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SoCalHoops High School News

Les Schwab Oregon Invitational: Dons Win
First Two, Fairfax 1-1, Stumbles--(Dec. 21, 2000)

For the past two years we've reported about the "Les Schwab Tires Oregon Hoops Holiday Invitational".   On Wednesday, December 20, the 16 teams in the tournament played their first games, and the two top teams from SoCal, Compton Dominguez and the Fairfax Lions both won.  Unfortunately the Les Schwab Invitational website isn't as interactive or as well-maintained as it was last year. . . they have the brackets and the final game scores, but no boxes and no live stats.  Still, there's more than one way to get this info, and the Oregon Preps website has some of the game details, as does the Portland Oregonian, and we've also discovered that the Oregonian website will feature live web-broadcasts of the semifinals and finals from the Les Schawb.

Les Schwab Teams at a Glance
Dominguez (CA) Dons - Seven footer Tyson Chandler
may head straight to the NBA after this season for nation's
#7 ranked team, from Compton. 6'6" forwards Darius
Sanders and Bobby Jones add to the power up front.

Jefferson Democrats - Consensus state No. 1 team
features Kansas-bound guards Aaron Miles and Michael
Lee. Undefeated season a year ago included Holiday
Invitational title. Ranked #15 by USA Today heading into
this season.

Fairfax (CA) Lions - L.A. school features talented 6'7"
combo of Craig Smith and Evan Burns.

Christ the King (NY) Royals - Legendary NYC program
features junior swingman Petey Nelson.

Jesuit Crusaders - Led by San Diego-bound point guard
Mike McGrain, last year the Crusaders' knocked off the
nation's #1 team in this tournament.

Churchill Lancers - Their patient style annoys and
frustrates opponents, led by posts Jeff Rhode and Drew

Lake Oswego Lakers - Slashing wing Salim Stoudamire -
cousin of another famous Stoudamire from Oregon - could
lead the state in scoring.

Benson Techmen - With a recuperated Darren Cooper
and swingmen Marquis Norris and Matt Eisele, the
Techmen have another powerful team.

Beaverton Beavers - Wings Josh Downey, James Moore
and Matt Gabel will shoulder the scoring load for Nick
Robertson's team.

West Linn Lions - Sharpshooter Jeff Barnhart and slasher
Devon Carr head a stellar backcourt.

Sprague Olympians - Football star William Swancutt and
6'4" Mark West lead the "Olys" attack.

South Salem Saxons - Defending Valley League champs
look to make their mark here, led by 6'3" wing George

Westview Wildcats - Junior forward Marshall Hartman
could be one of the top players in the state this season.

Thurston Colts - 6'6" junior post Shea Washington is the
key cog in Thurston's attack.

Redmond Panthers - Hurt by transfer and graduation
losses, the tournament's only team from east of the
Cascades could be facing a rebuilding year.

Barlow Bruins- The Mt. Hood Conference club returns to
the Holiday Invitational.

Day One: Wednesday, December 20, 2000

In the first round, Dominguez beat Redmond 54-37.   Here's what Oregon Preps had to say about the game:

"The giants from Compton, California, appear to be beatable, but it wasn't in the cards for the Redmond Panthers today. The Panthers led at points in the first half, but had no answer for 7-1 senior Tyson Chandler , who is likely NBA bound, and barely missed out on a triple double, as he went for 21 points, 13 rebouds, and 9 blocks. The shooting of guard Joe Leyva was bright spot for Redmond, and he was the only one in double figures, with 12 points. The Panthers never got in synch on offense, and shot very poorly. 

"Tyson brought some friends though, there's no doubt about that. 6-7 junior Bobby Jones had 11 points and 6 boards, and 6-6 classmate Darius Sanders also added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Dominguez may be the favorites right now, but look beatable. They face a very strong Benson Tech team tommorow that could very well finish what Redmond started.

The Oregonian was a little more emphatic about how the Dons played, saying that Chandler dominated the game:

"Tyson Chandler, the 7-foot-1 NBA prospect from Dominguez, did not disappoint in his debut at the Les Schwab Invitational.  The senior center for the Dons of Compton, Calif., nearly had a triple double Wednesday night to lead Dominguez to a 54-37 win over a scrappy Redmond team that stayed surprisingly close for one half.  Chandler had 21 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots, and it was obvious from the start that he was the star on the court.  On Dominquez's first possession, Chandler dunked on an alley-oop, exciting the crowd of about 3,000 at Memorial Coliseum. By the end of the first quarter, Chandler had another dunk on a rebound and four blocked shots. By halftime, he had eight blocks.  Still, Redmond was able to stay close. Fifteen Dominguez turnovers in the first half helped Redmond, which trailed 24-19 at halftime. And that was after the Dons scored the final eight points of the half.   The second half was a different story, however, as the Dons outscored Redmond 19-6 in the third quarter and cruised from there.  Darius Sanders and Bobby Jones each had 11 points for Dominguez, the defending national high school champions. Joe Leyva led Redmond with 12 points." 

Fairfax beat Thurston 59-46 on Wednesday. The following description of the game is also from Oregon Preps:

Fairfax 59, Thurston 46 

In a game much closer than the score indicates, Fairfax demonstarted that they may be the team to beat at the LSI. 6-7 junior Evan Burns showcased a plethora of NBA-level moves and high wire heroics, and his supporting cast that includes 6-7 big men Craig Smith and Alex Bausley didn't let Thurston turn the corner. The Colts were in the game the entire time, mostly due to a successful 2-3 zone defense, and the play of senior guard Chad Durfee who kept them in it with a smooth shot. Shea Washington also held it down inside for Thurston  Thurston made a couple runs, but never entirely closed the gap. They benefited from the long range shooting of Ryan Green , who made a couple timley threes, but overall Fairfax held the edge in depth and athleticism, and it showed.

The Oregonian had the following description:

"Fairfax 59, Thurston 46: The Lions from Los Angeles held off a third-quarter rally by the Colts and pulled away in the fourth quarter.   Forward Evan Burns, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds, led Fairfax.  Center Shea Washington, who scored eight straight points in Thurston's third-quarter rally, had 16 points to lead the Colts. "

The Oregonian also described the rest of the games from the first day:

Benson 75, Lake Oswego 46--The Techmen moved into the quarterfinals as forward Drew Dukeshire paced three players in double figures with 17 points.  Benson guard Darren Cooper added 16 points and five assists.  Forward Salim Stoudamire topped the Lakers with 13 points, but he also had eight of Lake Oswego's 20 turnovers. 

Jefferson 74, West Linn 56--The Democrats led by as many as 19 points in the first half before the Lions cut their lead to 49-43 early in the fourth quarter.  The Democrats pulled away down the stretch, led by Mike Lee's 24 points and Aaron Miles' 17 points, six assists and seven steals. 

South Salem 59, Christ the King 52--The Saxons (5-0) hit 13 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter to beat the Royals from New York City.   John Olinger, a 6-foot senior, hit all six of his free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter on his way to a team-high 15 points for South Salem.  Calvin Nelson led Christ the King with 14 points. 

Beaverton 55, Sprague 52--The Beavers held off Sprague in the final minute to advance to the second round.  John Fetzer, a 6-4 junior, led Beaverton with 19 points.  Sprague was led by Bill Swancutt, who had 18 points and nine rebounds. 

Jesuit 66, Barlow 56--Vic Remmers scored 19 points to lead the Crusaders to their second victory over the Bruins this season. Jesuit won 79-76 on Nov. 28.  Remmers, a 6-5 senior, made just 2 of 9 three-point shots and 6 of 14 field goals, but he converted all five of his free throws. Ian Swihart added 12 points for Jesuit and point guard Mike McGrain had 11 assists.  Jin Voeks led Barlow with 14 points and Erik Holmgren had 12.

Here are the complete scores from the first round:

1: Beaverton 55, Sprague 52
2: Churchill 85, Westview 48
3: Christ the King 52, South Salem 59
4: Jesuit 66, Barlow 56
5: Fairfax 59, Thurston 46
6: Dominguez 54, Redmond 37
7: Benson 75, Lake Oswego 46
8: Jefferson 74, West Linn 56

Day Two: Thursday, December 21, 2000

In the second round quarterfinals played Thursday, we don't have the details, but here are the scores from the Championship half of the bracket:

13: Dominguez 65, Benson 63, Final
14: Jesuit 87, South Salem 55, Final
15: Jefferson 59, Beaverton 39, Final
16: Churchill 58, Fairfax 56, Final

The consolation game scores were as follows:

9: Lake Oswego 76, Redmond 56, Final
10: Christ the King 46, Barlow 39, Final
11: Sprague 70, West Linn 50, Final
12: Westview 57, Thurston 54, Final

With the win (just barely), Dominguez moves into the semifinals and will play Portland Jesuit at 7:00 p.m. which should make for some interesting matchups, and given what we've heard about the way Dominguez is playing, it would not be out of the question for Jesuit to be in a position to knock off the Dons.    And with the loss by Fairfax, the Lions will drop into a consolation game which will be played at 5:30 p.m. against Beaverton.  Here's the full schedule for tomorrow:

23: Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 7:00 pm
24: Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16, 8:30 pm

17: Redmond vs. Barlow, 9:00 am
18: Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12, 10:30 am
19: Lake Oswego vs. Christ the King, noon
20: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 1:30 pm
22: Loser Game 13 vs. Loser Game 14, 4:00 pm
21: Loser Game 15 vs. Loser Game 16, 5:30 pm

And in addition to the other stuff on the games, the Oregonian also had a very nice article on Dominguez and Tyson Chandler this past Sunday:

Expectations of height tug at Dominguez's Chandler
The 7-foot-1 senior center seems headed to the NBA, but
he still has a challenging season to get through
Sunday, December 17, 2000
By Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian staff 

Coveted. It is a term he has come to know well. 

Coveted by high school basketball coaches. Coveted by basketball shoe companies. Coveted by agents. Coveted by television producers. Coveted by college coaches. Coveted by NBA coaches. 

Ever since Tyson Chandler reached a height of 6-foot-8 in eighth grade and appeared on a segment of the television program "60 Minutes," people have wanted a piece of him, wanting to be associated with a potentially famous athlete. Some say Chandler, a senior at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., is a lock to be an NBA lottery pick if he decides to enter the draft. 

"I'm used to it," Chandler said of the attention. "It's been going on for a long time." 

Chandler, who averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots last season, is a preseason All-America selection. Colleges are salivating over him, but he has yet to take the SAT. He has not taken any official visits to potential schools, but he did say he made unofficial visits to the two schools he is interested in: UCLA and Michigan.

"He hasn't done anything toward giving the impression that he's going to college," one college assistant coach said. 

Already like a pro

Many people say the 7-1, 230-pound Chandler is a sure bet to skip college and enter the NBA draft. But Chandler insists he has not made a decision and will wait until after the season to figure out his future. 

"I feel like I'm ready, and I feel like I'll be even more ready at the end of the season," Chandler said. "But then again, it will depend on how my season goes and how I mature during the season. I feel I have to grow mentally and physically before I make a decision. 

"I'm trying to keep that out of my mind so I can focus on this season, because if I have a bad season, my decision is going to be made for me. I'm trying to keep my focus on this season, so I can keep working hard to put myself in a situation to be able to do what I want to do." 

Chandler looks like he has already taken one step toward the NBA and away from college. He wears a diamond encrusted cross that hangs on a thick silver chain -- the type of necklace worn by younger NBA players. He has an entourage, and they cruise the Los Angeles freeways in a luxury sport-utility vehicle. 

Despite his height, most pro scouts see Chandler as a small forward in the NBA. Chandler spends most of his time working on his outside shot, ballhandling skills and face-up game. 

However, with NBA teams engaged in a never-ending search for talented big men, there's little doubt Chandler will receive considerable attention.  

"Chandler has the potential to be a first-round pick, because of the thousands of kids playing high school basketball, he happened to grow to be seven feet tall," said Marty Blake, the NBA's director of scouting. "Good big men don't come along very often, and few teams get a chance to draft a potentially good big man in the first round." 

A storied program

Chandler played well in an much-hyped matchup against Eddy Curry of Chicago Thornwood in a tournament game in St. Louis last week. Chandler scored 16 points, and the 6-11, 300-pound Curry also scored 16 points. 

A reported crowd of more 13,000 -- including 44 NBA scouts -- attended the game, which was won by Dominguez 54-50. The athletic Chandler had a few spectacular dunks but got most of his points in transition or on outside jumpers. 

"I wish I could have played better," Chandler told the Associated Press. "He had me out there tired, wrestling with a 300-pounder."  

If Chandler is used to all the attention, so is his team. The Dons (4-1) have long been one of the top high school basketball programs in the country. They had a record of 35-2 and were ranked No. 1 in several national polls last season. They have won four of the last five Division II state championships and six consecutive Southern Section titles. 

They are currently ranked among the nation's top-20 in various polls and will play in the Les Schwab Invitational at Memorial Coliseum starting Wednesday. 

The Dons won everything in sight last season, but that was a different team. They lost eight players -- including seven seniors -- from that team. This year's team has three seniors -- Chandler and two transfers. 

"We may not be as talented, so it's going to take me a little more time to adjust and kind of bring them along," Chandler said. "I have to establish myself first as a leader on the court so that my teammates will feel my presence on the court, and then I can lead vocally." 

A coaching change 

Chandler's leadership will be needed this year more than ever, particularly since the Dons are breaking in a new coach. 

Steve Singleton replaced longtime coach Russell Otis, who was arrested and charged with suspicion of sexual battery and suspicion of sodomy and oral copulation with 17-year-old on Nov. 2. The boy, a senior, was expected to play on the team after transferring to Dominguez in the fall. He has transferred to another school. 

Otis, 38, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Nov. 28. Otis, who is married and has a teen-age son, is free on $100,000 bail and is on unpaid leave from his position as a health and physical education teacher at Dominguez. He will likely miss most and perhaps all of the season. If convicted on all counts, Otis could go to prison for more than nine years. 

Otis' coaching resume is legendary. He won 374 games and lost 63 in 13 years as coach. His teams won four state Division II titles and six consecutive Southern Section titles. 

Singleton, 26, who joined the team as an assistant last season. 

"I don't feel any pressure on myself," he said. "From the way Coach Otis ran the program, it's been pretty easy to slide in and take over. I saw exactly how things are done." 

Clearly, the turn of events involving Otis has shaken the Dons. And his absence has created a huge void. The team has been instructed not to talk about Otis and his legal problems, but the subject is difficult to avoid. 

"It's a challenge," assistant coach Andre Flowers said. "We've had a lot of things thrown in our face, but we just have to deal with it and go on. The best way to do that is to go out and win games." 

The Dons have started the season winning more games than they have lost, but they will be tested not only by opponents, but by fans more than willing to publicly discuss Otis' problems. 

"It has brought this team closer together, and now we're more focused on basketball," Chandler said. "Before everything happened, our focus wasn't on basketball. This enabled us to bring our focus back to where it should be, on basketball." 

Leadership role 

With the departure of the seniors and the absence of Otis, the Dons are looking to Chandler to provide leadership. Not normally vocal on the court, Chandler knows that must change if the Dons are to continue their winning tradition.  

"My role is to be a leader on the court first and then vocally after games as well," Chandler said. "I've always seen myself as a leader, so I don't see myself as not being able to handle this challenge." 

Even if he doesn't always yell at teammates as a way of motivation, his coaches expect Chandler to lead by example. 

"He already knows what he has to do. You don't have to ask him," Flowers said. "He has a lot of experience to offer the other kids, so he's like a big brother. This is what he has to step up and do. Everything is going to ride on him." 

If Chandler can fill that role and provide the play that justifies all the preseason honors, then the Dons will be in the hunt for their seventh consecutive Southern Section title and fifth state title in six years. Should all that happen, that familiar word will cling to Chandler. 


Again, remember that the Les Schwab Invitational has it's own website, the official one as they have the past two years,   and the event will also receive a lot of coverage from the Oregon Preps and from the Oregonian. 

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