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BASKETBALL: TAFT'S TALE OF TWO HALVES MATER DEI HAS 18-3 RUN IN SECOND HALF, WINS IN ROUT.

Byline: JACOB H. POLLON

Special to the Daily News

Without two of its key starters, the Taft of Woodland Hills boys' basketball team held its own through the first half against Mater Dei of Santa Ana.

Then the second half began.

Mater Dei went on a backbreaking 18-3 run early in second half to put away the Toreadors 89-64 Friday in a quarterfinal game of the 21st annual Nike Fairfax Tournament.

Taft sorely missed North Carolina-bound guard Larry Drew and forward Justin Hawkins. Drew is attending the Nike Skills Aacademy hosted by Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, and Hawkins is at the Arizona State camp.

"We just couldn't keep up in the second half," Taft head coach Derrick Taylor said. "We really got outplayed on the perimeter. Missing our twoguys who can handle the ball really showed as the game went on. The start of the game was great, but a great team like Mater Dei made the right adjustments and their experience came into play."

Taft will play Pasadena at 5:30 p.m. today. Mater Dei advances to tonight's semifinals against host Fairfax.

Taft got out of the gate quick and led 19-10 behind Michael Williams, who will be a junior this season. Williams scored 11 first-half points, including three 3-pointers.

After trailing 29-26 at halftime, Taft regained the lead at 35-33 early in the second half after Bryce Smith connected for one his three 3-pointers before Mater Dei went on its run.

Williams, who played all of last season on junior varsity, finished with 22 points, including six 3-pointers and Terran Carter and Bryce Smith each had 13 points for Taft. Senior-to-be Eugene Phelps added 12 points.

Juniors Andy Brown and David Wear each scored 20 points for Mater Dei. Wear's twin brother, Travis, scored 16 points.

In other games played Friday, Graham Baldwin scored 23 points and Clark Anderson had 10 as La Canada beat Palos Verdes 49-36.

Behind 17 points from Renaldo Woolridge and 13 points from incoming freshman Damian Cain, Harvard Westlake of North Hollywood beat Leuzinger of Lawndale 65-41.

Campbell Hall, playing without Jrue Holiday, beat Dorsey of Los Angeles 75-70 in overtime. Dallas Rutherford scored 26 points for the Vikings and sophomore James Johnson had 22.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 30, 2007
Words:375
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