Based on the recent performance of both teams, MaxPreps predicts on: 1/18/2008
Simi Valley will beat Calabasas with a final score of 78 - 57.
Late Boys Basketball Results
The Daily News
Lorne Jackson had 29 points, Brad Lewis added 22 and Mike Meza threw in 10 for Simi Valley in a 79-61 Marmonte League win over Calabasas. Matt Graditor put in 12 and Eric Mont had 10 for Indians in the loss...
When Simi Valley held off Thousand Oaks 72-67 on Jan. 11 it was the fourth game the Pioneers had played decided by six points or less this season. Looking down the road for Simi Valley (18-1), the Pioneers face a tough road test at Westlake on Feb. 1, a team they nipped by just two earlier in the year.
Simi Valley 79, Calabasas 61
Lorne Jackson had 29 points in the win for Simi Valley (19-1, 8-0).
A team to remember
By Loren Ledin
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Twenty years later, Don MacLean still feels the buzz. Like when the 1988 Simi Valley High basketball team, fresh off its CIF-Southern Section Division 4-A championship, opened the state playoffs at home against Manual Arts.
As usual, the line of fans attempting to jam inside Tom Harmon Gymnasium snaked all the way from the ticket booth to the school entrance adjacent to Cochran Street.
MacLean, the senior center, was mounting the stairs to the school's East wing when he was spotted by the throng. "I was alone, just walking the stairs when everyone saw me," he said. "They just erupted. I didn't know what to think. It was such an amazing feeling to know that they were all there to see us play basketball. It made me think what we meant to the school, and the whole town."
Two decades after amassing 28 victories, winning a Southern Section title and galvanizing a community, the 1988 Pioneers returned home Friday night. Coach Bob Hawking and 10 of the 12 athletes who produced Simi Valley's own version of Showtime were honored at halftime of Simi Valley High's Marmonte League game against visiting Calabasas.
Another full house brought back the memories for three-time All-CIF-SS forward Shawn Delaittre.
"It was a lot like this," he said, surveying the fans filling the gymnasium. "Every game was like this. It seems like people got excited. It was definitely a good feeling to be a part of it all."
The 1988 Pioneers may or may not be the best boys' high school basketball team ever to represent Ventura County, but the legacy suggests an alignment of stars and a pyramid of accomplishments as seldom seen as Haley's Comet.
Among the feats:
• Simi Valley was the only county team to win a large-schools CIF-Southern Section championship in the 57 years between two Ventura High titlists: The 1948-49 Cougars coached by Bob Tuttle and the 2005-2006 Cougars directed by Dan Larson.
• The roster featured one future NBA player and three All-CIF-SS players who would play Division I college basketball. MacLean, a 6-foot-10 center, became the all-time leading scorer for both UCLA and the Pacific-10 Conference and would play nine seasons in the NBA; DeLaittre, a 6-5 forward, was a three-time All-CIF-SS selection who played his college ball at Eastern Washington; Butch Hawking, a 6-foot point guard, was an All-CIF-SS choice who would play for the Air Force Academy.
They weren't the only top-notch athletes. Jon Jones played college football at UNLV, Mike Langford was a member of the volleyball team at San Diego State and Steve Carnes played basketball for Ventura College.
• The Pioneers finished 28-4, including a 70-64 victory in overtime over Capistrano Valley in the CIF-SS Division 4-A championship game. Since freshmen were not then allowed to play on varsity teams, MacLean-Delaittre-Hawking formed a core that racked up a record of 81-9 over three varsity seasons.
The three-year record in three successive Marmonte League championships was 35-1. The three-year span included 40 consecutive home victories.
• The 1988 aggregation averaged 87 points per game, still a program record, while shooting 60 percent from the field. They shot 42 percent from 3-point range in the first season the 3-point line was adopted in California.
The average margin of victory in Marmonte League games was 24.4 points; the average margin in CIF-SS playoff games was 23.6 points.
The Pioneers scored 100 or more points seven times, and tallied 68 points in one half against Camarillo.
Today, the legacy continues to produce success stories.
MacLean is radio and television broadcaster, providing color commentary for UCLA and Clippers basketball. Delaittre is an account executive with Bottomline Mortgage, Inc., and Butch Hawking is a partner with Kaye/Bassman International, a executive search firm located in Plano, Texas.
Among others, Gerald Pickett teaches world history at Agoura High.
Hawking, who helped spearhead the reunion by locating team members, said his high school basketball experience became a springboard to life.
"I remember a lot of great victories, but mostly I remember practice," he said. "We worked so hard to earn everything we achieved. That's really the lesson you apply to life. I was always competitive, and I still am competitive. But you don't gain anything without the hard work. I learned much of that from playing basketball."
The Pioneers reached the CIF-SS finals in 1986, losing by three points to Stacy Augmon-led Muir High. A year later, they were upset in the quarterfinals by Santa Monica.
With its last chance in 1988, the talented senior class won its championship, and garnered relief.
"That championship was very special," said Hawking.
"It was such a disappointment to lose in the quarterfinals as juniors. I remember that I couldn't get the ball into Don on our last possession. If I do that, he scores and we probably win the game. The very next day I went back to work. I was determined to get bigger, stronger and better."
MacLean remains Ventura County's all-time leading scorer with 2,343 points, including a program-record 1,008 points as a senior. More than numbers, he associates high school basketball as a rite of innocence.
"You play for your school and community," he said. "At UCLA and in the NBA, of course, it became more like a job. It was about production and preparation and taking yourself to a different level.
"It's great to come back and be a part of this. High school basketball will always be a special feeling for me."
2008 Ventura County Star
Dominguez captures 2007 MaxPreps Holiday Classic
By Joel Francisco Scouts Inc.(Archive)
Updated: December 26, 2007
DEL MAR, Calif. -- In one of the most gut-wrenching championship games thus far this season, Dominguez pulled out a stunning 84-83 victory over a resilient Simi Valley Pioneer squad. Dominick LaCoste's putback off a an errant 3-point attempt by Darrell Espy with two seconds left captured the Dons the 2007 Maxpreps Holiday Classic.
The Dons built an impressive 13-point lead going into the fourth quarter by utilizing their outstanding depth, a suffocating defense and dominating the glass. However, things began to unravel for them in the fourth due to a lack of composure (two critical technical fouls -- one of those would be starter Bryce Cartwright's fifth and final foul).
But despite the Dons' failure to put the game away in the fourth, a more significant reason on why Simi Valley got back into the game was the awe-inspiring play of their outstanding point guard 6-1 senior Lorne Jackson (39 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds) who was brilliant throughout the tournament.
Jackson, one of the fastest rising seniors in the West, ventured his way through the Dons' pressure making one impressive play after another. His ability to read the defense and make savvy decisions consistently is what separates him from most point guards in the country.
However in the end Dominguez would pull out the dramatic victory and capture its second tournament championship of the season (Amare Stoudemire Invitational Classic being the other). The Dons' leading scorers were steady 6-2 junior Myron Green (20 points) and scorer deluxe 6-7 junior Jordan Hamilton (15 points).
Along with Jackson, the Pioneers, who by the way are one of the most well-coached teams I've seen this season, received great performances by 6-4 Michael Meza (18 points) and 6-2 Brad Lewis (16 points).
Lorne Jackson (6-1, 175) Senior, Simi Valley, Calif. Jackson was originally going to be listed as one of my surprise selections, but his play was far too impressive for that category. Like D.J. Gay (current freshman at San Diego State) displayed during the 2006-07 season, no player's stock is elevating quicker in the West than Jackson. Jackson is the quintessential point guard for the next level. Although he isn't the quickest or the fastest, his savvy and craftiness with the ball is beyond his years. He makes great decisions at both ends and is one of the more impressive competitors and leaders that I've seen during the 2007-08 season. His passing ability is excellent and most importantly he rarely turns the ball over. In addition, he is one of the rare prospects in high school that takes what the defense gives him. Although he is a pass-first point guard, he can score effectively (39-point outburst against Dominguez) either off the bounce or the 3-point jump shot. Jackson is unsigned and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up at a high-major program for the 2008-09 season.
The Star's rankings
1. Simi Valley (17-1)
Comment: Lorne Jackson scored 30 or more points 3 times in six-game stretch.
Last week: Defeated Westlake, Thousand Oaks and Westlake.
2. Ventura (15-5)
Comment: James Ennis is proving to be a force on the defensive end of the court.
Last week: Defeated Buena.
3. Oaks Christian (15-2)
Comment: Last eight opponents have averaged 36.3 points.
Last week: Defeated Santa Paula, Nordhoff, Carpinteria.
4. Santa Clara (1)
Comment: Balanced scoring has been key to team's success.
Last week: Defeated Oak Park, Santa Paula, Nordhoff.
5. Thousand Oaks (12-6)
Comment: Three of last four games have been decided by five points or less.
Last week: Defeated Calabasas and Agoura, lost to Simi Valley.
Simi Valley's Jackson wants to play ball for the Trojans
Simi Valley's Lorne Jackson is one of the most dynamic players in Southern California and he's hoping he won't have to travel too far to display his mad skills in college.
Jackson told Scout.com he has several schools interesting in his services, with the big ones being USC, American, UC Riverside, UC San Diego and Butler. The coaches from San Diego have already put an offer on the table, but Jackson is really hoping he'll get something from the Trojans.
"If they offer, that's where I'll go," he said.
Jackson is averaging a team-best 23.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg this season for the Pioneers, heading into their game against visiting Calabasas on Friday night.
Twenty years later, they remain Simi's greatest team Championship squad from 1987-88 to be honored at boys' basketball game tonight
By Thomas Gase firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Simi Valley High A SPECIAL GROUP- The 1987-88 Simi Valley High boys' basketball team posted a 284 overall record en route to winning the CIFSouthern Section Division 4A title. The team will be honored at halftime of tonight's game at SVHS. Pictured in the front row from left are Steve Barlow, Butch Hawking, Chris Wright and Mike Langford. Top row: Coach Bob Hawking, Steve Carnes, Darren Aurand, Gerald Pickett, Jon Jones, Don MacLean, Shawn DeLaittre, Dave Penrod, Tim Hall, John Hodges and assistant coach Jim Carr. It was a special year for sports in Southern California.
In 1988, the Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up the second of back-to-back NBA titles; the Los Angeles Dodgers, led by Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson, won the World Series and the Los Angeles Kings pulled off the biggest trade in NHL history by acquiring Wayne Gretzky.
But in the Conejo Valley, no ticket was hotter than one that got fans inside Tom Harmon Gym to see the Simi Valley High boys' basketball team.
The 1987-88 Pioneers won all 12 of their Marmonte League games en route to a 28-4 record that culminated in a 7064 overtime win against Capistrano Valley at the Los Angeles Sports Arena for the CIFSouthern Section Division 4A championship.
Photo courtesy of Simi Valley High THE DON- Simi Valley High graduate Don MacLean, center, was a McDonald's All-American during the 1987-88 season. He went on to play at UCLA before being drafted into the NBA in 1992. "I remember the unbelievable following that team had," current Simi Valley head coach Christian Aurand said. "People would start lining up hours before the game to buy tickets, and the line would stretch all the way out to Cochran Street.
"So many fans wanted tickets that the school ended up selling extra tickets for people to watch the game on television in the multipurpose room on campus."
Fans will be packed into the SVHS gym once again tonight, as the '87-88 team will be honored at halftime of the Pioneers' game against Calabasas High. For some players and coaches, the reunion will mark the first time in 20 years that they've seen each other.
Photos courtesy of Simi Valley High THEIR LEADER- Coach Bob Hawking helped turn the SVHS basketball program around. "I think there's going to be 11 of the 12 players present, and we haven't all been in the same room together since 1988," former guard and three-time All-CIF first-team member Shawn Delaittre said.
"It's going to be really great to see all those guys again."
For three years, SVHS was the last squad opposing Marmonte League teams wanted to see. From 1986 to 1988, the Pioneers lost only one league game and went 71-9 overall. The Pioneers were especially tough to beat in their home gym, where they won 40 straight games.
Simi Valley was led by Don MacLean, the leading scorer in Ventura County history with 2,343 career points. MacLean, a three-time member of the All-CIF first team and a McDonald's All American, scored 1,008 points in 1988, a school record. His 1,120 career rebounds are also a team record.
"I got to know (MacLean) at an early age because he was such a good friend of my son, Butch, who was in the same grade," former Simi Valley head coach Bob Hawking said.
"When you saw him as a fourth-grader, you just knew he was going to be something special. He was never satisfied with where his game was, and he was a great learner. He was a big kid with extremely good coordination."
MacLean would go on to have a stellar career at UCLA, where he became the Pac-10's all-time leading scorer.
After the 1992 season, MacLean went to the NBA, where he played with teams such as the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and Washington Bullets. He was named the NBA's Most Improved Player in 1994.
Still, one of MacLean's favorite memories was winning the title with Simi Valley.
"We had been on the doorstep for so long, with a loss in the championship game my sophomore year and a disappointing loss to Santa Monica High in the quarterfinals my junior year," MacLean said.
"So when we won the championship, it was a huge relief for us because we were ranked No. 1 all year long. It was a great feeling and something special for all of us."
Delaittre, whose 18 points per game ranks sixth in Pioneer history, agreed with his former teammate.
"We should have won the previous two years, so when the final seconds ticked off the clock at the Sports Arena it was more of a relief than anything," Delaittre said. "Coming into that championship game, we were all very confident. We just knew we were going to win."
Handling the pointguard duties for the Pioneers was Butch Hawking, who was named to the All-CIF second team his senior year. Hawking's 438 assists rank fifth on the school's all-time list.
"One of my greatest memories was being exhausted at the L.A. Sports Arena after winning the CIF title," Butch Hawking said. "I cramped up and cried tears of joy the whole bus ride home."
He said a reason for the team's success was its grueling practices during the week.
"Our practices were all-out wars," Butch Hawking said. "By the end of practice, we'd take off our jerseys and they'd just be soaked with sweat. It almost became a contest of who could squeeze the most sweat off their jersey onto the floor.
"In a way, the practices where we played against each other was our toughest competition. We just loved it when we stepped onto the floor and got to take it out on another team instead."
Although MacLean, Delaittre and Butch Hawking may have been the Pioneers' three biggest scoring threats, they were hardly the only stars. The rest of the team consisted of Jon Jones, John Hodges, Gerald Pickett, Mike Langford, Steve Carnes, Darren Aurand, Steve Barlow, Chris Wright and Tim Hall.
"Our bench would've started for most teams," MacLean said. "When we were blowing out teams in the first half, Coach Hawking would put in our bench players, and they would play just as well. The majority of the time they would extend our lead."
Steve Johnson, Simi Valley's sophomore head coach in 1988 and current Newbury Park High head varsity coach, has a vivid memory of Darren Aurand, who Butch Hawking called the "greatest defensive player in the history of Simi Valley."
"In the championship game we were in need of a basket in the fourth quarter, and Darren hit a big shot for us," Johnson said. "He was always known as the defensive stopper on the team, so it was nice to see him contribute on offense as well."
Bob Hawking said the championship wouldn't have been possible without every member on the team doing his part.
"Everybody played their role perfectly on that team," Bob Hawking said. "We had defensive guys, rebounding guys- everything. All the spokes on the wheel were in place."
The championship victory would be the last for Bob Hawking at Simi Valley, as the coach decided to move on after 14 years and 240 career wins at the helm.
Hawking would go on to be an assistant at Pepperdine University and UC Davis before becoming the head coach at Cal State Fullerton and Anaheim High.
"I had a lot of offers to go to other schools, especially at the college level during my time at Simi Valley," Bob Hawking said. "I'm very glad I never took any of those offers or else I would have never experienced the championship season of '88."
During the past month, Butch Hawking has started a campaign to rename Simi Valley's gym Bob Hawking Court at Tom Harmon Gym. Prior to Bob Hawking becoming the head coach, Simi Valley's record was 44-89.
"Our players were good, but I believe our coaches were even better," Butch Hawking said. "After every game they would get in the car and go scout another team. We were always prepared."
Although the 198788 Pioneers still hold team records in scoring (87.4 per game), highest field goal percentage (.595), three-point percentage (.421), free throws (560) and assists (790), the current Simi Valley team is looking to break some of those marks.
With an 18-1 record and by averaging 82.7 points per game, many people, such as Johnson, are drawing comparisons.
"They definitely have that certain Simi Valley stamp, and I think that's because of their head coach, Christian Aurand," Johnson said.
"They don't have a Don MacLean-type player, but they have a huge emphasis on the fundamentals and defense just like the '88 team."
Although Christian Aurand appreciates the praise, he was quick to point out that his current squad is not on par with the championship team just yet.
"I'd hate to go there because we haven't even won a Marmonte League championship, so I don't think it would be fair to compare us to the team of 20 years ago," Christian Aurand said. "Yes, we've had a great start, but the teams are like apples and oranges as far as styles of play."
Tonight, fans can see a glimpse of both teams with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m. Make sure to get there early because the lines have been known to reach Cochran Street.
The weekend began with a beautiful rendition of our national anthem and ended with the San Diego Chargers earning this guy (thumbs to my chest) a trip to the bank.
What can I say? Sometimes it pays to be a Dorkman.
Venue: Thousand Oaks High gymnasium last Friday night. Matchup: Simi Valley vs. Thousand Oaks boys' basketball teams. Bottom line: Most anticipated game of Marmonte League schedule.
First and foremost, Newbury Park resident Carmen Carter was awesome singing the national anthem. Carter, whose son, Chris, is a junior forward for the Lancers, sings professionally for the TV show "Dancing with the Stars."
Performing in a green dress complemented by a golden crown, Carter's goose-bump-inducing voice pushed the already electric crowd to another level.
Simi Valley won the game, 72-67, to remain undefeated in league competition. Thousand Oaks suffered its first Marmonte League defeat and dropped to 12-6 overall.
The high flying Pioneers continue to impress, and senior point guard Lorne Jackson remains the team's catalyst. Against Thousand Oaks, Jackson took the ball to the basket at will, scoring a game high 24 points.
"Whenever I got the ball I just tried to beat the defense down the court, every single time," Jackson said.
Following his team's hardfought victory in front of T.O.'s rabid Green Hole, Jackson said the win was further proof that the Pioneers can excel in the most hostile environments.
"We can play anywhere, that's what this shows," he said. "We can win on the road if we play well. . . . Besides, these are the best kinds of fans to silence."
Jackson, the Marmonte League's leading scorer with 24.2 points per game, entered Wednesday's matchup at Moorpark High having scored at least 20 points in 14 of Simi Valley's first 18 contests.
The Pioneers won 17 of those games, with their lone loss coming by way of an 84-83 buzzerbeater to powerhouse ComptonDominguez in late December.
Michael Meza, Simi Valley's versatile forward, entered the week tied with Moorpark senior guard David Buchanan for second in the league in scoring (20 points per game). SVHS junior guard Brad Lewis ranked fourth (18.5).
Not only can Simi Valley put the ball in the basket, but head coach Christian Aurand's squad runs opposing teams ragged with its defensive pressure. The final six minutes weren't fun for Thousand Oaks. It's a point in the game where SVHS has been at its best this season.
Still, TOHS deserves major credit. The Lancers fell behind 13-4 early on and didn't establish their initial lead until a second effort basket by senior forward
Cyrus Kiani midway through the second quarter.
TOHS was within striking distance all night until Meza iced the game with a pair of free throws with only seconds remaining in the contest.
Kiani said the Lancers never feared the Pioneers, adding they'll learn from the loss and rebound with a better performance when SVHS hosts Thousand Oaks on Feb. 6.
"When we play the way we're capable of playing, we can compete with this team," Kiani said. "They're ranked really high, and everyone has been praising them, and we respected this team and knew they were going to be good. . . . "But I think we can take them down next time. I'm really confident about it."
Count me in for the rematch.