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Turnovers end Eagles' season

February 20, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

Through three quarters of first-round action against Crawford High School in the CIF San Diego Section Division III boys basketball postseason, it seemed as if all six members of Southwest's basketball team would continue their remarkable season-long run.

The host Eagles went south in the fourth quarter though as sloppy passing led to turnovers, which Crawford took advantage of on its way to a 61-47 victory Tuesday.

Down by four at the end of three, Southwest essentially threw the game away as the Colts went on a 15-0 run en route to a 17-7 final quarter.


"Our passing was sloppy, which led to turnovers, they outrebounded us and they were just a step faster," said Eagles coach Marty Zwart. "I really think we should've won this game. If we would've executed our stuff, I think we could've had this game.

"Also, they played tougher than we did. We needed to be tougher out there against them," Zwart said. "In the end, just not doing the little things, like rebounding with two hands — we had guys trying to rebound with one hand — faking passes … things like that. Even though we did have a pretty good year, this was still a disappointing loss because I felt we could've won it."

Despite the disappointing loss, the Eagles did seem to overachieve, considering they went with only six players all year. Southwest finished second in the Imperial Valley League with a 3-3 record and was 9-15 overall.

Fortunately for Southwest, it will have all six players returning next year, led by guard Bradley Goff, who finished with a team-high 14 points, and who earlier this season set a CIF San Diego Section record for three- pointers with 15 against Palo Verde.

"Even though we did have only six players, we expected to do as well as we did. In our minds we felt that we could do something," said Goff. "We did have a pretty good season, but this loss is still disappointing because we had a shot to win it."

Along with Goff's 14 points, Brian Martinez chipped in 11 and Chris Lara had nine for the Eagles.

At first it didn't seem as if the Eagles had a shot at all, as Crawford jumped to an 11-2 lead and held a 17-9 advantage at the end of one.

But Southwest gradually started inching closer and a 6-2 spurt to end the second period gave the Eagles a 26-24 lead going into the break.

The teams battled back and forth in the third, but the Colts — led by Franklin Egypt and Courtney Graham, who each finished the game with 17 points — outscored Southwest 20-14 to take a 44-40 lead into the fourth, where Crawford put the game away.

"This was a big win for us, for the school. The school hasn't been to the playoffs in three years and hasn't won a playoff game in 12," said Colt coach Chris Burns. "This game really wasn't what I wanted, but it was enough. We expected a tough game from them, having identical records (both 9-15 overall); we didn't think it'd be easy."

Next on the agenda for Crawford is a trip back to the Imperial Valley as it plays at Brawley at 7 p.m. Friday.

Said Brawley assistant coach Rahsahn Overton, who was in attendance: "Playing Crawford, we're just going to go out and play our game. It's really good to be in the position that we're in (as the No. 1 seed) because we have an extra week to prepare.

"It's just too bad to see that Southwest is done. They had a good year and our hats are off to them."

Imperial 72, Francis Parker 66

IMPERIAL — Tied 61-61 at the end of regulation, the Imperial High boys basketball team outscored Francis Parker 11-5 in overtime to walk away with a 72-66 San Diego Section Division IV playoff victory here Tuesday.

Leading Imperial were Matt Taylor with 26 points, four steals and three assists and Danny Jones with 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. David Thomas finished with 15 points, three rebounds and two steals for the Tigers.

"I thought we played well tonight. It was nip and tuck all game, just going back forth. We'd go on a run and take a lead, then they'd come back," said Imperial coach Dave Milan. "Danny fouled out in the fourth and I was kind of worried about that because they were taller than us. But our defense stepped up and played really well and we were able to get this win."

In the extra frame, the Tigers were 5-for-7 from the free-throw line. They finished the game with 14 steals.

Imperial (12-13 overall) will continue playoff action at 7 p.m. Friday as it travels to El Cajon to play Christian.

Holtville 68, Mountain Empire 53

PINE VALLEY — The Holtville High boys basketball team advanced to the second round of the CIF San Diego Section Division IV playoffs with a 68-53 victory over Mountain Empire here Tuesday.

Leading Holtville were Andres Quesada with 29 points and 23 rebounds and Eric Cueto with 11 points and seven steals.

The Vikings (10-12 overall) will play at Horizon at 7 p.m. Friday in San Diego.

Vincent Memorial 67,

Calvary Christian 49

CALEXICO — Matt Lankford scored 22 points to lead the Vincent Memorial High boys basketball team to a 67-49 victory over Calvary Christian in CIF San Diego Section Division V action here Tuesday.

Along with his 22 points, Lankford finished with seven rebounds. Dominic Jacobelli finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and six assists and Juan Padilla added 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Vincent.

Josh Martin added 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Scots (9-13 overall).

Vincent Memorial will play at Santa Fe Christian at 7 p.m. Friday in Solana Beach.

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