) with 22 points, followed by Lafayette Lofton with 10.

Leading Holtville (2-5 league) were Andres Quesada with 13 points and Eric Cueto with 12.

Calexico 50, Calipatria 40

CALIPATRIA — Chris Ramsey scored 25 points to lead the Calexico High boys basketball team to a 50-40 victory over Calipatria High here Tuesday.

Alex Marin added eight points and Adrian Maldonado scored seven for Calexico (4-3 league).

Jorge Navarro led Calipatria (3-2 league) with 18 points.

Calipatria hosts Palo Verde at 7 p.m. Friday.

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