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Dominguez Wins The Best In
The West Over Verbum Dei--(Dec. 31, 1998)

This wasn't the game Wayne Merino envisioned watching last night, but it was still pretty good anyway, and Compton Dominguez beat Verbum Dei, 64-54,  to win the Best in the West Tournament title for 1998.  Even though Tyson Chandler (7'-0" So. C) didn't make it to the All-Tournament team list, he had the best game we've ever seen him play, and he had 8 blocked shots, and 9 rebounds.   Marlon Parmer (6'-1" Sr. PG) who may just be the best unsigned point guard in the senior class. . . make that the best point guard in the senior class. . . did it again and he put on a show for everyone, with great spin moves, driving layups and all-out hustle and fine shooting.   Chandler had 13 points in the game for Dominguez, but he wasn't the high scorer, as Parmer had 27 in the game, drawing upon his 32 point performance the night before when Verbum Dei beat Artesia in the semifinals. 

Verbum Dei trailed most of the way, until about the last 3 minutes of the game, when Parmer and Verbum pulled to within 4 points, at 56-52, but a series of fouls, two of them committed on consecutive possessions by reserve point guard Huston Holley, sent Marcus Moore to the line three times in a row, where he made all six free throws, insuring that Dominguez would take a 10 point lead through the rest of the game. 

This was the second time Dominguez beat Verbum Dei this month, and the first time they won 70-61.  Last night, they won simply because the Dons were the better team, and once again, they have cross-town bragging rights. The school from Compton beat the school from Watts. And this game was filled with big time plays and lots of great action.

Verbum was coming off of a huge win, and David Greenwood started Huston Holly at the point, Marlon Parmer also at the 1/2 spot,   Dalron Johnson,  Washum Dashiell, and  Nick Dodson at center. Dominguez started Ronald Jackson, Marcus Moore, Keith Brooks, Keith Kincade, and Tyson Chandler.

Marcus Moore got the first points of the night for Dominguez and Brooks then scored the second for two and Dominguez led 4-0. Both teams looked tight and were overplaying on both defense and offense, and it would later lead to a rash of foul calls and a couple of interesting charges.  It took a while for   Verbum Dei to get going, and a great example of that was when Marlon Parmer hit Nick Dobson right under the basket with a beautiful no-look pass threaded through a ton of traffice, but Nick wasn't really expecting it and he was so startled by the pass that he literally jumped a couple of times, and was called for traveling.   Dominguez' matchup zone was working very well in the first few minutes, causing Verb to force shots, and it looked like they'd never get back into sync. Verb finally hit with 5:03 to play, just under three minutes gone,  off a fast break with Parmer feeding the ball to Washum for a nice layin.  Dominguez' Jackson came right back, getting fouled and going to the line where he hit one of two from the line and at 4:33, Dominguez led 2-5, but Parmer came right back with his first three of the night to make it 5-5. Brooks then managed a beautiful steal off Dalron who seemed to have a little fumble-itis early in the game,  and took it in to give Dominguez the lead at 5-7.   On Dominguez' next possession, Marcus Moore, playing better than we've seen him play in weeks, drove the lane and made it 5-9 Dominguez.  Finally Nick Dodson got a putback over Tyson (very impressive jumping ability) and Verbum trailed by 2,  at 7-9.   Tyson was fouled hard next Dominguez possession, and hit two more from the line, and then Marcus Moore again exploded on a defensive play, stealing the ball from Huston Holley.    Verb managed a couple more scores as did Dominguez, and at the end of the quarter, the score was Verb 15, Dominguez 14.  First quarter scoring for Verbum Dei was Parmer 7, Dodson 6, Dashiell 2;  For Dominguez, the scoring was Jackson 1, Brooks 3, Moore 6, Chandler 2, and Sanders 2.

In the second quarter, Chandler hit first for an for an easy layup and Holley, back in at the point, brought the ball back up for Verb. If you've never seen this guy play, you really need to check him out. He's only 5'-5", if that, but is extremely quick, and can do things that only little guys can do, like stop on a dime, reverse direction, and in general elude bigger and stronger players on offense.  Unfortunately for him, two of the things he really couldn't do was penetrate on offense or guard anyone but Ronald Jackson on defense, which was not all bad, but it really hurt Verbum down the stretch ultimately. He's a great point guard, but his utility will be limited against teams like Dominguez.

Nick Dodson was playing better than we'd seen him play in a long time, and if he can put on some weight, he should be a good low to mid-D-I prospect, maybe to red-shirt for a year while he gets stronger, but when he was standing next to Tyson getting ready to jump the ball at the beginning of the game, he sure looked just about only an inch shorter, which would make him 6'-11 if Tyson is a legitimate 7'-0" which we think is correct.  Dodson is lean, wiry, and did an ok job in the first half keeping Tyson away from the ball on defense, and is a tremendous leaper, who just has a nose for the ball, making second, third and fourth rebounding efforts which frequently paid off on the offensive boards.

About midway through the second quarter, the refs started getting a bit creative with the calls, and made an intersting charging call which really should have been Tyson's fourth block of the evening on Parmer, but it didn't ultimately matter as the refs turned it over to Dominguez again, and Brooks promptly dropped the ball out of bounds, which had coach Otis going nuts, screaming at him to hang onto the ball.

Marlon and Jamal Dean (who's in for Huston at this point) did some impressive ball handling in the second quarter, but they impressed themselves a bit too much, and Verbum turned the ball over on a shot clock violation, and Greenwood wasn't happy about that at all.  With the score 17-16 Verb, Tyson got fouled and went to the line, where he hit one of two to tie it at 17 with 5:19 to play before David Greenwood called a timeout. Both teams up to this point had been playing tremendously quick and tight defense, jumping to the ball, switching, talking and with Tyson doing all of that great blocking, and Jackson turning Parmer and containing him, it looked like this would be a draw.  But out of the timeout, Johnson hit just a huge perimeter shot, one of his few of the night, and it was immediatly answered by Ronald Johnson, for three, who came right back and did it again for another three, and almost within a minute, Dominguez had jumped to a 19-26 lead.

Dominguez then switched to a tight man defense, just about the time Robert Watkins of Verbum, normally a good outside shooter, decides to shoot and hits for two.   Tyson picked up his fifth big block of the night on an incredible play which had Marlon penetrating to just about two feet from the hoop, dishing to Suazo, who got his lunch fed to him, and the ball was literally jammed back at his head, and he wound up on the floor. . . no foul, just a great block.

With the score 22-30, Greenwood called another time out and Verb used it wisely, scoring again, but then a one minute track race ensued, with about 6 turnovers on either end by both teams;  Brooks finally scores for Dominguez and at the half, the score is 24-32.

The second quarter scoring for Dominguez was Jackson 6, Chandler 6, Sanders 4, Steve Moore 2; For Vebum Dei, the scoring was Watkins 3, Johnson 2, Shuford 2, and Dodson 2

In the third, Dominguez increased the margin to 11 points by outscoring the Eagles, 14-4, mostly in the last four minutes of the quarter. Dalron put a big block on Keith Kincade,  and Robert Watkins then shot a big three from the left side to make it 27-32. Verb then switched to the 2-3 matchup zone, trying to trap in the corners. Marlon hit again from the line for two to make it 29-34.  At 4:58, Marlon came charging into the lane, completely out of control, but still got the call, as Tyson picked up his third, and came to the bench.  Marlon converted and Verbum was staying close. In the third quarter, when a lot of teams just fold against better competition, Verbum showed it was still tough. Marlon showed great patience not forcing the shot, and he finally fed the ball inside to Larry Davenport posting, who missed the shot, but Dalron made a great second and third effort and finally got the basket.  Several times in this quarter Marlon made what has become his "signature' move, driving hard, going to the left block, spinning and elevating for the drive to the hoop where he finished a very pretty shot which had everyone oohing.   No ahhhs. Just a lot of oooohs.

Steve Moore also played very well during the thrid quarter, even though his writst was still heavily taped, and he was shooting beatuifully.  At the end of three, the score was

In the third quarter, Verbum scored 13 points, to Dominguez' 14, and the score was 37-56.  Third quarter scoring for Verbum was Watkins 3, Johnson 2,  Parmer 7, and Dodson 1. Dominguez' third quarter scorers were Jackson 2, Brooks 6, Moore 6, and Sanders 2.

In the fourth quarter, Tyson had the play of the night, just about throwing Dalron off him while the two were struggling on the blocks;   once freed up, Tyson took an unbeliveable bullet pass from Marcus, spun and made an impossibly difficult shot from underneath the basket while falling out of bounds. Unreal. Even though Verb continued to trail by 10 or 11 in the fourth, Marlon and Marcus were matching up well, taking each other to the hole and driving the other outside, but Marlon seemed to be getting the better of the deal, launching several floaters in the lane, and a couple of leaners which dropped. With less than three minutes to play, Tyson was called for goal-tending and suddenly it was a four point game with 2:29 to play, 52-56 Dominguez.   The Dons switched between their amoeba defense, swarming to the ball,  and a matchup zone, and it's just enough to keep Verbum off balance.  Verbum got the ball back on a Dominguez turnover, but then Dalron, who wasn't playing his best game last night, shot, and missed,  and Dominguez came stampeding back with the rebound.    Then Huston fouled Marcus, a terrible mistake, sending him to the line for two, and then unbelieveably  on the very next possession, Huston picks up yet another foul with 1:46 to play, again sending Marcus to the line where he hit another two, turning it back to a 52-60 game.  Finally, Huston fouled yet again with 1:24, and for the third time Marcus went to the line and he hit them both to make it a 10 point game.

The rest was really garbage time, and Dominguez had managed to win the Best in the West, 54-64.  The final scoring for the fourth quarter for Dominguez was Moore 6, Kincade 1, Chandler 5, and Brooks 4.  For Verbum Dei, the scoring for the last quarter was Dalron Johnson 2, Parmer 11,  and Dean 2.

The Swish Award
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