Los Angeles Preps: Greg Hillard

LA North and LA South: Havard-Westlake 47, Inglewood 45

March, 5, 2011
ANAHEIM -- Looking at the final box score, Julius Bilbrew didn't shoot particularly well during Saturday's Southern Section championship game. However, each and every time the Inglewood High boys' basketball team needed a big play, the senior guard managed to find a way to deliver.

Interestingly enough, when the Sentinels needed him the most in the Division 3A final against North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, things did not go according to plan. It was not Bilbrew's fault either, Inglewood could not get the ball into the hands of its playmaker.

Trailing by a basket with less than two minutes left on the fourth quarter clock, the Wolverines focused their efforts on stopping Bilbrew. The strategy worked too, Inglewood struggled down the stretch and Harvard-Westlake ended up prevailing with a 47-45 victory at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“We wanted to get Julius the ball, he's one of our top scorers, but they made things difficult on us,'' Sentinels coach Pat Roy said. “We went into desperation mode and had to take whatever we could get at one point. It was a tough way to lose and no one likes losing.''

Give the top-seeded Wolverines (27-4) some credit, they relied on their strength throughout, which is size. Damiene Cain and Zena Edosomwan, both of whom are 6-foot-7, combined for 23 points, 26 rebounds and five blocks against third-seeded Ingelwood (24-7).

Rest assured, Cain and Edosomwan were focused on Bilbrew in the waning moments, there was no way the tandem was going to let the sharp-shooter beat them.

“I was going to block anything and everything,'' Cain said.

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LA North and LA South: No. 8 Loyola 71, No. 7 Harvard-Westlake 51

February, 4, 2011
Plain and simple, there probably is no boys' basketball program around that is as hot as Loyola right about now.

North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake would most likely attest to that after running into the Cubs on Friday night as Loyola walked away with a 71-51 victory in a game that figures to shake up the Mission League standings.

“Honestly, this team is growing and becoming stronger with each and every game we play,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “They stand together and fight, they scrap, they claw their way to wins. You know what, that has been a recipe for success.''

The Wolverines (21-3, 9-1), No. 7 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 rankings, entered the showdown against their longtime league rival in first place. They were riding an impressive 18-game winning streak, so confidence was not lacking.

However, none of that mattered to the second-place Cubs (19-5, 9-2), ranked No. 8 in the ESPNLA rankings. They appeared to be determined from the start.

The Cubs jumped out to a 19-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. They did not let up in the second quarter thereafter as Joe Stein knocked down a number of shots from out on the perimeter to help guide Loyola to a 15-point advantage at the break.

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LA North: Harvard-Westlake 83, Alemany 72

January, 22, 2011
MISSION HILLS -- Too much Damiene Cain. And too much Zena Edosomwan. The same thing could be said about Josh Hearlihy.

Too much size. Too much strength.

Too much of all of the above, actually.

At times, it appeared as if the North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake High boys' basketball team was unstoppable on Saturday night against host Alemany. In fact, the Warriors attempted to use just about every gimmick defense known to slow down the Wolverines. But ultimately, nothing worked in an 83-72 Mission League loss.

"We used our size to our advantage tonight, we imposed our will,'' Harvard-Westlake coach Greg Hillard said. "I think we did a real good job of frustrating Alemany out there on the court tonight. We had everything working.''

Indeed, the Wolverines (17-2, 6-0) did have everything working, from the opening whistle until the final buzzer sounded. In the process, they appeared worthy of their No. 9 ranking in the ESPNLosAngeles.com Top 20 rankings.

The Warriors (14-6, 4-2), on the other hand, were overmatched. With the loss, they fall two games behind first-place Harvard-Westlake.

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