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SoCalHoops HS Playoff News

LA City Section "Championship Bracket":
Semifinal Today & Tomorrow--(Feb. 28, 2003)

In case you've been living under a rock and have missed what's been happening in the LA City Section Championship bracket since last Friday, first and second round games have already been concluded, and there are now just four teams left standing.  The semifinals will be played today, but the locations are different than what we had originally been given by the LA City Section.

In the upper half of the bracket, No. 1 seed Westchester will meet No. 5 seed Taft today at 4:00 p.m. at L.A. Southwest College.

And in the other half of the bracket, No. 2 Fairfax will meet No. 3 Carson tomorrow, Saturday at L.A. Southwest College, again at 4:00 p.m.

We don't have a lot of time to breakdown each of these matchups, but suffice it to say, these will be great games and if you're anywhere near Imperial Hwy and Vermont (which is where LA Southwest College is located), be sure not to miss these games.  We've updated the brackets, and we've also got the first and second round results with those game details which were available.   Here's what the bracket looks like:

City Championship Playoffs 2002-2003

First Round 
February 21

Second Round
February 25

Friday & Saturday
2/28 & 3/1

March 8

No. 16 Franklin 48
No. 1 Westchester 86

South Gate 43


Westchester 79



@ LA SW College
Friday 2/28
4:00 p.m.


5:00 p.m.
@ GW Forum

No. 9 Canoga Park 77
No. 8 South Gate 83

No. 12 Palisades 72
No. 5 Taft 80

Taft 92


Crenshaw 91

No. 13 Washington 51
No. 4 Crenshaw 69


No. 14 Dorsey 55
No. 3 Carson 63

Fremont 63


Carson 70



@ LA SW College
Saturday 3/1
4:00 p.m.



No. 11 Monroe 67
No. 6. Fremont 76

No. 10 University 77
No. 7 Cleveland 89

Cleveland 49


Fairfax 53

No. 15  Sylmar 66
No. 2 Fairfax 100


First Round Results (Games Played Friday, February 21, 2003)--Listed in Bracket Order:

Upper Half of Bracket

No. 1 Westchester 86, No. 16 Franklin 48--Trevor Ariza had 20 points and Jonathon Toliver added 17 points to lead No. 1-seed and host Westchester (26-3).

No. 8 South Gate 83, No. 9 Canoga Park 77--Lorenzo Mata had 39 points and 25 rebounds and Jose Sanchez added 22 points to lead host South Gate (18-8) over Canoga Park (14-11). Canoga Park's Maurice Neal scored 24 points and Ricky Johnson had 22 points.

No. 5 Taft 80, No. 12 Palisades 72--Jordan Farmar scored 34 points and Steve Smith added 27 with 14 rebounds to lead host Taft (22-4) over Palisades (11-11).

No. 4 Crenshaw 69, No. 13 Washington 51--no details reported

Lower Half of Bracket

No. 3 Carson 63, No. 14 Dorsey 55 --Ekene Ibekwe, a 6-foot-9 senior forward bound for Maryland, scored 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked three shots and had two dunks as the third-seeded Colts held off Dorsey. Drew Gibson led Dorsey (14-9) with 14 points and five steals.

No. 6 Fremont 76, No. 11 Monroe 67-- Josh Arnold scored 19 points to lead host Fremont (16-6) over Monroe (17-6). Fremont had six players in double figures. Monroe came back from a 29-point deficit in the third quarter and closed to within six with 1:31 to play. Monroe was led by Dawin Whiten who scored 21 points, including 16 in the second half.

No. 7 Cleveland 89, No. 10 L.A. University 77 --Junior small forward Nick Young recorded 38 points, 21 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead host Cleveland (19-6) over L.A. University (18-10). L.A. University's Ruben Boykin scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter. Boykin made seven three-pointers.

No. 2 Fairfax 100, No. 15 Sylmar 66 --Alex Bausley had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Joshua Shipp had 20 points, Jason Gilzene had 16 points and Jamal Boykin added 13 points to lead host Fairfax (24-2). Sylmar's Joe Dickson scored 27 points.

Second Round Results--Quarterfinals (Games Played Wednesday, February 26, 2003)--Listed in Bracket Order:

Upper Half of Bracket

No. 1 Westchester 79, No. 8 South Gate 43-- This game was covered by CaliforniaPreps by Dave Roghan, who also hosts a JUCO site covering junior college action in California.   Strange that no one else had much on this game, but Dave's account is very complete.  We've reproduced it here: " Behind a swarming defense and the stellar play of Trevor Ariza and Marcus Johnson, host Westchester moved a step closer to the LA City Section Championship with an impressive 79-43 win over South Gate Wednesday night.

Ariza led all scorers with 25 points (on 11 of 14 from the floor) and added 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Johnson had 14 points plus a team-leading 9 rebounds and a game-best 7 steals. On the night, Westchester recorded 19 steals and forced 30 South Gate turnovers. 

Ariza scored the first 4 points of the game before South Gate answered back on a basket by Jose Sanchez to cut the lead to 4-2. But then came the first Comet run, and 6 minutes into the game it was 15-4 Westchester. South Gate closed the gap to 17-10 at the end of the quarter, and a fierce swat of a Westchester shot by South Gate center Lorenzo Mata at the end of the quarter gave the visitors a boost.

But the second quarter began with a pair of baskets by Ariza followed by a steal and layup by Jonathan Tolliver, pushing Westchester's lead to 23-10. A 3-pointer and a steal and layup by Johnson pushed it out to 28-10, and the rout was on. About the only time Westchester seemed to slow down was to hold the ball for the final shot of the half. And on that sequence, Tolliver took the ball in, missed, got the rebound, missed again, got the rebound again and put in his third attempt just before the horn sounded to give Westchester a 41-20 edge at intermission.

The second half started much the same way. First, Johnson got another steal and fed Ariza for a dunk. And then Ariza drove the baseline and threw down a thunderous jam that made it 45-20 in the first minute of the third quarter. South Gate made one last run, and Sanchez' driving layup narrowed the score to 45-27 midway through the third, but then Westchester scored 13 of the last 15 points of the quarter to take complete control at 58-29.

For South Gate, Sanchez led all scorers with 21 points and added 7 rebounds. Mata had a strong game in the middle with 13 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. But the Rams finished with 30 turnovers and shot just 35% from the floor.

South Gate Rams 43:
11-Jose Velasquez, PG - 0/2 fg, 2 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 0 pts
23-Naum Nunez, SF - 0/3 fg, 4 reb, 3 ast, 0 pts
31-Jose Sanchez, PF - 9/23 fg, 3/8 ft, 7 reb, 1 stl, 21 pts
42-Lorenzo Mata, C - 6/14 fg, 1/5 ft, 16 reb, 4 blk, 13 pts
44-Edgar Villeda, SG - 1 reb, 1 blk, 0 pts
10-Manuel Fajardo, G - 0/3 fg, 0/1 ft, 5 reb, 7 ast, 0 pts
50-Fidel Santiago, G - 0/3 fg, 2/2 ft, 1 reb, 3 ast, 2 pts
5-Hector Ramirez, F - 1/2 fg, 1/2 ft, 1 reb, 3 pts
25-John Gamboa, F - 1/1 fg, 1 reb, 2 pts
35-Segio Saavedra, G - 1/1 fg, 2 pts
55-Alexander Monge, F - 1 reb, 1 ast, 0 pts
team rebounds: 3
Totals: 18/52 fg (.346), 7/18 ft (.389), 42 reb, 15 ast, 5 blk, 2 stl, 43 pts

3-pt fg: none
Turnovers (30): Fajardo 8, Sanchez 7, Santiago 6, Velasquez 2, Nunez 2, Mata 2, Ramirez 2,

Westchester Comets 79:
3-Robert Brown, PG - 6/15 fg, 1/1 ft, 1 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 14 pts
4-Trevor Ariza, SF - 11/14 fg, 2/4 ft, 7 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl, 25 pts
12-Marcus Johnson, C - 5/10 fg, 3/5 ft, 9 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk, 7 stl, 14 pts
31-Jonathan Tolliver, PF - 3/11 fg, 2/2 ft, 5 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl, 8 pts
33-Jarad Moret, SG - 1/4 fg, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 pts
5-Joey Knox, G - 0/2 fg, 1 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl, 0 pts
20-Robert McClinton, F - 1/1 fg, 0/3 ft, 2 reb, 2 pts
44-Adam Laitsas, F - 0/1 fg, 0/2 ft, 5 reb, 1 ast, 2 blk, 0 pts
40-William Bircher, F - 2 reb, 1 blk, 0 pts
1-Andre Dunn, F - 2/3 fg, 4 pts
21-Jarrell Lake, F - 1/3 fg, 2/2 ft, 1 reb, 4 pts
23-Cameron Granville, G - 3/3 fg, 1 reb, 6 pts
team rebounds: 3
Totals: 33/67 fg (.493), 10/19 ft (.526), 37 reb, 23 ast, 4 blk, 19 stl, 79 pts

3-pt fg (3): Brown, Ariza, Johnson
Turnovers (14): Brown 3, Johnson 3, Ariza 2, Tolliver 2, Bircher 2, Moret, McClinton

Score by Quarters:

South Gate 10-10-9-14=43
Westchester 17-24-17-21=79

No. 5 Taft 92, No. 4 Crenshaw 91-- Dave Keefer of covered this game.  You can find his account of what happened by following the link (which will also get you some photos of the game which Dave took, but which we won't reproduce).  For those who don't care about photos, we've reproduced Dave's account here.  Be sure to visit CaliforniaPreps for other news and stories of playoff games that we might have missed.    "Down 46-30 with 3:14 left in the second quarter, with star guard Jordan Farmar on the bench with foul trouble, and with their other star guard held scoreless, the Taft Toreadors showed the City that they’re more than a two-man team as they rallied to stun fourth-seeded Crenshaw (20-7). Farmar reentered the game with three fouls just as Steve Smith finally got a shot to fall as he completed a three-point play to make it 46-33 and the comeback was on. Taft (23-4) went on an 11-2 run and with the score now 48-41 the home Crenshaw crowd no longer felt all that comfortable with their lead. 

The Crenshaw fans certainly had reason to feel confident the way the game had progressed to that point. Although Farmar converted the opening tip-off into a slam-dunk, Crenshaw soon forged into leads of 9-3 and 18-9 behind an aggressive press and some lax Taft defense. Many of the Taft players began to look a little nervous and intimidated. But Farmar and Matt Cook scored 13 first quarter points and Taft found themselves within 3 at one point (18-15). Hanif Madyun hit an open three at the buzzer to close the first frame with Crenshaw leading 23-15. It was one of many wide-open looks Crenshaw got in the first half. 

Cook started the second quarter with a couple of buckets and Taft trailed only 23-19. Thanks to Brian McTear and Brandon Sampay Crenshaw got it going again and pushed the lead up to 29-19. Matters would soon get worse for Taft as Farmar fouled Sone Finister as he was tipping in a rebound. It was Farmar’s third foul and Finister completed the three-point play (32-21) as Farmar headed for a three-minute visit to the Taft bench. That’s when Finister and James Reynolds got hot and helped extend the Shaw lead to 46-30. Taft refused to fold and at the half they were in striking range, trailing 51-43.

Farmar opened the third quarter with a three and added another to go along with a Joey Street putback as Taft crept close at 53-51. The large Taft crowd on hand was cheering the Toreadors on. With Smith slashing to the hoop, Cook popping jumpers, and Farmar doing a little of both, Taft finally caught up with Crenshaw at 64-64 on a hard-driving Smith deuce. Cook scored the next four points and Farmar swooped in for a scintillating layin and Taft led 70-64 and would never trail again. That’s not to say they coasted because there were some bumps in the road to the finish line. Farmar picked up his fourth foul before the third quarter ended at 71-66. He would sit on the bench again until 5:50 remained in the game. Would three-time All-City guard Smith have to carry the team? It seemed that way as he continued to attack the hoop and scored two more baskets to give Taft some breathing room at 75-66. 

Alex Drob picked up some of Farmar’s void and his basket stopped a six-point run engineered by McTear, Finister, and Reynolds. After a putback by Sampay, Crenshaw trailed only 77-73 with 5:50 left. Coach Derrick Taylor could keep Farmar on the bench no longer. This took a lot of pressure off Smith and he drained a 3-pointer to welcome Farmar back on the court. Leading 80-73 Taft got the ball back and Farmar was soon going up to shoot a short shot in the paint. But he was called for an offensive foul and fouled out with 5:15 left in the game. It was now a battle of wits between Taft coach Taylor and Crenshaw’s legendary Willie West. Taylor shuffled Smith in and out just enough to keep him fresh. But West was doubling up on Smith and forcing Taft’s other players to handle the ball. Smith fought through the pressure and drew fouls on two consecutive occasions. He drained four straight FT’s to push Taft’s lead to 84-75.

With Farmar out, Taft was having more and more difficulty handling the ball and Crenshaw’s pressure. The loose balls seemed to be bouncing Crenshaw’s way, and even the ref’s calls seemed to go the Shaw’s way. Sampay fought hard for a putback, a loose ball ricocheted out to Madyun behind the arc and he grabbed it and launched a successful trey. Taft’s lead was 84-80 with 3:35 left. Smith answered with another brilliant driving layin to make it 86-80 but Reynolds (2 points) and McTear (4 points) roared back to tie the game at 86-86. In between their run Cook missed the front end of a 1 and 1, but he would not fail the next time. With 1:45 left Drob hit a big basket in the paint (88-86) for Taft and Crenshaw’s Reynolds followed with a 3-attempt for the lead. It missed and Finister fouled out going for the rebound, putting Drob at the line. He calmly sank two FT’s to make it 90-86 with 1:17 left. McTear answered with two FT’s at the 1:10 mark (90-88) and Crenshaw got the ball back. This time Anthony Kidd missed a three but again Crenshaw regained possession and called time out with 33 seconds left.

Sampay found himself almost alone for a two-foot layin but the ball rolled off the rim and Ronnell Ramsey grabbed the rebound and called time out with 23 seconds left. But a turnover and foul resulted in Kidd going to the line with a chance to tie. He hit only one (with 16 seconds left) and Cook got a big rebound and was fouled. He sank the game-winners (nothing but net) with 14 seconds left. Trailing 92-89, Crenshaw set up for a three but it was offline and an ensuing putback at the buzzer by Reynolds left them one point short and sent Taft into the semifinals against Westchester, either Friday or Saturday (TBD). 

Taft: Cook 29 (6 rebounds), S. Smith 23 (11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), Farmar 22 (11
rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 11 minutes on bench), Drob 8 (8 rebounds, 8 assists), Street 6 (6
rebounds, 7 blocks!), Ramsey 2 (6 rebounds), Carlton Smith 2.
Crenshaw: Reynolds 25, McTear 20 (4 assists, 7 steals), Madyun 17, Finister 16 (11 rebounds),
Sampay 5 (11 rebounds), Wendell Nelson 5, Kidd 1. (missing two points)

Lower Half of Bracket

No. 3 Carson 70, No. 6 Fremont 63 --Ekene Ibekwe scored 20 and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Carson (23-3) over Fremont (17-9).

No. 2 Fairfax 53, No. 7 Cleveland 49 --Cleveland came close to pulling off the upset of second-seeded Fairfax by switching to a zone defense to open the second quarter with a 9-0 run for a 25-17 lead. The Cavaliers held the lead until 1:30 left in the game when Jerren Shipp scored on an offensive rebound for his only points and a 48-47 lead. Nick Young put Cleveland ahead, 49-48, on a driving layup with 1:02. Raphael Farlough made the first of two free throws to tie the score with 45 seconds left, but missed the second, which Jamal Boykin rebounded and put back for a 51-49 lead for the Lions. Young turned the ball over with 24 seconds left when he stepped out of bounds avoiding a double-team trap. Shipp made two free throws to seal the victory. Boykin finished with 15 points and Alex Bausley added 13 for Fairfax. Young had 17 points on seven-of-17 shooting for the Cavaliers.

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