Independent from Long Beach, California on March 23, 1976 · Page 19
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 19

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Long Beach, California
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Tuesday, March 23, 1976
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Page 19
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Ratleff Rockets' Mr. Consistency By DOUG IVES Staff Writer Johnny Egan, the former Laker who is coaching the Houston Rock- els, wishes he had more players like Ed Ratleff, the onetime Long Beach State all-America. "You build winning franchises with players l i k e Eddie," said Egan, whose team visits the Forum tonight to face the Lakers in a game which will affect both clubs' chances, of qualifying for the NBA playoffs. Like the Lakers, Houston is struggling for a wild card berth but in t h e Eastern Conference. The Rockets probably won't make it if they lose tonight and in Oakland Thursday. R a t l c f f is E g a n ' s k i n d of player. "Eddie moves the ball for us," says Johnny. "He's not a gunner, he plays the team concept I preach, and on defense 1 rale him as my most consistent player." R a t l e f f was a sensational scorer who was not known (or his defense during his college years. "1 drafted Ratleff," said Egan, "because f knew he was an intelligent player. He taught himself to play good defense. Fundamentally, he has always been sound." Ratleff, who plays forward or guard, depending on where he is needed most defensively, is averaging only U.4 points per game. But the numbers arc misleading. ' "We have all kinds of shooters on this team," Egan points out. "When Murphy (Calvin), Tomjano- vich (Rudy) and Newlin (Mike) are finished--and sometimes Kunncrl (Kevin)--there aren't many shots left for Eddie. He doesn't need points to prove how valuable he is, however." ED RATLEFF Team player Leg, knee and ankle injuries hampered Rallcff through the opening months of the season and Egan says his slow start was reflected in the way the Rockets got off the blocks. "It took him awhile to gel back together again," says Egan, "but he's playing well now. Like 1 said, I wish I had others like him. He has his head in the righl place, he plays with confidence, ho is team oriented, and he's not greedy." In his third pro season, Itatlcff is shooting an impressive .491 from the field, .8-14 from the free throw- line, averaging 5% rebounds and -t assists per came. He also is second on the team in blocked shots. (Continued Page C-2, Col. 7) Bartow happy with UCLA's ^intensity' By GARY RAUSCH St.-iff Writer G e n e B a r t o w w a s praising UCLA's intensity during last weekend's NCAA Western Regional tournament games and could think of no one player to belter bring out his point than Richard Washington. The Bruins were leading, 52-19, with just over 12 minutes remaining when the junior all-America took a jump shot from the free throw line. The ball caromed off the basket, but Washington was there to score on the follow-up. * . * * INDIANA BY SIX RENO, Nev. (Al't - Oddsmak- ers have made Big Ten members Indiana and Michigan favorites to win semifinal games in the NCAA baskelball championships. U n d e f e a t e d and top-ranked Indiana, 30-0, was a six point favorite to defeat defending champion L'CLA, 2fi-1, the Reno Turf Club said Monday. Michigan, 2'1-fi, was a one point f a v o r i t e o v e r undefeated a n d fourth-ranked Rutgers, 31-0, the club said. "Did you see him go for his own rebound?" Bartow asked his Monday brunch bunch. "He went around one player and slipped between two others, sort of snaking his way to the baskel." The move was more vintage Marques Johnson t h a n Richard Washington, the unstoppable power move to the hoop. None of the writers could remember the 6-10 forward ever exerting that much effort around the offensive backboard. "Take a hard look at Richard down the stretch," said Barlow of NCAA tournament intensity. "He's been there, gentlemen. Throw out his (lirec or four worst games and he's had a fanlaslic season. It's that way with several players." The Bruins get a chance to display their renewed Intensity and gain some revenge in Saturday's semifinals in Philadelphia. The opponent is Indiana, unbeaten, top- raled and an 84-1 victor o v e r UCLA in the season opener. (Continued Page C-2, Col. 6) JOHN DIXON, Sports Editor Tuesday, Morch 23, 1976 Sec lion C, Pogo C-l LB State startles Huskies By JIM McCORMACK . Staff Wrllrr Olis Fisher paused for impact. "I'm tired of being the underdog," be declared. So, apparently, is the rest of Long Beach State's track team. Ron A l l i c e ' s rambunctious 49ers continued to flex their newfound muscles Monday, dropping a highly-respected U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, 89-73, in the featured faccoff of a double-dual meet on the LBSU track. Occidental was the third party and the NA1A school was understandably overmatched, bowing to the 4 9 e r s , 119-34, and to the Huskies. 112-37. The triumph was I-ong Beach's" first-ever d u a l m e e t d e c i s i o n a g a i n s t a Pacific-8 Conference learn and boosted t h e 49crs' demands for recognition since Washington finished last season ranked as the nation's No. 8 dual meet team. Long Beach had entered Monday's competition a five-point underdog. Fisher and weightman Fritz Coffman were the catalysis in the "upset." Fisher knocked more (han a half-second off his lifetime best while storming lo a 51.8 triumph in Ihe 440 intermediate hurdles, beating Iwo slandoul athletes--Oxy's G e n e T a y l o r a n d Washington's Brian Mondschicn in Ibc process. "It could have been better," Fisher declared. "I hit one hurdle and chopped three others in the backs trclch." 11 was an even race coming into Ihc final hurdle. "I hurdled the last hurdle and I knew thai if they jumped Ihc same hurdle, I'd b e a t them," Fisher added. Taylor and Mondschien jumped and Fisher was true to his word. Coffman was equally impressive, collecting three lifetime bests while finishing first in the discus (182-3) and second in the hammer (171-9) and the sholput.(55-8). (Continued Page C-2, Col. 4) II\\K HOI I IM.\YOIITII Lunch laced with hot sauce My attendances at Track and Field Writers' Association meetings are virtually bicentennial affairs. The last one was in (he mid-60s at a Hollywood cocktail lounge, where the brethren and I munched steaks and enjoyed the company of pretty waitresses. I noted al the time that those assigned to write about Ihe doings of Ihc underwear-clad athletes really knew how to live. But Monday, in a way, I was JC bastball-- Umg Boach CHy College a l l . A Valley. 2:30 pm. Collfgf bawball-- t.ong Beach Slate al Cal State Northridgc 2.30 p m. Prfp bawball^Ionian al Compton. Millikan vs Poly at Blair F'ie!d St Paul vs SI. ArJhony al Wanilow Park, all 3:15 p m ; Wilson vs. I-ikewwxl al Mae Boyar ParV, S p m . Pro ba^kflbari-- Ijkers vs Houston, Forum. 8 p m. Harness racing-- [£S Alamitos, first post 8 p m . Poly's CIF champs head All-City basketball squad OKT RADIO P r f p bawball-- Milhk.ln vs. I'oly KIjON-FM S R I i . 3 f f i n m Pro basketball-- Lakers vs. Houston KABC. 8 p m TE1.E VISION" Nocverits scheduled. Hail the champion? You bet! CIF champion Poly High placed four men--including co-players of the year Johnny Nash and Michael Wiley-on the 1976 All-City basketball learn as selected by The Independent, Press-Telegram's board of athletics. The 10-star team. The /.J'-T's largest in eight years, also includes two players from Millikan and one each from Jordan, Lakewood, St. Anthony arid Wilson. Wiley and Nash stand out on a squad loaded with front-line lalent. They led Poly to a record 10(h Southern Section 4-A championship --I'oly's first since 1%6. The 6-7 Wiley averaged 17.1 points and 11.3 rebounds a game, the C-6 Nash 11.5 points and 13.5 re hounds. Nash is one of Long Beach's most flamboyant p l a y e r s . His movements in mid-air switching (lie baskelball from one hand to another for a layup, and his blocks at (he other end of Ihc court continually frustrated opponents. Wiley was at his best in (he playoffs, connecting on -18 of CT shots in the five-game series for an incredible 72 per cent. He averaged almost 25 points during (he Jackrabbits' final eight games. Poly's oilier All-City selections were James Hughes, third member of the spectacular fronl line, who contributed 10.7 points a game, and steady guard Clyde Johnson, il.3 points. In addition to the four I'oly players, J o h n While and Ilhclt llcckcl of Millikan, Scolt Ziomer of Lakewood, Rill Speck of Jordan, Gary Mulder of Wilson and Dave Ramsey of St. Anthony were recognized for their accomplishments. White and Ziemer carried (he scoring ami rebounding load much of (he season for their (cams. They bulls-eyed on more than 52 per rent of their field goals while averaging more Ihan !7 points a game. Hcckcl and Speck made enormous strides over (heir junior seasons. Hcckel averaged M.2 points and had a deft touch from 15 feet out on a team thai attained the 4-A quarterfinals. Speck w a s p r o b a b l y Long Roach's most improved high school basketball p l a y e r , a relentless driver who always gave 100 per cent and hit 55 per cent of his shots while averaging I!U points. Although Wilson had a disappointing season, nol reaching (ho playoffs for Die first time in four (Continued on Page C-2, Col. -1) Michael Wiley. reached peak in CIF playoffs * * * ALL-CITY BASKETBALL Player, school PM. HL Yr. fi !'(*. John White. Millikiin F 0-5 Jr. 27 -IKi Seott Zicmor, l.ikcwoml F 6-3 Sr. 2-1 122 Johnny Nnsh, f'nly K 6-6 Sr. 31 4M James Hughes. Poly F fi-1 Sr. .11 332 ItlH-tl Hcckc-l. M i l l i k a n F 2'/S Sr. 2!) - I l l Michael Wiley, Poly C ."? Sr. 31 Fill Kill Speck, Jordan G 63 Sr. 25 .«« Clytlc Johasnii. Poly G 6^ Sr, 31 2S1 Gary Mulder, Wilson G 6-1 Sr. *l Ml Dave Ramsey, St. Anthony G frO Sr. 25 3(« Avc. 17.2 I7.fi 1 1 5 10.7 1-1.2 17.1 10.7 S 3 21 2 12.3 IIONORABLK MKNT1ON Jordan -- Moby Oliver, Frank Van Dyke. Ixikcwnod -- f rtil Powers. Milliknn -- Doug Marly, Jim Wlialcn. I'oly -- Tony Gwjiin. Wilson -- Chris Smith. S Anthony -- Jim Donnelly. Tony Spunier. Umce UH- Irich. Johnny Nush. . . Halthils' flumhoyunl swingniun brought hack lo reality. The meeting was staged at a Long Reach Stale sorority hou.sc and the entree was a salad plate instead of steak. Instead of Max Truex, Eddie Southern and Jim Beatty, the speakers included an officer of Ihe Canadian track team and the Occidental coach. Times indeed have changed, as have the luncheon meetings of Ihe men, like our John Dixon, who chronicle Ihe activities of the BVD brigade. ONE THING lhal hasn't changed, though, is Ihe Gibraltar-like attitude of Mr. Jim Bush, the chap who steers the course for the UCLA track ship. Bush, who was mightily perturbed that his Bruins were fortunate in gaining only a five-point win over Tennessee tJie day before, hadn't even touched his salad before he was confronted with an IfHH column written a few weeks ago. The column was headed, "Bush all vet." Jim duly noted its contents again, then when it was his turn al the speakers' stand, he opened his re-marks thusly "1 know that I'm all wet. and full of baloney, too. All kinds of 'articles come out when you talk and don't pull your punches." (Continued on Page C-2. Col ll Rose Bowl win nice, but he'll take Series By GORDON VKRRBI.L .Stall Wrllrr VERO BEACH, Fla.-pf (he 50 million or so people who viewed L'CLA's slarllinfi upsel of Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, no one watched w i t h more intensity and emotion Ihan an 18-year-old youngsler from Sanla Ana. Myron Alan While could have been there. On lop of Ihe college football world. Toasted in champagne. Instead, he was in another world, another sporl. He had lasted champagne, all right, but t h a t was after Ihe Bellingham, Wash., Dodgers of Ihe Class A Northwest league had ended a 27-gamc losing streak. "But then," he said, "we lost 10 more." There were lo be 61 defeats for the itason, only 17 wins, and no one would have blamed Myron While if he'd have had some second thoughts about selecting baseball over football, especially-after that Rose Bowl game. He was the highest-scoring football player in Orange Counly history and the college offers came by the dozens to Ihc titlle running back from Sanla Ana V a l ley High The school he selected was UCLA. He signed a Idler of inlcnt, checked out a set of sweat clolhcs and began working out with the Bruins. Tht-n along came the Dodger». They drafted him No. 2, offered him a siiahle bonus. Suddenly he was packed and off to Bellingham. Regret*? Second thoughts? "Sure. I miss football," he said al Vcro Beach Monday, one of more Ihan 200 youngsters working out in the Dodgers' minnr league camp "But I'd rather play in Ihe World Scries Ihan in Ihc Rose liowl. "II was tough, losing all those games one after anolhcr. I'd been used to winning all Ihe time in high school. II broke my heart. I played hard up (here and slill we lost. Really, somelimes I wondered, 'What's the use? 1 "You're supposed In learn from losing, they say, and I know one. thing I learned--I don't like losing. "I t h i n k aboul it, how il might hare been playing foolhall al UCLA. But I don't know about the four years of con- slant pounding, wondering w h e n that freak injury was going lo happen, playing against guys Iwicc my size. "Heck, I'm only 5-10'/i and the guys chasing me were all 6-5 and more. Here, all I have to think aboul is lhal little white ball." Actually. Myron didn't find that little white ball all that easy, either. He finished al 2.l after a strong start. But Ihe feeling remains, from almost everyone in Iht organization, that White is the Dodgers' ccnterfielder of the future, one of those "can't miss" prospects. "Cenlerfield, leftfield, it d o e s n ' t make any difference," he said. "!'ci even catch, something I've never done, if il'H help me get lo Ihe big leagues." This is While's first baseball camp. l.i.st year, after he graduated from high school, lie reported directly lo Bellingham. 'Continued on Page C-2, Col. 3) SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT .. NOW HARBOR AREA DISTRIBUTORS FOR TWIN STEEL RADIAL5 BY FAMOUS GERMANY'S LARGEST TIRE MANUFACTURER THE 50,000 MILE TIRE W/l 2055R-I5 $77.90 215SR-I5 84.30 225SR 15 93.-3-1 235ST-15 102.66 ·i i t 17 /51-11 n, Fits Fords Thru Cgdlllgcsl · CONTINENTAL .MICHELIN-X · B.F. GOODRICH · Kelly Springfield MOUNTING and BALANCING WHILE YOU WAIT!, L'J Open 8-5;30; Sot. 9-1 Don Richardson HUE CO. (7«3)HI696»t SOO «..Anoti«lm St./lwifl fetich . ·onkAnuriard/Mitf* Chora*

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