Los Angeles Preps: Compton

Compton's Robbins commits to Oregon State

May, 11, 2012
Compton forward Victor Robbins, the 17th-ranked senior in the state, committed to Oregon State on Friday.

Robbins averaged 17 points and nine rebounds, earning first-team All-CIF and first-team All-Moore League honors. Compton was 19-10 last season, finishing second in league behind Long Beach Poly.

South: Boys' basketball top 10

February, 12, 2012
The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings as the 2012 playoffs get underway:

1. Long Beach Poly (23-1)
Credit the Moore League champion Jackrabbits for shaking off the departure of Ryan Anderson (Boston College) and Alexis Moore (USC) from last year's Division 1AA title team. Then again, Poly never rebuilds -- it reloads. Coach Sharrief Metoyer has done a tremendous job. This week: CIF-SS Division 1AA first round vs. Riverside King, Friday, 7 p.m.

2. Gardena Serra (24-2)
Coach Dwan Hurt has his group riding a nine-game win streak heading into the playoffs. The Cavaliers swept through the Del Rey League, and appear to be the slight favorite in Division 4AA. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Salesian, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

3. Loyola (21-4)
Not exactly the regular season the Cubs had hoped for, but they can forget about falling short in the Mission League with a championship run in the next couple of weeks. Julian Harrell and Jacob Hazzard lead a deep, dangerous squad. This week: CIF-SS Division 1AA first round vs. Trabuco Hills, Friday, 7 p.m.

4. La Verne Lutheran (19-6)
Lost in senior forward Grant Jerrett's selection to the McDonald's All-American game is the strides sharpshooter Eric Cooper Jr. has taken as a go-to player for the Trojans. Jerrett demands double teams down low, and Cooper, an Arizona commit, is making opponents pay. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Pasadena Marshall, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

5. Price (19-7)
Mixed results for the Knights last week after beating Compton but losing to fellow Division 4AA contender La Verne Lutheran in overtime. San Diego State signee Skylar Spencer and Co. thrive in transition, so they'll be a tough draw in the playoffs. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Blair, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

6. St. John Bosco (19-6)
No shame in finishing at 8-2 in the Trinity League, especially with both losses coming against the state's top-ranked squad. If there's consolation for Braves fans, it's that this team, with junior Isaac Hamilton and sophomore Daniel Hamilton at its core, only figures to get better under first-year coach Derrick Taylor. This week: CIF-SS Division 3A first round vs. Jurupa Hills, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

7. Bishop Montgomery (21-4)
Sure, the Knights couldn't get it done against Del Rey League rival Gardena Serra, but wins against Woodland Hills, Westchester, Pacific Hills and Price don't lie. Montgomery is a team to keep an eye on in a stacked bracket. This week: CIF-SS Division 4AA first round vs. Templeton, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

8. Muir (24-2)#
A loss to neighboring rival Pasadena in the regular-season finale didn't discourage coach Gamal Smalley, who led the Mustangs to their first Pacific League crown in over a decade. But the excitement was short-lived, as the Mustangs were disqualified from postseason play and stripped of their title for using an ineligible player. Muir forfeited 20 victories.

9. Damien (24-2)
The Spartans rolled to their second consecutive Sierra League championship, earning a No. 1 seeding in Division 3AAA. They now have a target on their back, and it will be up to Saint Mary's-bound forward Chris Reyes to fight through constant double teams. This week: CIF-SS Division 3AAA first round vs. El Dorado, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

10. Pacific Hills (23-4)
A loss to Windward in the finale denied the Bruins sole possession of the Alpha League title. It didn't affect their postseason aspirations, though, as the Bruins received a No. 1 seeding in Division 4A. This week: CIF-SS Division 4A second round vs. winner of Costa Mesa-St. Monica, Friday, 7 p.m.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Crenshaw (22-4), Compton (17-9), Downey (22-5), Fairfax (19-9), Leuzinger (21-5), Mayfair (21-5), Pasadena (19-7), Santa Monica (18-8), Westchester (20-6), Windward (18-8)

# - Denotes season has concluded

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 29, 2012
The south Los Angeles County boys’ basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (18-1)
The Jackrabbits increased their lead to two games in the Moore League standings thanks to Roschon Prince's stellar game at Compton on Friday. The junior wing had 35 points and 12 rebounds. This week: at Lakewood, Wed.; vs. Long Beach Wilson, Fri.; vs. Orange Lutheran in Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei, Sat.

2. Loyola (18-3)
An up-and-down week ended in a positive way with a 92-84 win against Orange Lutheran at the Fairfax State Preview Classic. Still in the Mission League race, but need some help. This week: at Notre Dame, Wed.; at Harvard-Westlake, Fri.; vs. Taft in Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei, Sat.

3. Gardena Serra (21-2)
There's great balance throughout coach Dwan Hurt's roster, that much was evident in the Cavaliers' 10-point win against host Fairfax at the State Preview Classic on Saturday. Senior guard Kajon Mack and big Daddy Ugbede complement each other well. This week: vs. Bishop Montgomery, Wed.; vs. Bishop Amat, Fri.

4. La Verne Lutheran (16-5)
A 67-62 overtime loss to Westchester on Saturday snapped a nine-game win streak. The Trojans face an interesting group of competitors in the next few days. This week: vs. Ribet Academy, Tues.; at Renaissance Academy, Wed.; at Mater Dei in Nike Extravaganza, Sat.

5. Price (17-5)
The Knights have won six straight since losing at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee, riding the leadership of junior guard Chance Murray and bouncy forward Skylar Spencer. The upcoming schedule will put their streak in serious jeopardy, though. This week: at Ribet Academy, Fri.; at Alemany, Sat.

(Read full post)

Poly reigns supreme in Moore League

January, 28, 2012
Long Beach Poly continued its torrid pace Friday night, earning a 66-56 win at Compton to increase its lead in the Moore League to two games. That may be all the Jackrabbits (18-1, 8-0) need. They have won 15 straight since losing to Loyola in the Redondo Pacific Shores Tournament final.

Junior wing Roschon Prince led the way Friday with 35 points and 12 rebounds, helping Poly extend its league winning streak to 34 games.

It appears as if Orange Lutheran is the only team standing in between Poly and a 23-1 regular-season record. The teams meet next Saturday night in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.

South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 23, 2012
The south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (15-1)
The Jackrabbits had success at the King Holiday Hoopfest in Seattle, handing Rainier Beach (Wash.) its first loss of the season. An important stretch in the Moore League lies ahead. This week: at Long Beach Jordan, Mon.; vs. Cabrillo, Wed.; at Compton, Fri.

2. Loyola (15-2)
Despite a rough start in the Mission League, the Cubs can ascend to the top of the standings by handling their business this week. This week: vs. Crespi, Mon.; vs. Alemany, Wed.; at Chaminade, Fri.; vs. Orange Lutheran at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

3. La Verne Lutheran (15-4)
The Trojans beat a Gabe York-less Orange Lutheran team last Monday, but a win is a win. Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett is a nominee for the McDonald's All-American game. This week: vs. Hope Centre, Thurs.; at Westchester, Sat.

4. Gardena Serra (19-2)
The Cavaliers are rolling, having routed three opponents since losing to Price on a waved-off field goal that appeared to beat the buzzer. Great depth on this roster. This week: at Cathedral, Fri.; vs. Fairfax at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

4. Price (13-5)
The Knights have won a pair of close games since losing at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee. This week: vs. Hope Centre, Tues.; vs. Renaissance Academy, Thurs.; vs. Windward at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

6. St. John Bosco (15-4)
The Braves got just one win at the Allstate National Prep Classic in New Orleans over the weekend, but they did stay undefeated in Trinity League play with a close win against Orange Lutheran. Big test against the region's best team looms. This week: at JSerra, Wed.; vs. Mater Dei, Fri.

7. Bishop Montgomery (16-3)
They may not admit it, but the Knights are already eying their Feb. 1 rematch with Serra, which will likely decide the Del Rey League championship. This week: vs. Bishop Amat, Wed.; vs. La Salle, Fri.

8. Windward (13-6)
The busy Wildcats were idle all of last week, taking in some much-needed rest. Nick Stover and Co. pick up the pace again in the Alpha League. This week: vs. Pacific Hills, Tues.; vs. Sierra Canyon, Wed.; vs. Price at Fairfax State Preview, Sat.

9. Muir (18-1)
The Mustangs defeated neighboring rival Pasadena for the first time in over a decade thanks to the clutch free-throw shooting of Jelani Mitchell. The Pacific League rematch is set for Feb. 9 at Muir. This week: at Arcadia, Mon.; vs. Burbank, Wed.; vs. Hoover, Fri.

10. Damien (18-1)
Can anyone slow down the Sierra League-leading Spartans? They've had their close calls and figure to get tested Saturday against the Inland Empire's best squad. This week: vs. Ayala, Wed.; vs. Claremont, Fri.; vs. Etiwanda at Azusa Pacific, Sat.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Crenshaw (15-4), Compton (11-7), Dorsey (18-6), Downey (16-5), Leuzinger (15-4), Pacific Hills (19-3), Pasadena (13-6), Peninsula (14-5), Santa Monica (13-6), Westchester (12-4)

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

South: Boys' basketball roundup

January, 19, 2012
Compton (11-7) handed Long Beach Jordan (12-6) its first Moore League loss with a 72-63 overtime win Wednesday night. Victor Robbins overcame leg cramps to lead the Tarbabes with 19 points. Long Beach Poly (14-1) returned from a successful trip to Seattle and manhandled Long Beach Wilson to the tune of 79-33. Roschon Prince had 20 points.

In Western League action, Fairfax (12-6) improved to 4-1 in league with an 80-55 home win over LACES, while Westchester (11-4) blew out Venice, 63-32.

CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA top-ranked Damien (17-1) took sole possession of first place in the Sierra League with a 63-55 victory against Chino Hills (12-7). Chris Reyes had 24 points, including 12 straight in a clutch fourth quarter. Sharpshooting wing Jared Dizon added 21.

In a battle for first place in the Hacienda League, Bonita (15-4) beat Walnut, 55-40.

Gardena Serra (17-2) remained atop the Del Rey League by defeating Bishop Amat, 52-21. The Cavaliers held the Lancers to just nine points in the first half. Elsewhere in league, Bishop Montgomery (16-3) earned a 72-48 win at Cathedral.

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 15, 2012
The south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Long Beach Poly (12-1)
The Jackrabbits showed no rustiness following a three-week layoff, blowing out Lakewood, 74-30, behind 25 points from standout junior Roschon Prince. This week: vs. Rainer Beach (Seattle, Wash.) in King Holiday Hoop Fest at Univ. of Washington, Mon.; at Long Beach Wilson, Wed.; vs. Millikan, Fri.

2. Loyola (14-2)
The Cubs got back on track with three convincing Mission League wins against Chaminade, Harvard-Westlake and Notre Dame. This week: at St. Francis, Sat.

3. La Verne Lutheran (14-4)
Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett scored 30 points in an overtime win against Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. This week: at Orange Lutheran in Tony Matson Memorial Classic, Mon.

4. Price (12-5)
Guard Chance Murray led the way with 22 points in a thrilling victory against Serra in Saturday's Cochran Classic at LACES. This week: vs. Palm Springs, Mon.; vs. Leuzinger at Gardena Serra, Sat.

5. Gardena Serra (15-2)
An up and down week for the Cavaliers, who got an important league win against Bishop Montgomery before losing to L.A. Price on a controversial last-second call. This week: vs. Santa Monica at L.A. Price, Mon.; at Bishop Amat, Wed.; vs. La Salle, Fri.; vs. San Diego Hoover, Sat.

6. St. John Bosco (13-2)
The Braves have started 3-0 in the Trinity League and now get a tough test against Orange Lutheran. The Hamilton brothers -- junior Isaac and sophomore Daniel -- have Bosco in great shape. This week: vs. Orange Lutheran, Wed.; at Allstate National Prep Classic in New Orleans, weekend.

7. Bishop Montgomery (14-3)
The Knights could never get over the hump against Serra and lost for the first time in nearly a month. This week: at Cathedral, Wed.

8. Compton (10-7)
Forward Victor Robbins might be the top unsigned senior in the Southland. He proved it Saturday with 25 points and 16 rebounds in a big win against Windward. This week: at Long Beach Jordan, Wed.

9. Windward (13-6)
A win against Alpha League foe Brentwood followed by a blowout loss to Compton made for mixed results last week. This week: Idle.

10. Damien (15-1)
The Spartans have won 11 straight since losing in the title game of the Concord De La Salle tournament. St. Mary's-bound big man Chris Reyes and Co. can gain a stranglehold of the Sierra League. This week: vs. Ventura at Los Osos, Mon.; vs. Chino Hills, Wed.; at Charter Oak, Fri.

Ten more, in alphabetic order: Brentwood (12-4), Dorsey (15-5), Downey (16-4), Leuzinger (12-4), Muir (16-1), Pacific Hills (15-3), Pasadena (12-5), Peninsula (12-5), Santa Monica (11-5), Westchester (10-4)

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 9, 2012
The south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10 power rankings:

1. Loyola (11-2)
Losing the first two Mission League games wasn't how the Cubs wanted to start. Still, it doesn't figure to be the end of their title hopes. This week: vs. Chaminade, Mon.; vs. Harvard-Westlake, Fri.; vs. Notre Dame, Sat.

2. Long Beach Poly (11-1)
The Jackrabbits have been idle since before Christmas, and the layoff might be a good thing for the Moore League favorites. They travel to Seattle next week. This week: vs. Lakewood, Fri.

3. Gardena Serra (13-1)
The Cavaliers are deep and talented, and the favorites in the Del Rey League. Daddy Ugbede and Dakarai Tucker led the charge down in San Diego over the weekend. This week: vs. Cathedral, Wed.; at Bishop Montgomery, Fri.; vs. Price in Cochran Classic at LACES, Sat.

4. St. John Bosco (11-2)
The Braves are the dark horse pick in the Trinity League thanks to the additions of brothers Isaac Hamilton, a junior, and Daniel, a sophomore. Lately it's been the younger brother flashing his scoring skills. This week: at Servite, Wed.; at Santa Margarita, Fri.

5. Bishop Montgomery (13-2)
Victories against Westchester, Taft, Serra and Price make up an impressive résumé for the Knights. This week: at La Salle, Wed.; vs. Gardena Serra, Fri.

(Read full post)

January is on right track

January, 3, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- There has never been much doubt about Anthony January's talent on the basketball court. But questions about his work ethic off the hardwood, particularly in the classroom, surfaced with regularity in the not-so-distant past.

Nick Koza for ESPNLosAngeles.com
Anthony January is among Taft's leaders in scoring, averaging more than 19 points.

That is, until now. It appears as if January's priorities, at long last, are in order.

The highly-touted senior from Woodland Hills Taft is on the right track this season after a recent transfer to the Toreadors following three years at Compton.

“I had to get my studies right and get more focused,'' January said. “I've got nothing against Compton; it's where I'm from. I needed to switch things up though, you know, a fresh start. Things are going great right now. The move to a new school has been a positive thing for me.''

The change of scenery has indeed done wonders for him and Taft (10-3 overall), which figures to be among the top teams in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings this season. Having the UTEP-bound January on the roster and constantly in the mix certainly helps matters.

Before play in the Los Angeles City Section begins next week, the Toreadors figure to face a difficult test in a nonleague game against host San Diego Lincoln on Saturday.

“Anthony is a hybrid forward, he can play the three or four, it does not matter. We're talking about an elite-level high school player here,'' Toreadors coach Jason Hart said. “He is one of those players who comes around every 5-to-10 years and is capable of making an impact at the next level right away. We are happy he is here at Taft. Anthony has done a good job of fitting in.''

January's path up to this point has been filled with ups-and-downs.

Due in large part to his sheer athleticism and long frame as a freshman -- he was right around 6-foot-4 and growing -- January opened plenty of eyes at Compton. He worked his way into the lineup and averaged 15 points and close to 10 rebounds per game.

An encore effort was expected as a sophomore. January did not disappoint, taking the next step in his development. Already an established post presence, his perimeter game became a bit more polished and he shot close to 60 percent from the field.

January fulfilled his promise, initially, as a junior. He had a pair of 30-plus point efforts early in the season and was averaging 22 points a night before things went awry. His grades were poor and the family made the decision to have him home-schooled.

“I’m not really sure what happened,” Compton coach Tony Thomas said about the January scenario at the time. “He told me he was going to be home-schooled, then he was excited to play for us [again]. Then, he's going to be home-schooled [again]. That's all I know.”

An overdue, renewed focus followed. “I think it was time to take care of business,'' January said.

(Read full post)

Loyola takes D.C. tournament

December, 31, 2011
The Loyola Cubs aren't hibernating this winter.

Loyola (11-0), which had three losses by this time last season, stayed unbeaten Friday night with a 66-53 win against National Jesuit Christmas Classic tournament host North Bethesda (Md.) Georgetown Prep. The Cubs claimed their third tournament championship trophy of the season, and now turn their attention to Mission League play.

Penn-bound forward Julian Harrell, who had 17 points in the title game, earned tournament most valuable player honors.

Other results from Friday's tournament action:

DeMatha (Md.) 74, Windward 64
Windward (8-5) could never get over the hump in the second half, losing to 10th-ranked DeMatha in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic National Division championship. Still, it was an impressive week in San Diego for the Wildcats. Point guard Jordan Wilson and forward Nick Stover were named to the all-tournament team.

Bishop Montgomery 84, L.A. Washington 55
The Bishop Montgomery Knights improved to 11-2 by winning the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic. They captured the Westchester Tip-off Classic title earlier in the season.

La Verne Lutheran 98, Compton 95 (4 OT)
The early game in the losers' bracket at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic tournament was a dandy. Compton (7-7) had a two-point lead with four seconds remaining in the third overtime but La Verne Lutheran's Grant Jerrett, an Arizona signee, sent the game into a fourth period with a difficult tying shot. Lutheran (10-3) had a three-point lead with 3.1 seconds left in the second overtime but Compton's Lorenzo Murphy sank a clutch sank a clutch 3-pointer. Jerrett had hit a tying 3-pointer with under 30 seconds remaining in the first overtime. Compton's sensational senior Victor Robbins nailed a tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Jerrett finished with 35 points, while Robbins had 30.

Sun Valley Village Christian 58, Pasadena Muir 47
Muir (11-1) fell for the first time this season, failing to capture its third consecutive La Salle/Temple City Holiday Classic tournament crown.

La Verne Lutheran stumbles

December, 27, 2011
South Los Angeles County will be well represented in the quarterfinals of the 22nd annual Holiday Classic but, surprisingly, highly regarded La Verne Lutheran won't be a part of it.

Playa del Rey St. Bernard, Los Angeles Windward and Lakewood Mayfair advanced Tuesday, moving on in the National Division bracket of the week-long tournament hosted by San Diego's Torrey Pines High School. La Verne Lutheran, one of the state's top teams, was held to only 30 points in a loss to Newark (Calif.) Memorial.

The results:

Newark (Calif.) Memorial 45, La Verne Lutheran 30
The Trojans (7-2) couldn't decipher Memorial's pressure defense, and Arizona-bound forward Grant Jerrett never got going.

San Jose Archbishop Mitty 61, Compton 47
The Tarbabes (6-5) trailed by double digits early before bouncing back to tie it at the half, but they ran out of steam against Mitty, the No. 16 team in the POWERADE ESPNHS Fab 50 national rankings. Victor Robbins was a bright spot with 21 points.

St. Bernard 68, Houston St. Thomas 61
Guard Lance Booker's 16 points and clutch perimeter shooting paced the St. Bernard Vikings (6-5).

Torrey Pines 67, Dominguez 55
Forward Arnold Anderson had 20 points but it wasn't enough for the struggling Dons (3-7).

Windward 66, Seattle O'Dea 62
Coach Miguel Villegas might have found his next standout in freshman Mason Shepherd, who had team highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Wildcats (6-4).

Mayfair 51, Sacramento Sheldon 43
The Monsoons (7-3) forced 19 turnovers and used a strong fourth-quarter run to pull away for good.

Wednesday's quarterfinals schedule:

Newark Memorial vs. St. Bernard, 3:50 p.m.
Torrey Pines vs. Woodland Hills Taft, 5:25 p.m.
Mayfair vs. DeMatha (Md.), 7 p.m.
Windward vs. Archbishop Mitty, 8:35 p.m.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

L.B. Jordan upsets St. John Bosco

December, 13, 2011
Long Beach Poly and Compton beware: Jordan is a potential sleeper in the Moore League this season.

Rausheed Johnson nailed a buzzer-beating jump shot Monday night to beat previously undefeated and highly regarded St. John Bosco, 76-74, propelling the Panthers (4-3) to perhaps the biggest shocker in the young basketball season.

Each of Jordan's starters scored in double figures, as the Panthers survived the Braves' late comeback bid. If the unexpected result says anything, it's that Moore League-favorites Poly and Compton have company.

Click here for Gazettes.com's video recap, which includes Johnson's game-winner.

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

December, 6, 2011
Loyola, Long Beach Poly and La Verne Lutheran are ranked in the preseason POWERADE ESPNHS Fab 50 national rankings, and they lead the way in our opening edition of the south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10:

1. Loyola (4-0)
Key players: PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright, SG Justin Childress, SG Jacob Hazzard, SF Julian Harrell (Penn)
Last season: The Cubs went 25-6 and won the CIF-Southern Section Div. I-A championship before losing by two to eventual state champion Mater Dei in regionals.
Why they're here: Jackson-Cartwright, only a sophomore, is already considered the top point guard in the state. Mix in the shooting of Childress and Hazzard -- as well as the versatility of Harrell -- and the Cubs have a lineup that few can match.

2. Long Beach Poly (3-1)
Key players: SF Roschon Prince, PF Jordan Bell, PG Chris Croom, SG Reuben Strickland
Last season: The Jackrabbits posted a 30-2 record and captured the Division 1AA title in Anaheim before losing to eventual state champion Mater Dei in regionals.
Why they're here: Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer lost his top two to graduation -- state player of the year Ryan Anderson (Boston College) and Alexis Moore (USC) -- but there's more than enough talent left. Prince and Bell might be the best one-two combination in the county.

3. La Verne Lutheran (4-0)
Key players: PF Grant Jerrett (Arizona), SG Eric Cooper Jr. (Arizona), SF McKay Anderson, SG Cameron Osorno
Last season: The Trojans overcame off-the-court adversity, finishing with a 25-5 mark and a second consecutive state championship.
Why they're here: Jerrett, a long and lean power forward, is arguably the top prospect on the West Coast. Coach Eric Cooper Sr. returns nine letter-winners from last year's team, including son Eric Cooper Jr., a sharp-shooting junior who makes teams pay for double-teaming Jerrett down low.

4. St. John Bosco (4-0)
Key players: SG Isaac Hamilton, PF Anthony January (UTEP), SF Darryl Matthews, SG Daniel Hamilton
Last season: The Braves finished 21-9 and were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 4AA playoffs.
Why they're here: New coach Derrick Taylor, who built Woodland Hills Taft into a City Section power, has the Braves thinking about the Trinity League crown. Getting past defending state champion Mater Dei won't be easy, but Bosco has Isaac Hamilton, a transfer from Crenshaw who is one of the nation's top juniors.

5. Price (3-1)
Key players: PF Skylar Spencer (San Diego State), PG Chance Murray, SG Chris Sandifer
Last season: The high-flying Knights went 24-8 and fell just short against La Cañada in the CIF-SS Division 3AA championship game.
Why they're here: Yes, Price lost guard Askia Booker (Colorado) and ultra athletic forward Norvel Pelle to graduation but don't dismiss coach Michael Lynch's bunch. Spencer is another high-soaring scorer who's lethal in fast break opportunities, and Murray, a junior, already has a scholarship offer from UCLA.

(Read full post)

1. The Ventura boys basketball team is headed to its third CIF Southern Section championship game in the past six years. Ventura won the title in 2006, lost in 2009. Dylan Houck is one of 11 seniors on the team this year. Not all of them were on the 2009 team that finished as runners-up, but Houck was and he said he remembers not being able to seal the deal two years ago. It’s not a pleasant memory. Coach Dan Larson said his players were a little nervous before their semifinal game against Compton on Friday night. They played like they were nervous in the first half and the first two minutes of the third quarter. Ventura was down 15 points before mounting an 18-0 run in the third quarter and taking a three-point lead into the fourth quarter. Ventura beat Compton, 70-58, and will play Mission Viejo in the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA championship game at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

2. The Southern Section boys and girls basketball semifinals and finals are set for the Anaheim Convention Center and Mater Dei High School starting on Tuesday. The boys and girls Division 1AA semifinals are set to begin on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Brea Olinda girls take on Canyon Springs in the first game of the day. The Mater Dei girls play Santa Monica in the other semifinal. The first boys semifinal pits Corona Centennial against Mater Dei at 6:30. The other semifinal is Long Beach Poly vs. Etiwanda.

3. The Southern Section championship games begin on Wednesday with the girls 6A, 4AA and 3A title games. The boys Division 4AA championship game between Orange Lutheran and Windward is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. Third-seeded La Canada plays top-seeded Price in the boys Division 3AA championship game on Thursday night at 4:45 p.m. No. 1 Oaks Christian plays Buckley in the boys Division 4A championship game on Saturday at 9 a.m. No. 1 Harvard-Westlake plays Inglewood in the boys Division 3A championship game on Saturday morning at 10:45. Sierra Canyon plays Montclair Prep in the boys Division 5A championship on Friday night at 5 p.m. at Mater Dei High School. Flintridge Prep plays Muir in the boys Division 5AA championship on Saturday night at 6 at Mater Dei High School.

4. The Harvard-Westlake girls basketball team is making its third straight CIF Southern Section championship game appearance after a convincing 66-43 win over Indio in the Division 2A semifinals. Harvard-Westlake won the Division 4AA championship in 2009 and the Division 4A championship in 2010. The Wolverines will face Canyon of Anaheim on Thursday night at 6:30 at the the Anaheim Convention Center. Oaks Christian plays St. Anthony in the girls Division 4A championship game on Friday at 3:30 p.m. Buena plays Rialto in the girls Division 2AA championship game on Friday at 7 p.m.

5. The El Camino Real wrestling team won the CIF City Section championship over Sylmar at Roybal High School. Three sophomores won their respective weight classes for El Camino. Connor McClennan defeated Sylmar’s Cylle Altamirano-Hill in the 152-pound division. Shayan Shanangian won the 140-pound division with an 11-8 decision over San Fernando’s Anthony Contreras. Ali Naser won his second straight City title with an 18-1 decision over Granada Hill’s Robert Mena in the 125-pound division. It was the first City Section wrestling championship for El Camino Real since 2001.

LA North and LA South: Ventura vs. Compton boys basketball playoff slide show

February, 26, 2011

The Ventura boys basketball team beat Compton, 70-58, in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs on Friday night at Ventura College.

Dylan Houck scored a game-high 22 points for Ventura.

Compton had a 15-point lead in the third quarter, but Ventura went on an 18-0 run to take the lead.

Ventura held Compton scoreless for nearly six minutes in the third quarter.

Houck was 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. He converted two free throws, a result of a technical foul on Compton, to take the lead, 45-44, with a little under two minutes to play in the third quarter.

Actor Kevin Costner was in attendance at the game.