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Comet Pride Classic: Verbum Dei
Loses To S.D. Horizon--(Dec. 5, 1998)

Our friend and correspondent Jason Day made it over to Westchester on Friday night for the First Annual Westchester Comet Price Classic which was held at Southwest LA College. Here's his report.  The photos are taken by our other friend Larry Gray. And be sure to visit Ultra Student Athletes Online where Jason is also a regular contributor as well as over here at SoCalHoops.

Verbum Dei Loses Thriller To San Diego Horizon High
by Jason Day
Photos by Larry Gray

I bounced on over to Southwest Community College last night to catch the Westchester vs. Crossroads game. That was game one of a double header with Verbum Dei vs. Horizon High from San Diego as the nightcap. The event was hosted by
Westchester High School.

The Westchester / Crossroads game was a good one and check my article on that for the full scoop. But the Verb / Horizon contest was just a great high school ball game and definitely the highlight of the evening.

JENSEN_BATTLES_JOHNSON.jpg (50851 bytes)
Trevon Jensen (#24) battles Dalron
Johnson (#10)

Both teams were so evenly matched that, except for the opening few minutes and a brief point near the end, I don’t think either team ever held more than a 5 pt. lead.

Verb’s stars, UNLV signee Dalron Johnson (6’9 F/C) and Marlon Parmer (6’1 SR PG) had huge games. Johnson scored in every way that a super talented player can score. He tip jammed, he finished the alley-oop, he hit the short turn-around,
he even pulled up from 3 (toe was on the line). He finished with 30 pts. and double digit boards. We are so proud to have been among the early observers of this kid who predicted that he would grow to be a superior talent.

Parmer was his usual unstoppable self, breaking defenders, side-stepping the "helpers" and finishing at (and above the rim). It didn’t matter whether Horizon zoned or played man, Marlon broke the D at will. In the end Marlon proved that the only player on the floor, in this one, that could stop him was Marlon. More on that in a sec.

Washum Dashiells, 6’3 SR F and Larry Davenport, 6’4 SR F, didn’t score big (6pts. and 4pts.) respectively, but were real big on the boards and on D. Davenport hit his 4 in the crucial late minutes of the game.

COLEMAN_AGAINST_PARMER.jpg (54603 bytes)
Horizon's Coleman goes for the
block on Marlon Parmer

Horizon, a team I confess I had never even heard of, have all the makings of a very nice squad. Their big men,‘ 6’8 JR F/C, Ron Coleman and 6’7 SR C, Trevon Jensen are both mobile, athletic, and run the floor well.. Both rebounded real well in this one, and Coleman finished with 10 pts while Jensen had 13. Unfortunately they were alternately matched up against Johnson who was just in a "zone".

Horizon’s strength is in their guards. Detrick Watts, 6’3 SR, Zack Jones, 6’1 SR, and Wayne Dernard, 6’5 SR G/F, are all very quick, handle the ball, and can hit the J from anywhere on the court. They combined for some stellar defense that had Verb turning the ball over repeatedly early in the game. While Parmer gave em fits for most of it, it was their ability to patrol the passing lanes, spring the occassional trap, and scramble to the loose ball that led to lots of fast breaks for Horizon.

The game was knotted at 28-28 at the half. The third quarter was back and forth with neither team able to deliver the knockout punch.

That pattern continued right up until the final 3 minutes. At about 2:40 left, Verbum Dei seemed to have things under control and were nursing a 7 or 8 pt. lead. They traded baskets for a bit, then Horizon’s Watts dropped a 3 pointer to bring them within five. With about 1:00 left, Horizon had to start intentionally fouling and the unthinkable happened. 

DALRON_DRIVES.jpg (39854 bytes)
Dalron Johnson puts it on the floor

Verb did a great job, (against a smothering defensive effort by Horizon) of getting the ball to Parmer on all the inbounds. He was fouled immediately. Marlon, who is Verb’s best free throw shooter, went to the line for six shots in the last minute or so. SIX.

Unbelievably, he missed 5 in a row before he finally dropped one to give Verb a tenuous 2pt. lead with :05 on the clock. Marlon finished with 18, but I’m sure he would have given half of that up just to have a chance to shoot those ’freebies’
over again. 

MARLON_PARMER.jpg (33723 bytes)
Verb's Marlon Parmer

I guess Verb was reeling from the missed free throws, cause they put almost no pressure on Horizon and they were able to get the ball up the court with plenty of time for Jones to raise from the NBA 3pt. area and drain the jumper (nothin but net). Game over. In all the excitement I neglected to write down the score but I believe it was 66-65.  Jones finished with 9pts. and a sore body after being mobbed by his teammates. Watts had 14, and Dernard had 6. I almost forgot 6’5 SR F Ryan Fellows who started the game but wasn’t around to help in the fourth after fouling out at the end of the third. He had 9 big points.

Major props to Westchester High for putting on an evening of real entertaining High School Hoops. I hope this is just the "first" of an annual event, and that Southwest continues to host events like this. It’s a great facility with comfortable (and ample) seating, great court, and it’s nice to see an event like this over on "that" side of town for once.

Extra props to the announcer, Amos Wellington who did a fantastic job. He was entertaining and kept us all informed with a pro flow and great voice. 

Great game, great time.   Later.     Jason Day

BELL_AND_FOX.jpg (47134 bytes)
Westchester's Chad Bell (left) and Crossroads' Isaiah Fox
enjoy the show

 

The Swish Award
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