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Bell-Jeff basketball can't figure out Staples Center or San Gabriel Academy

Basketball: Guards have poor shooting game against Eagles, Marcus LoVett Jr., falling in nonleague game at NBA arena, 66-33.

February 12, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Raul Roa Staff Photographer )

LOS ANGELES — Having had their team play in the venue last season, the Bellarmine-Jefferson High boys' basketball coaches thought they had their players ready to deal with the deep sightlines and the NBA dimensions and expansive three-point line of Staples Center.

But with a group of transfers this season, many of the Guards didn't play in the Staples Center game a year ago and were unfamiliar with the facilities of the cavernous arena.

As a result, Bell-Jeff had a dismal shooting performance Wednesday against San Gabriel Academy and former Providence standout Marcus LoVett Jr. In the end, it wasn't even close, as the Eagles cruised to a 66-33 nonleague victory.

"I really think that the length of the court and the long three-point line definitely gave us some problems," said Bell-Jeff Coach Julian Andrade, whose team beat San Gabriel at Staples Center last season, 64-51. "It played with their minds and it was tough for them to deal with it. You could see we had problems with our shooting."

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The Guards (16-10) — ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division V-A — struggled with their shooting throughout the game, never converting more than four shots from the field in any of the four quarters. Bell-Jeff wound up making good on just 11 of 61 field-goal attempts for an 18% effort.

Bell-Jeff's most productive quarter was the first, when it converted four of 14 shots (28.6%) from the field. The Guards also endured quarters in which they shot 19.2%, 25% and 10.5%.

"I know playing here was tough for some of the guys," said Bell-Jeff junior Abid Oses, who paced the Guards with a 16-point effort to go along with seven rebounds. "It is very different to play here and it's very wide. When you took a shot you thought you were close, but your shot would be very short.

"But we didn't play with that much energy. I think that was a big problem for us. We just didn't play like we usually do."

LoVett, a junior, who played at Providence before departing last season during his sophomore year, didn't experience the same troubles with the Staples Center court. LoVett, who was No. 42 in the nation earlier this season in the Scout.com class of 2015 rankings, enjoyed playing in the arena.

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