Think of Crossroads basketball and you think of success.Year after year, there have been outstanding teams and outstanding players. Many players guided by Coach Daryl Roper have gone on to play in college. These days center Isiah Fox is at Arizona.Some Crossroads’ players have gone beyond their college play to the NBA. Baron Davis is now a star with Golden State and Austin Croshere a key man with Indiana.So it sent shock waves through the Westside basketball community when Crossroads lost 14 of its first 16 games this season, many by one-sided margins.Roper recently took a month off but returned to the team two weeks ago.“He said he felt he wasn’t doing a good job, wasn’t getting through to his players,’’ said Crossroads Athletic Director Chuck Ice. “He asked for some time off.“He’s done a wonderful job here for many years, so the request was granted. When he came back he was refreshed.’’However, the losses continue. Crossroads lost to its rival, Brentwood, Friday night. The Roadrunners don’t have much experience or height. As I cover basketball on all levels, three questions are frequently asked by fans and colleagues – how far can the Lakers go this season, how far can UCLA go and what happened to Crossroads?Ice responds to the third question: “We had an all-league player last season, but he wants to play in the Southeastern Conference and decided to transfer to a prep school in Alabama.“Then there is competition with other Westside schools who have improved their programs, and the fact we accept only 120 new students each time. It’s very competitive to get into Crossroads.’’Ice pauses a moment, then says the situation could improve in the next few years.“But will we get back to the level we were on? I don’t know.’’Roper did not respond to an interview request for this story.In other games this week the St. Monica boys defeated Mary Star, 57-45 for their first league victory in three games. The Mariners are 8-9 overall.Palisades won its first three Western League games, including an 80-64 romp over Venice, then lost to league power Fairfax 97-71.Venice lost its first three Western League games, then had an 81-73 win over Hamilton. Guard Noah Gottlieb, who had 43 points in a recent game, has raised his scoring average to 21.3.In girls’ play St. Monica lost to St. Bernard 59-51 and defeated Mary Star, 51-39, bringing its record to 7-8, including 2-2 in the league.Santa Monica lost for only the second time this season, 44-42 at Beverly Hills. then defeated Culver City 48-34. Its overall record is 14-2.Crossroads defeated CAMS 46-26 and has a 3-13 record, including 2-2 in league games.New Roads had a forfeit win over Community Harvest Charter and a 50-26 win over Ribet Academy for an 11-6 overall record and 4-0 in the Harbor League.Although Malibu has a 7-6 overall record, the Sharks are 0-3 in the Frontier League, including one-sided losses to Oaks Christian (66-29) and Nordhoff (78-35).Venice is off to a 4-0 start in the Western League with a 47-41 win over Palisades and a 58-37 conquest of Hamilton. The overall record is 14-5.Palisades is 5-8 overall and 1-2 in the league.
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