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Boys' basketball: The Dream lives on -- barely

July 24, 2008 |  3:24 pm

Sidney There was nearly an embarrassingly premature exit for Renardo Sidney and the L.A. Dream Team this afternoon in a Reebok Summer Championships game against East Coast Fusion, a team with only six players.

With Sidney on the bench to start the game at Foothill High, the Dream Team fell behind by 10 points and appeared on the brink of an early return to Southern California now that the Las Vegas-area tournament has reached the single-elimination stage.

"I don't think we expected them to play as hard as that," Dream Team Coach Renardo Sidney Sr. said, referring to the fact that the Fusion lacked much depth beyond its starting lineup.

Why did Fusion have only six players? One player missed the flight to Las Vegas, another had a summer school commitment, a third tore an Achilles' tendon and a fourth decided to play with a 16-and-under team, according to Coach Cade Lemcke.

Though Sidney didn't have a great game -- he finished with only eight points -- the physical presence of the 6-foot-10, 260-pound forward was something the shorthanded Fusion couldn't match as the Dream Team pulled away for a 57-51 victory.

"We subbed and kept bringing fresh legs in and turned it up in the second half," Sidney Sr. said.

Of his decision to leave his son on the bench at the game's outset, Sidney Sr. said it was something he does "from time to time. I didn't feel we needed him. As you can see, I'm not a genius."

--Ben Bolch