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Richard Lee: Best In The West:  
Verbum Dei Beats Compton--(Dec. 29, 1998)

We weren't at the Best in the West yesterday, but Richard Lee was, and he wrote some pretty good stuff about yesterday's action, which was posted up over at Cyberbears (  Richard told us it would be fine with him if we posted his stuff over here at SoCalHoops also and we're happy to do so.

Best in the West Invitational
Verbum Dei 55, Compton 47

By Richard Lee

I saw two games in full tonight, and most of this one, too. Since I didn't see any of the 2nd round games (as they were in the daytime), I'll just have to assume that Verbum Dei beat Harvard-Westlake and that Compton beat Serra. The three games I saw, obviously, were all quarterfinal games (32 teams in the Tournament in all). Michael Miller, I'm sure, will do his updates on WestCoastHoops, and Jerry Gale from SoCalHoops will do his, too [wrong. . . not today, we're still in San Luis Obispo], so again, I'll just post my random comments here.

I arrived when the score was 17-14 (Compton leading) with 5:23 left in the 2nd quarter. Basically, I was watching two guys, 6'8" Dalron Johnson of V. Dei and 6'4" Tito Maddox of Compton. In the last 5 1/2 minutes of that 2nd quarter, Dalron had 2 points and 3 rebounds, while Tito had 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, and a missed 3-pointer. Compton led at halftime, 23-20.

So, anyway the third quarter started up, and Dalron had a big, big dunk somewhere around here, as Tito was pretty much the entire offense for the Compton Tarbabes -- Tito was scoring off putbacks, penetrating by himself, and dunking, too. But, still, Dalron and Verbum Dei took the lead (barely) and ended the 3rd quarter up by one point, 36-35.

In the 4th quarter, Tito Maddox went ice-cold from the floor. Dalron, on the other hand, started asserting himself not just on offense, but on defense, too, as he was getting in everyone's face and had a couple of really big blocks. In the end, Verbum Dei just pulled away ever so slightly to take a 49-45 lead with 45 seconds left and Dalron at the line for two. He made one free throw, and then he blocked a shot at the other end of the court, forcing Compton to foul. Verbum Dei PG Marlon Parmer (pretty good guard) hit both free throws...Compton had to foul again when they couldn't get the ball in the hoop, and Parmer hit 1 of 2. And, to cap it off, Parmer then stole the ball and made a layup, and the game was over with Verbum Dei winning, 55-47.

In 2 1/2 quarters, here were my stats for Dalron Johnson: 11 points (5 for 7 fg, including two thunder dunks), 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and 1 foul.

In 2 1/2 quarters, here were my stats for Tito Maddox: 10 points (5 for 12 fg [0 for 2 on 3-pointers], but he went just 1 for 6 in the 4th Q), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers, and 2 fouls -- Maddox also had a bigtime block that he just nailed across the court, but it was called goaltending (I thought it was a good block).

Now, Verbum Dei has to play Artesia High tomorrow night at 7:30pm in the BITW semifinals. Look for 6'8" Jason Kapono, 6'9" Amaury Fernandez, and 6'7" Jack Martinez to contain Dalron and beat Verbum Dei.

Next game: Artesia vs. Bishop Montgomery

Richard Lee

p.s. For those wondering who is better, 6'9" Justin Davis or 6'8" Dalron Johnson, quite honestly, I dunno. They play pretty similar games, they can both sky for the rebound and the block, they both can run and dunk at any time, and they both have similar builds. Maybe, just maybe, Dalron is better, but they're pretty close.

Posted by Richard_Lee -- 28 December 23:56 hrs

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