LA South: Westchester 67, Washington 58


LOS ANGELES -- As expected, the Los Angeles Westchester High boys' basketball teams is heading to the City Section championship game.

The Comets secured their appearance in the finals Friday with a 67-58 semifinal victory over Los Angeles Washington at Galen Center. Awaiting second-seeded Westchester in the title game next Saturday is top-seeded Woodland Hills Taft.

The Toreadors defeated fifth-seeded Palisades, 78-59, on Friday night in the other semifinal.

“We didn't want to look too far ahead, our focus was on Washington tonight, that was it,'' Comets coach Ed Azzam said. “A win against them was the only thing that mattered. Without a victory, there would be no Taft, there is no championship game for us.''

Turns out, everything went according to plan.

The Comets (26-6) made sure of that by playing particularly well early Friday as Robert Gsellman made a couple of key baskets, including a long distance three-pointer to give Westchester a 15-5 lead with 3:38 remaining in the first quarter of play.

The Generals (22-7) answered as Christopher Brown made back-to-back three-pointers to help cut the deficit to 15-14 with 1:33 left in the first quarter.

Westchester took over in the second quarter though. Joshua Wilson scored on an uncontested layup, Domonique Evans added one of his own, and Gsellman knocked down another perimeter jumper to extend the advantage to six points at intermission.

Gsellman kept up the hot-shooting in the second half. Washington never found an answer for him and Westchester led by as many as 20 points at one point.

The Generals found it difficult to recover from the deficit.

“We're on to the title game, and we're in for a good game because Taft is tough, one of the best teams around, it is going to be one of those battles,'' Azzam said.

Gsellman finished with 14 points. Evans added 14 and Wilson had 12.

Brown ended up with 17 points. Ralph Harvey Jr. had 19 points and Evans finished with 14.