Los Angeles Preps: Derrick Newton

No. 3 Loyola 77, Harvard-Westlake 74

February, 3, 2012
NORTHRIDGE -- When prep basketball fans from across the Southland take a look at the final score of Friday's game between Los Angeles Loyola and Harvard-Westlake, chances are that the masses will be under the impression the showdown was close from start to finish.

It wasn't. Far from it, in fact.

Loyola jumped out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half and maintained the advantage for a majority of the second half. Some sloppy play down the stretch, however, resulted in a somewhat close 77-74 Mission League victory at Cal State Northridge.

“We said before the game that we were 20 points better than them, we should have won by more,'' said Loyola's Parker Jackson-Cartwright. “We let them get back into it, but we were not worried. They did not have enough time on the clock to close things out.''

The Cubs (20-3, 18-3) took a nine-point lead with 1:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. The No. 3 team in the ESPNLosAngeles top 20 rankings took it easy from there on out and conceded some rather easy baskets to the desperate Wolverines (15-8, 6-4).

“We have a big rivalry with Harvard-Westlake and I think we put so much energy into building a big lead that we were spent towards the end,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “I wouldn't say we were overly concerned about coming up short.''

Julian Harrell got off to a quick start. The senior and Penn commit scored 10 points in the first quarter and had 15 in the first half to help Loyola take a 38-26 lead at the break. Harvard-Westlake had trouble stopping Harrell, who finished with 23 points.

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L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

January, 9, 2012
  1. Crespi’s Christian Johnson came up with some big shots in his team’s 75-73 win over Loyola to open Mission League play last week. Teammate London Perrantes calls Johnson the team’s secret weapon. “He’s a baseball player first, but I definitely think he’s a great shooter for us,” Perrantes said. Johnson scored 14 points against Loyola and came on strong in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3-pointer, his only 3-point attempt of the game, to give Crespi a four-point lead, 71-67, with a little over two minutes to play in the game. He made five free throws in the final period to help his team maintain a slight lead. He finished the game 4-of-5 from the field and had seven rebounds. Perrantes, who scored 17 points to lead Crespi in scoring against Loyola, added that Johnson isn’t going to be the player opposing teams key on. If Johnson gets hot, he can be a dangerous player.
  2. The opening of the Mission League boys basketball season lived up to the hype at the expense of Loyola. Crespi, Alemany and Harvard-Westlake won their first two games of league play. Crespi opened with a tight, two-point win over previously undefeated Loyola. The Celts followed with a 71-50 win over St. Francis. After Alemany won its league opener against Chaminade, the Warriors took care of Loyola, 69-63, to hand the Cubs their second loss in a row. Loyola opened the season by winning its first 11 games. Harvard-Westlake had a good news, bad news type of week. The Wolverines won their first two league games without much struggle, but also lost senior Josh Hearlihy to a knee injury. He isn’t expected back until playoffs. Luckily, sophomore Derrick Newton has filled in nicely by leading the team in scoring with 19.1 points per game. In the meantime, Crespi is home against Alemany on Wednesday night in a game for first place in league, for the time being.

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L.A. North: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 8, 2012
The top 10 boys basketball teams from the L.A. North region have a pair of 15-1 teams, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Crespi of Encino is off to a 15-1 start, its only loss coming in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic.

Canyon is also 15-1, its best start in school history, and has only lost to Crespi in the championship game of its own tournament.

The Mission League and Marmonte League well-represented in the top 10. Here's a look at this week's L.A. North top teams:
  1. Crespi (15-1) – The Celts have won three games in a row and their only loss came against L.A. Wasington in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic. Crespi won its first two Mission League games, including 75-73, over Loyola to open league play. The Celts play at Alemany and are home against Chaminade in league games this week.
  2. Woodland Hills Taft (11-3) – The Toreadors are coming off a 52-48 win over Lincoln in the L.A.-San Diego Challenge over the weekend. Taft snapped a two-game losing streak with the win over Lincoln. The Toreadors begin West Valley League play against El Camino Real on Wednesday night.
  3. Alemany (13-2) – The Warriors are off to a 2-0 start in Mission League play to keep pace with Crespi. They have won six games in a row and haven’t lost since Dec. 21 to Crespi in the San Fernando Valley Invitational. Alemany plays St. Francis on Monday night before a Mission League showdown against Crespi on Wednesday night.
  4. Calabasas (14-2) – The Coyotes are 4-0 in Marmonte League play and have won four of their past five games. The only loss for Calabasas in that stretch came against Rancho Verde in the Oaks Christian Tournament. Calabasas plays Newbury Park on Monday and Westlake on Wednesday in Marmonte League games.
  5. Burbank Providence (14-3) – The Pioneers have won six games in a row and have a 2-0 record in the Liberty League. Marcus LoVett Jr. is one of the top freshman, if not one of the top basketball players, in the San Fernando Valley. He is averaging 32.8 points per game and shooting 42 percent from 3-point territory. He also has 3.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

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Title Thursday for L.A. North

December, 29, 2011
It’s been a busy and productive week for some of the top boys basketball teams from the L.A. North region. Here is a look at some of the tournament championship and semifinal games tonight involving those teams:

Chaminade vs. Eastside Catholic in the championship game of the Chaminade tournament. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.

Canyon vs. Ventura in the championship game of the Ventura tournament. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Oaks Christian vs. Cleveland of Reseda in the semifinals of the Oaks Christian tournament. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. Etiwanda vs. Santa Monica in the other semifinal. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Village Christian vs. St. Francis in the semifinals of the La Salle-Temple City tournament. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Crespi vs. Washington Prep in the semifinals of the Sea Hawk Beach Classic at Redondo Union High School.

Woodland Hills Taft vs. Windward in the semifinals of the Torrey Pines tournament

Alemany vs. Modesto Christian in the semifinals of the Modesto Christian tournament. Bakersfield vs. Weston Ranch is the other semifinal at the Modesto Christian tournament.

Here are some highlights from games played on Wednesday night:

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L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

December, 19, 2011
  1. The Sierra Canyon football team won its first CIF state bowl game and is the only team in Southern California with a 15-0 record. But the school might be better known for having two Kardashian sisters on the cheerleading squad. Here’s a look at some of the top players on the Sierra Canyon football team: Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart threw for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns. A more impressive stat is that he threw only two interceptions in 222 pass attempts. The Trailblazers had a pair of running backs with 1,000 yards. Senior Danny Jordan had 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Xavier Menifield had 1,382 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. Three of those TDs came against Le Grand in the bowl game. He also caught 14 passes for 369 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Preston White led Sierra Canyon in receiving with 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Patrick McGown led the team with a whopping 17 sacks. Reggie Prince and Brian Tucker shared the team lead for interceptions with three. Each had one pick in the bowl game against Le Grand. Finally, sophomore kicker Noah Zgrabalich made eight field goals, 81 extra points and was second on the team in scoring with 105 points. Only Menifield had more points with 31 touchdowns, a pair of two-point conversions and 188 points.
  2. The Westlake football team might have lost the CIF Open Division bowl game to Concord De La Salle, but one player came out a winner. Westlake kicker Alex Ball won the Chris Sailer award recognizing the best high school kicker in the nation. Ball converted 19 field goals this season and tied for the state lead with Vista Murrieta’s Tyler Rausa. Ball’s 138 points are the most in the nation by schools that reported totals. Ball did not play in the CIF Open Division bowl game because he tore his ACL in his left leg in the Northern Division championship game against Oaks Christian. Even though Westlake lost the Open Division bowl game, the Warriors are not dodging tough teams next season. Westlake will open the season against Granite Bay in the Battle for Veterans Showcase in Sacramento. Oaks Christian and Thousand Oaks are also playing in the Battle for Veterans Showcase. Oaks Christian will play Del Oro, which lost to Helix in the Division II state bowl game. Thousand Oaks squares off against Franklin of Elk Grove. The week after the Battle for Veterans Showcase, Westlake will host Del Oro. Westlake opened the 2011 season against Del Oro and won, 30-27, in overtime.
  3. Providence of Burbank freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. had one of the best basketball games in San Fernando Valley history. He scored a school record 57 points in an 85-74 win over St. Joseph of Santa Maria in the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria. The previous school record was 52 points by Patrick Gonzalez in 2010. LoVett’s 57 points are the most by a player from the San Fernando Valley since 2005 when Grant’s Michael Danielian scored 58 points against Verdugo Hills, according to the Daily News. Providence plays Fremont on Tuesday in the National Prep Classic.
  4. The Harvard-Westlake boys basketball team won the Palos Verdes Tournament, beating Lawndale, 65-63, in the championship game. Derrick Newton scored the winning basket with 13 second left in the game. He was selected tournament MVP and scored 21 points, had 11 rebounds and four blocks against Lawndale. Zena Edosomwan scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds for Harvard-Westlake in the championship game. He was selected to the all-tournament team.
  5. The Chaminade boys soccer team won the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield beating McLane from Bakersfield, 6-1, in the championship game. Karam Gill and Nick Barbarino scored two goals apiece for Chaminade. Zack Khoury and Alessandro Giambrone each notched a goal. In the Arcadia Classic, the Palmdale boys soccer team shut out Monrovia, 2-0, in the championship game. Oscar Torres was selected the tournament MVP and scored both goals for Palmdale. He also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Arcadia in the semifinals.