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Slow start no sweat for Francis Parker

12/27/2013, 8:50pm PST
By Steve Brand, Special to the U-T

Lancers fall behind but come back to win in Under Armour Holiday Classic quarterfinals.


Francis Parker senior Evan Fitzner (shown in a photo from last season) had 20 points and 15 rebounds in the Lancers' win on Friday.

Francis Parker seems to have developed a habit that will drive boys basketball coach Jim Tomey crazy but hasn’t really bothered the Lancers’ star player.

“We’re not concerned,” senior Evan Fitzner said after Parker overcame another slow start Friday to down Brooklyn (N.Y.) Xavierian 54-35 in the quarterfinals of the Senators Division of the 24th Under Armour Holiday Classic at La Jolla Country Day.

“We’re slow-starting, but we’re resilient. We stick with what the coaches tell us to do and come back after we figure it out.”

This time the Lancers (10-1) fell behind by five after one quarter, 15-10, before scoring the first nine points of the second quarter en route to an 18-3 period that only got better when they held the Clippers (3-4) to just three points in the third quarter.

Fitzner led the way as he scored 10 of his eventual 20 points in the middle two quarters, collecting nine of his 15 rebounds and two of his three blocked shots.

Though he played much of the fourth quarter with four fouls, he never did have to exit the game.

“I’ve added 20 pounds,” said the agile 6-foot-8 Fitzner, who had little trouble going inside or out, draining a pair of 3-pointers. “I was 195 last year and now I’m at 215. I know I’ll need to add more muscle for next year.”

But Fitzner is not even close to looking ahead as he wants to help the Lancers be a force in the San Diego Section Division II playoffs after losing to Mater Dei Catholic in the semifinals of Division IV last year.

This year he has help as junior Khaleel Jenkins tossed in 17 points and sophomore Andrew Cross added 11 for Parker, which will play La Habra Sonora tonight at 7 in the Senators Division semifinals.

Sayon Charles led Xavierian with 20 points — 11 in the fourth quarter.

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