The Crenshaw girls’ and boys’ basketball teams are excelling through the unprecedented 2020-2021 season. Both teams carry a perfect overall record, the girls at 4-0 and the boys at 3-0 overall, as of May 23.
The prowess of both teams was tested on Saturday as they faced competitive matches that kept the Cougars fighting throughout their respective contests. The girls’ basketball team survived the Pioneer Titans of Whittier with a 64-61 victory on Saturday.
“It was intense, it was very aggressive on both ends of the court,” said Crenshaw junior forward Payton Walk. “It was definitely competition.”
For Pioneer, the match between Crenshaw was their 14th game this season, but the third for Crenshaw. Many girls basketball teams in the Coliseum League are not competing this season. Only Crenshaw and King/Drew are competing in the Coliseum League.
The girls’ basketball team defeated their first two opponents by large margins. In their first game of the season, the Cougars defeated North Hollywood 93-32. Four days later, they defeated Carson 91-22.
Some basketball programs in Southern California have been competing since April, while LAUSD began competition in May. Some student athletes thought this season would be canceled. For Crenshaw senior point guard Khalid Betts, being able to compete is a blessing.
“The challenge was just staying focused because we heard a lot of rumors that we’re gonna play and that we weren’t gonna play,” he said. “I’m just grateful for any game we get.”
Betts sank a clutch shot that helped the Crenshaw boys basketball team defeat the South East Jaguars 57-56 on Saturday.
“Both teams really wanted this game and down the stretch, my kids fought hard,” said South East boys basketball head coach Jason Hicks. “It means everything to me just to see how hard they’re willing to work.”
South East now has a 4-2 overall record and is one of three teams in the Eastern League. The Coliseum League for boys’ basketball only houses Crenshaw, View Park, and King/Drew. League play has been helping senior center William Lawson develop.
“You get those league games in, get you ready for the playoffs,” he said. “Some of the non league games help too because we get some decent competition here.”
The first round of the playoffs will begin on June 2 for the boys and June 3 for the girls. Prior to the postseason, the Crenshaw girls’ basketball team will travel to clash against Taft and King/Drew. To end their regular season, the Crenshaw boys’ basketball team will visit Washington Prep before hosting Grant and View Park.