Friday Night Lights usually refers to high school football, but this week, it will takes on new meaning at the Galen Center at USC.
The City Section announced Wednesday that the boys basketball semifinals will be held as a doubleheader on Friday Feb. 22 at the arena. The early game will pit Fairfax vs. Westchester at 6 p.m.while the second game pits Taft vs. Fremont at 8 p.m.
In the aftermath of a shooting incident after the second Fairfax-Westchester game at Loyola Marymount University, the City Section acted swiftly to find another venue and instead of the games being played at the home gyms, they agreed to make it a doubleheader at the Galen Center which can suit the large crowds expected for both games.
Tickets will be $10 for adults and $6 for kids.
While fans will be excited to see two excellent high school games featuring three of the state's best teams and one of the City's best in Fremont, the players feel a mixture of excitement and focus as several Westchester players said after their dominating victory over Crenshaw.
"We're gonna be really hyped up cause we're playing at USC," junior guard Dominique O'Connor said, "We like to play on big floors so it's a big opportunity for us."
"It's a good site to have the game but we're just gonna come out and play together like its any other game," senior guard Jarred Dubois said.
For Comets' forward Dwayne Polee, it will be a chance to play on his potential future home as he has orally committed to USC. But once the games start, there are much more storylines to follow.
Fairfax and Westchester have already played two classic games this year, with each team winning a game apiece. Now the impending rubber match will arguably be the must-see game of the year with Fairfax's dominant half-court game, led by junior center Renardo Sidney, matching up with Westchester's athleticism and improving team defense
Taft, led by McDonald's All-American Larry Drew, has been the favorite to win City all year and have dominated all opponents in Southern California. But Fremont could match up favorably with the Toreadors with their discipline and gamebreaking forwards Tony Freeland and LaRon Armstead.