Saturday, February 4, 2012
No. 5 Taft 73, No. 3 Loyola 57
By Blair Angulo
SANTA ANA -- Woodland Hills Taft's Anthony January continues to stake his claim as one of the region's elite seniors. The 6-foot-8 forward had a game-high 26 points and 14 rebounds in leading fifth-ranked Taft to a 73-57 rout of third-ranked Loyola in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.
There may not be another City Section team that can match up with Taft (22-3), not with the way the Toreadors manhandled Loyola (20-4) on Saturday night. That became obvious with every January dunk.
Taft shot 60 percent in the second half, pulling away from the Cubs with an 18 to 6 third quarter. It was their first major intersectional victory -- the Toreadors had missed opportunities against Bishop Montgomery and Windward. Brandon Perry had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
It doesn't appear as if Taft has been affected by the departure of longtime coach Derrick Taylor, who is now at St. John Bosco.
Loyola, meanwhile, appeared windless, a possible byproduct of participating in the ever-grueling Mission League. The Cubs were coming off a 77-74 win against Harvard-Westlake on Friday night but didn't generate the same energy against a long and athletic Taft squad. Sharpshooter Jacob Hazzard was a bright spot, pouring in 19.
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.