Los Angeles Preps: Grant Lozoya

L.A. North: The top 10

January, 22, 2012
There is a new No. 1 in the L.A. North and a new team in the top 10. Woodland Hills Taft ground out another tight one, this time against Fairfax in a match-up of two of the top teams in the City Section.

Oak Park cracks the top 10 for the first time this season after beating Oaks Christian by one point on the road.

Westlake and Harvard-Westlake had some untimely losses. Westlake dropped to No. 8. The Wolverines have lost three of their past four games, including 77-68, to Alemany and were knocked out of the top 10.

Here is a look at the top 10 teams in the L.A. North:

1. (2) Woodland Hills Taft (17-3) – The Toreadors extended their winning streak to seven games including 44-38 over Fairfax in the Fairfax City Preview Classic. Taft also tallied West Valley League wins over Cleveland and Birmingham. Anthony January scored 20 points for Taft against Fairfax in a defensive tussle.

2. (1) Crespi (18-2) – The Celts lost for only second time this season and had their six-game winning streak snapped against Harvard-Westlake, 67-66, in a Mission League game on Friday night. London Perrantes scored 16 points in the loss.

3. (3) Alemany (16-3) – The Warriors won both of their Mission League games last week, both on the road. They beat Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 85-62, and Harvard-Westlake, 77-68. Marqueze Coleman averaged 26 points in the games against Notre Dame and Harvard-Westlake, scoring 30 against the Wolverines.

4. (6) Royal (15-5) – The Highlanders won their sixth game in a row, 68-34, over Moorpark in a Marmonte League game. Max McCoy led Royal with 18 points and J.R. Powell scored 16.

5. (7) Calabasas (17-3) – The Coyotes won their second game in a row, 75-51, over Simi Valley. They have won five of their past six games. Jeremy Lieberman had a big game for Calabasas with 31 points against Simi.

6. (5) Providence of Burbank (17-4) – The Pioneers lost to Morningside, 71-70, in the Martin Luther King Shootout at Price High School, but rebounded nicely with a 73-66 win over Campbell Hall in the War on the Floor tournament at Taft High School. Freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. scored 45 points, 21 in the fourth quarter, for Providence against Campbell Hall.

7. (8) Canyon (19-1) – Canyon won its 12th game in a row, 68-34, over Golden Valley in a Foothill League game. The Cowboys are off to their best start in school history and can set the school record for longest winning streak against Saugus on Friday night. That is if Canyon beats Hart on Tuesday night.

8. (4) Westlake (16-7) – The Warriors were upset by Thousand Oaks, 53-46 in overtime, in a Marmonte League game last week. It was the only game Westlake played. Grant Lozoya scored 20 points for Westlake in the loss. Tanner Fanjoy had 22 points for Thousand Oaks.

9. (9) El Camino Real (12-6) – The Conquistadores won both their West Valley League games last week, but needed a buzzer-beater from Julian Richardson to beat Chatsworth, 57-55. El Camino Real has won three games in a row and four of their past five.

10. (NR) Oak Park (16-6) – The Eagles have won eight games in a row including all five of their Tri-Valley League games. They are coming off a 61-60 league win over Oaks Christian. Ron Lee scored 30 points, five in the final minute, and Oak Park held on after blowing a 17-point lead.

L.A. North: Boys' basketball top 10

January, 16, 2012
  1. Crespi (17-1): Crespi has won five games in a row, including all four of its Mission League games. The Celts beat Alemany, 60-55, on Wednesday night. London Perrantes scored 15 points against Alemany. He averaged 14.5 points per game in wins over Alemany and Chaminade and notched 11 assists against the Eagles on Friday night.
  2. Woodland Hills Taft (14-3): Taft has won four games in a row, including its first two West Valley League games and a convincing 83-53 win over Grant in the Fairfax City tournament. Taft has won 71 league games in a row, dating to Jan. 12, 2005. The winning streak almost came to an end against El Camino Real on Wednesday night. Taft narrowly escaped, 45-44.
  3. Alemany (14-3): The Warriors lost to Crespi, 60-55, and their seven-game winning streak ended. But their week started on a winning note: Alemany beat St. Francis, 79-69, in a Mission League game. Marqueze Coleman had a big week, averaging 22 points and 8.5 rebounds per game against Crespi and St. Francis.
  4. Westlake (16-6): The Warriors pulled off a stunner, beating Calabasas, 51-50, in a Marmonte League game on Wednesday night. Westlake erased a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit behind the hot shooting of Grant Lozoya. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Westlake has won two games in a row and eight of its last nine.
  5. Providence Burbank (16-3): Providence has won eight games in a row and improved to 4-0 in the Liberty League with wins over Glendale Adventist and Holy Martyrs Armenian last week. Providence will get tested tonight in the MLK Shootout against Morningside at Price High School.
  6. Royal (14-5): The Highlanders have won five games in a row including an impressive 62-51 win over Westlake last week. Scott Woods has been a monster in the middle for Royal. He scored 22 points, had 10 rebounds and blocked four shots against Westlake.
  7. Calabasas (16-3): The Coyotes had a tough loss, 51-50, to Westlake last week. But Calabasas bounced back with a 78-46 win over Thousand Oaks on Friday night. Calabasas has won four of its past five games.
  8. Canyon (17-1): The Cowboys have a 10-game winning streak, including a 61-47 over Foothill League rival Valencia. Clay Kasdorf is averaging 26 points in the first two league games.
  9. Harvard-Westlake (10-6): It was a bad week for the Wolverines. They lost two games, including a heartbreaker, 44-42, to Chaminade in a Mission League game. Harvard-Westlake is 3-3 in its past six games.
  10. El Camino Real (10-6): The Conquistadores took Taft to the wire, losing 45-44 on their home court last week. El Camino Real beat Reseda Cleveland soundly, 73-46, on Friday night. Julian Richardson scored a game-high 17 points against Taft and was instrumental in controlling the grinding pace of the game.

The next 10, in alphabetical order: Crescenta Valley, La Canada, Oak Park, Oaks Christian, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Renaissance Academy, Valencia, Ventura, Village Christian.

L.A. North: Westlake 51, Calabasas 50

January, 12, 2012

CALABASAS – The Westlake boys basketball team erased a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat Calabasas, 51-50, in a Marmonte League game on Wednesday night.

Grant Lozoya scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. He scored the winning basket with 3.5 seconds left in the game.

Westlake (16-5) held Calabasas (15-3) to seven points in the fourth quarter and went on a 17-3 run in the fourth quarter to take a two-point lead, 48-46.

Lozoya was on fire in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3-pointer and made six field goals in the final period. But Westlake coach Rob Bloom said it was his team’s defense that provided the energy in the comeback.

“If we don’t hold them to seven points, we are in trouble,” Bloom said. “For us, that energized us enough. To hold them to seven was the key.”

Westlake had a one-point lead, 49-48, with 50 seconds left in the game. Holden Israel, who led Calabasas with 17 points, gave his team the lead with a little jumper in the paint with 11 seconds in the fourth quarter.

Westlake answered right back with the game-winning jumper by Lozoya. Calabasas had one last chance to win the game, but Israel’s 3-point shot at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.

It has been quite a bumpy month for Westlake. The Warriors had to forfeit a game against Agoura on Jan. 4. The Westlake junior varsity coach was ejected from his game, but was on the bench as one of Bloom’s assistants in the varsity game.

The Agoura coaches noticed the Westlake JV coach on the bench and asked the referees to have Westlake forfeit the game. Westlake won on the court, 73-67.

Instead of heading into the game against Calabasas with a 4-1 record in the Marmonte League, Westlake was 3-2.

“I’m over it,” Bloom said. “It’s hard to be totally over it when everyone asks about it. We’re here for the kids. I feel cheated, but I’m over it.”

Calabasas, meanwhile, was 5-0 in league heading into the game against Westlake. The Coyotes lost their first league game of the season and are tied with Royal atop the Marmonte League standings.

When asked if beating Calabasas will help people forget about the forfeit to Agoura, Bloom said, “I hope so.”

“We’re in the middle of league. We have no time to feel good about ourselves.”

Westlake plays Simi Valley on Friday night. Calabasas is home against Thousand Oaks.

To make the comeback against Calabasas more remarkable, Westlake was playing without Larry Bush, who needed 18 stitches after getting hit in the mouth in the game against Royal on Monday night. Bush is averaging 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

“Only scoring 50 points on our home court, we’re not executing like we do,” said Calabasas senior forward Josh Cohan. “I think we’ll move on. We’ll bounce back against Thousand Oaks. We don’t plan on losing another game in league.”

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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