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Fairfax and Westchester have been heated rivals for years, and Chauncey Hill (above) made sure that Westchester left their gym without a win against Fairfax this season. The two teams can meet for a third time in the semifinals of the playoffs. Photo by Jason Lewis
Fairfax's Landon Drew hit a key shot late in the game to seal the victory over Westchester. Photo by Jason Lewis
Taft is led by Anthony January, who is a transfer from Compton. They should breeze through the first two rounds, but then they will have a match up against either Crenshaw or Palisades. Photo by Ken Brooks.
Taft, Fairfax, and Westchester are the top three seeds as usual, but Palisades and Crenshaw will look to break up the party. By Jason Lewis Sentinel Sports Editor
For over a decade the City Championship has been decided between Taft, Fairfax, and Westchester. The three teams have dominated City high school basketball, and they always meet up in the semifinals and championship games.
This season is shaping up to be the same way heading into the playoffs, but Palisades and Crenshaw will look to be giant killers over the next couple of weeks.
Taft (24-3), who defeated Fairfax (19-9) earlier this season, was an easy pick for the top seed. Seeds two through four were difficult, because Fairfax, Westchester (20-6) and Palisades (16-10) finished in a three-way tie in the Western Division.
Westchester swept their series against Palisades, who defeated Fairfax twice. Westchester could have won the league title outright if they had defeated Fairfax last week. But just like earlier this season, Westchester got out to a sluggish start and found themselves down by double digits against their rival. Fairfax held off a late run by Westchester to win the game 56-53.
Fairfax was awarded with the No. 2 seed, Westchester the No. 3 seed, and Palisades the No. 4 seed.
Even with the two losses to Fairfax, Westchester coach Ed Azzam feels that his team is better, and they will most likely get their chance to prove it in the semifinal round.
Crenshaw (22-4), will not want to be left out of the party. They swept through the Coliseum League and they will more than likely face off against Palisades in the second round of the playoffs. The winner of that game will have an opportunity to knock off top seeded Taft.
Palisades and Crenshaw will look to be the Cinderellas, but until the public sees something different, this tournament is really about the Big 3. Fairfax is finally back after a couple tough years, and Taft will look to defend their title. Don't think that Westchester has forgotten that they were on the court when Taft won that championship.
The first round of the playoffs will be held on Friday night, with the high seed hosting the game. The second round will be held next Wednesday.
First round results
Taft 80, West Adams 20
Birmingham 57, Los Angeles University 56
Crenshaw 91, Sylmar 43
Palisades 107, Manual Arts 48
Westchester 80, Sun Valley Poly 44
Washington 93, Fremont 60
Dorsey 71, Cleveland 59
Fairfax 71, Roybal 22
#8 Birmingham at #1 Taft
#5 Crenshaw at #4 Palisades
#6 Washington at #3 Westchester
#7 Dorsey at #2 Fairfax
Semifinals, Feb. 25 (6 and 8 p.m. at Cal State Dominguez Hills). Championship, Mar. 3 (8 p.m. at Cal State Dominguez Hills).
El Camino Real 62, Van Nuys 21
San Pedro 78, Los Angeles Jordan 61
Narbonne 69, Torres 21
Granada Hills Kennedy 65, South Gate 35
Granada Hills 58, Gardena 33
Reseda 72, Venice 63
Carson 75, Verdugo Hills 65
Garfield 77, Belmont 43
#8 San Pedro at #1 El Camino Real
#5 Narbonne at #4 Granada Hills Kennedy
#11 Reseda at #3 Granada Hills
#7 Carson at #2 Garfield
Semifinals, Feb. 24 (6 and 8 p.m. at Venice). Championship, Mar. 3 (8 p.m. at Roybal).
Grant 83, Bravo 42
Chatsworth 73, Panorama 68
Los Angeles Roosevelt 53, Franklin 45
Wilmington Banning 79, Jefferson 49
Locke 77, Los Angeles Wilson 33
Los Angeles Hamilton 59, Los Angeles Marshall 41
Los Angeles 51, Huntington Park 49
Bell 75, Lincoln 30
#9 Chatsworth at #1 Grant
#12 Los Angeles Roosevelt at #4 Wilmington Banning
#6 Los Angeles Hamilton at #3 Locke
#10 Los Angeles at #2 Bell
Semifinals, Feb. 25 (4 and 6 p.m. at Venice). Championship, Mar. 3 (3 p.m. at Cal State Dominguez Hills).
Los Angeles CES 69, New Designs 27
Animo South Los Angeles 65, Community Harvest 54
Douglass 77, New Millennium 51
Sherman Oaks CES 80, Sun Valley 61
Northridge 59, Mendez 32
Harbor Teacher 76, Vaughn 66
Huntington Park College Ready 47, Port of Los Angeles 40
View Park 60, Dantzler 45
#8 Animo South Los Angeles at #1 Los Angeles CES
#5 Douglass at #4 Sherman Oaks CES
#22 Harbor Teacher at #3 Northridge
#7 Huntington Park College Ready at #2 View Park
Semifinals, Feb. 25 (4 and 6 p.m. at Los Angeles Kennedy). Championship, Mar. 3 (11 a.m. at Cal State Dominguez Hills).
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