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Jason Day: Reebok Tip-Off Classic:
Lynwood vs. Compton--(Dec. 3, 1998)

As always, our friend and correspondent Jason Day sent us this "better late than never" article on the Compton v. Lynwood game from Tuesday night which was played as one of three games in the Compton Tip-Off Classic.   The photos below are taken by Larry Gray.  They can also be found at the Ultra Student Athletes Online website as well as here.  Enjoy.

Lynwood v. Compton
By Jason Day
Photos by Larry Gray

I’ve been promising an article on this game for the last day or so and here it is. Normally, since I’m this late with it, I’d just give the score and whatever stats I was able to get. But this game was so much fun, the finish was so exciting, and these kids played so hard, that they deserve the "pub" even if it’s late.

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The Opening Tip, Floyd and Myles

This was the last game of the three played on the second day of this great kick-off event. I totally missed the first one between Pomona and The Bishop’s School. The middle game, Dominguez vs. Crossroads was a 34 pt. blowout for Dominguez. By the time Lynwood and Compton took the floor, well over half of the capacity crowd had left the Compton City College gym.

Lynwood is led by 5’11 SR PG, Gary Lenoir, and 6’3 SR SG/SF Keyawn Floyd. Both had just had big games Monday night against Dorsey. In fact, Floyd kicked off his season with a 37pt. outburst in that one (see my article on that game). The "Knights" are quick, athletic, and can hit in different ways with different weapons. JR F Jarrett Clark is only 6’3, but can leap and score with the best of em, then Johathan Smith, the 5’4 Freshman backup to Lenoir, brings serious penetrate and dish talents. Their not a big team, but they can hurt ya in a lot of ways.

Compton is led by highly touted 6’4 SR PG, Tito Maddox. The drama for this game started before the tip-off and centered on Maddox. He was on the bench, but obviously wasn’t gonna play. I checked with a member of the coaching staff who informed me that Tito had to sit out due to "a violation of team rules." Without Maddox, Compton is still a formidable bunch. Leroy Dawson, the 6’1 SR SG transfer from L.A. High, can fill it up with the best of em. Add 6’4 JR SF Ellis Myles, 6’4 SO PF Jeremiah Thompson, and high flyin’ 6’4 SR PF Terry Hosendove and you get the picture.

Compton led for most of the game, although I don’t believe they ever got more than a low double digit lead. Floyd, a bomber who can also finish at, and above, the rack, was having a terrible night compared to his game against Dorsey. His outside shot was not falling, and opportunities to get to the rim were few and far between because Compton has some "trees" to protect it. Lenoir was picking up the scoring slack along with Clark.

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Gary Lenoir of Lynwood

Compton was having a similar problem scoring as Leroy Dawson, who can explode for major points at any given time, was sharing a lot of the point duties in Maddox’s absence, and couldn’t hit many of the outside shots he did get a look at. Ellis, Hosendove, and Thompson took up the scoring slack there.

Fast forward to 3:31 left in the 4th quarter. Lynwood has been hangin around, but everytime they’d cut the lead to 7,8,9…Compton would score. But at 3:31, Lenoir dropped two free throws to bring Lynwood within four 57-53.

Compton can’t score on the ensuing possession, and William Welsh, 6’0 JR SG is fouled and goes to the line for a "one and one" and a chance to bring Lynwood within two. He makes the first one, misses the 2nd, but Floyd grabs the rebound, then blows the short jumper. It’s 57-54, Compton.

Compton can’t score again after rebounding Floyd’s miss. Lynwood breaks the other way, Floyd spots up for the three, takes the pass, and drains it to tie the game at 57 with 2:26 left. It’s on.

Compton gets the rock to Dawson on the wing, he raises and makes the 3 pointer. 60-57 Compton.

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Jarrett Clark throws one down

Lynwood runs a half court set and Lenoir drives to the paint a makes a short jumper for his 19th and 20th pts. 60-59 Compton with 1:52 left.

Thompson, who is a 6’4 banger, is fouled on a put back attempt at the other end.

He misses the front end of the "one and one", and Floyd grabs another huge board but Lynwood can’t convert. Compton rebounds, breaks, and scores. 62-59 Compton with 1:08 left.

Lenoir brings the ball down and is actually letting time run on the clock then Lynwood takes a timeout. Then, when they come out and run what I guess was the play the coach called for, Lenoir goes one on five and finishes with an off balance shot that wasn’t even close. BUT. Lynwood rebounds, it’s kicked out to Floyd who drops another 3 pointer. It’s tied at 62 with :55 left.

Lynwood gets a steal as Compton brings it up. Lenoir slows everything down and runs a little clock. A couple of quick passes but they miss a layup (I didn’t see who missed it). But I did see SOMEONE tip the ball in. I say SOMEONE because I went straight to the table to get the name of the mystery hero, and the Lynwood score keeper told me, and the Compton scorekeeper, that it was "Dante Burns" and I did see that name in both books. The problem for me was that there’s nobody by that name on the rosters given us by Lynwood. Anyway, these were his first points of the game and he put Lynwood in the lead 64-62 with about :15 secs. left.

Compton pushes it up court and Dawson drives to the hole and draws a foul with :07 secs. left. He makes the first one, 64-63 Lynwood, and Lynwood takes a timeout.

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Dawson returns to the line and misses the second free throw. Myles muscles in for the rebound and is fouled on the attempted put back. So he goes to the line for two and the chance to put Compton back in the lead. He’s not known as a great free throw shooter, so we got more drama. He sinks em both for his 16th and 17th pts., and Compton leads 65-64 with :05 left.

Timeout Lynwood. Strategy, strategy, strategy. Players return to the floor and Lynwood has to go the length of the court to score, and they’ve got 5 ticks to do it. Welsh, the Junior takes the ball out, and Compton is in a full court press. A Lynwood player releases, Welsh draws back and launches the ball. Straight up into the rafters. Poor kid. But it still ain’t over.

They trade time outs and there’s still :05 left on the clock. Dawson is immediately fouled on the inbounds and Compton is in the "double bonus". He misses the first one but drops the second to make it 66-64 Compton with :02 left.

Lynwood does a great job of getting it in and up the court. Lenior gets it and raises up for the "NBA three". A perfect rainbow that hits the rim of the "pot o’ gold" and bounces off. Game over. Compton 66 Lynwood 64.

Dawson finished with 15, Thompson with 12, Hosendove with 11.

Lenoir had 20, Floyd 15.

Great game, great finish, big fun. The "picture gallery" should be up later today.

Later,

Jason Day

 

The Swish Award
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