The New Southern California Basketball
SoCalHoops High School News

Milken Hill Topper Tournament
Sorta, Kinda Final Results--(Dec. 10, 1998)

We can't tell you who won the final, because we didn't stick around for the end of the game because we had to get over to the Beverly Hills Tournament yesterday to watch Venice and Hamilton go at it (by the way Venice won, 75-71, and it came down to the final seconds of the game.  Glen McGowan (6'-8" Sr. SG/PF) had 31 points--including 4 three pointers--,  9 rebounds, and Joe Dural had 21 points--Hamilton looked good, and they'll be tough in conference play. . . but we digress). By the time we left, Malibu and Milken were going at it in this one, and either of them could have won, but our money is one Milken, which looked to be a better disciplined team.  Presumably we'll pick up the result later when the papers (the Times or the Daily Snooze) decide it's worthy of a mention.

On Tuesday, Buckley lost to Malibu, placing them in the third place game against Faith Baptist which lost to Milken and setting up the Milken v. Malibu title game.  Milken is a very athletic team, with not a lot of height, but they will still go pretty deep in the Division V-AA playoffs, at least that's what we're willing to predict.  They are led by Bobby Bassman (6'-3" Sr?? SG/SF) who had about 21 points (at least that's what we counted) on Tuesday against Faith Baptist.   They also have this great little point guard, Daniel Greenberg (5'-8" Sr. PG) who moves the ball and pushes the break very well.  Malibu really has just a couple of really good players, a guy named Robert Miller (6'-2" Sr.?? SG) who has a great jump stop and pull up jumper from out to about 17' and he's a pretty strong guy.  At the Division V level (that is in the real world, and we're not talking about Horizon which is so far beyond most other D-V schools it's not funny) all it takes is about three or four really good athletes on a team to dominate a game.  And on Tuesday, D-III Malibu pretty easily handled D-V Buckley, putting Buckley in the third place game and Malibu in the Championship on Wednesay. 

Yesterday's third place game was ugly for about the first three minutes, but then things got back under control and there were even some standout performances in the game by a couple of players. Buckley lost, 66-54, but that's not really the whole story. Buckley's starting point guard, Adam Pastor (6'-0" Jr. PG) showed up to the game in street clothes, wearing a soft cast on his right ankle, and will be out for two weeks while a stress fracture heals.  In his absence, Buckley got off to a rocky start during the first three minutes of the game, and with about 2:20 played in the first quarter, Buckley trailed 12-2. 

With a little over three minutes gone, freshman David Gale (5'-10" Fr. PG) came in, and played the rest of the game and calmed things down.   Gale picked up 13 points, including a three-pointer, 8 steals and 6 assists, and showed great ball handling and tremendous defensive pressure on the other end of the floor.  After the three minute debacle at the beginning of the game, Buckley played Faith Baptist almost even the rest of the game,  and the scoring was 14-14 in the second quarter, 16-17 in the third, and 17-18 in the fourth.  

Going into the fourth, Buckley was trailing by 18, but with great defensive pressure, Gale, Colin Ward-Henninger (6'-3" So. SG/SF) and senior Sasha Rahban (5'-11" Sr. SG)  managed to force five straight turnovers, to bring the score to within 8 points, but ultimately, time ran out, and Buckley was forced into a fouling situation during the last minute and a half as Faith Baptist spread the court and used the clock.  Buckley's Mike Lalazarian (5'-11" Jr. SG) also played great defense, forcing several turnovers during the last few minutes while Buckley made it's comeback attempt.  Rahban finished with 8 points and 5 rebounds and 2 steals, while Lalazarian had 2 assists and two steals.  Buckley's high scorer was Alex Clancy (5'-10" So. SG) who had four three pointers and finished with 14 points. Colin Ward-Henninger (6'-3" So. SG/SF) of Buckley was also chosen to the All-Tournament team, averaging 17 ppg over three games in the tournament.

Buckley made a serious run with about 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, and ran two consecutive plays where Gale fed the ball to Clancy who banged home two straight three-pointers, but the Griffins just couldn't find an answer for Stefan Grasu, (6'-7" Sr. C), a big, soft, wide-body guy from Faith Baptist, who finished with a game high 17 points and something like 15 rebounds.  Grassu is not that athletic, but he's a real big kid from Yugoslavia, and even though he's somewhat slow, he has very nice post moves, and a great turnaround drop step to the basket, and was pretty much impossible to front, especially with Buckley's tallest player in the lineup measuring 6'-3" .   Grassu doesn't have much of a handle, but when Baptist managed to beat Buckley's press, he was an effective quarterback in the middle, relaying the ball to FB's Mike Bautista (5'-9" Jr. PG) who scored 7 points, or Lonnie Clayton (6'-0" Jr. SG) who scored 13. 


The Swish Award
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