The conclusion of the high school basketball season was more like a marathon than a sprint. Due to the LAUSD teacher’s strike, many City Section basketball programs had to compete in a four-game week. For the Crenshaw Cougars and the Dorsey Dons, their rivalry matchup took place twice in one week.
“It was crazy for us, we’ve been having games back-to-back, dealing with school, being a student-athlete,” said Dorsey junior guard Princess Sparks said. “We just pulled through, through the grace of God.”
The Dorsey girls basketball team remained undefeated in the Coliseum league when they beat Crenshaw 61-44. Sparks scored 29 points for the Dons, senior Kierra Haynes made 10 rebounds and senior Jaidin LaCount made seven steals.
In boys basketball, Crenshaw defeated Dorsey 62-52. For the Cougars sophomore Kevin Bradley Jr. made 15 points and senior Machaar Lanier led Crenshaw with nine rebounds.
“Our defense closed the game out,” said Crenshaw junior forward Justin Cornelius. “We started making smart decisions and started making shots; that’s what got us winning the game.”
The Donnas held the Cougars to six points in the first quarter after going on a 12-2 run in the early minutes of the game. Crenshaw found their shot in the second phase to stay in the game. Sparks hustled throughout the second half to get shots and execute a win.
“Offensively, I just told myself that I’m going to just go hard every play and if I mess up, keep going,” Sparks said.
The Dorsey boys entered the game strong with a 16-4 run. Crenshaw responded in the second quarter with 21 points and held Dorsey to seven. The Dons were burdened with a 10-point deficit but remained competitive. As the second half went on, Dorsey struggled to make defensive stops.
“Offensively, they were closing out very hard and tried to make it tough for us to make shots,” Cornelius said. “Towards the second half, we just started making more shots and we got our momentum back.”
All four teams will continue competing in the City Section Playoffs. The Dorsey girls team has the number 3 seed in the division II playoffs and will play at home on Saturday, February 9 at 7:00P.M.. The Crenshaw girls begin their division I playoff run when they travel to battle against North Hollywood on February 9 at 7:00P.M.
Both boys teams are in division I with Crenshaw hosting Cleveland and Dorsey traveling to battle Grant in the first round. Both games will be on February 8 at 7:00P.M..