Los Angeles Preps: Ocean League

L.A. South: Prep basketball roundup

January, 25, 2012
St. John Bosco (16-4) eked out a 72-68 victory at JSerra on Wednesday night to improve to 5-0 in Trinity League play, setting up a highly intriguing matchup with Mater Dei, the region's top-ranked squad, on Friday in Bellflower. Isaac Hamilton led the way with a game-high 26 points.

Loyola (16-3) lost at home to Alemany, 95-81, and is now two games back in the Mission League standings. The Cubs had gotten back into the race with an impressive win against Crespi earlier in the week. Loyola got 24 points from Julian Harrell.

In the Western League, Fairfax (14-7) beat Westchester, 53-46. Brendyn Taylor had 17 points. In the Pacific League, Muir (20-1) beat Burbank, 54-52, thanks to Jelani Mitchell's 17 points.

Windward (14-7) bounced back from a demoralizing Alpha League loss to Pacific Hills, defeating Sierra Canyon 68-67.

In the Ocean League, Culver City beat Beverly Hills, 87-81, behind 33 points from Aamahd Walker and 32 from Keilan Horton.

L.A. South: Basketball roundup

January, 13, 2012
There was a bevvy of notable league basketball games in south Los Angeles County on Friday.

In the Western League, Palisades (9-8) withstood a furious charge by Fairfax and held on for a 64-60 victory. Fairfax (10-6) trailed by 26 early in the second half but pulled to within two in the final seconds before missing the go-ahead 3-pointer. Lions guard Landon Drew scored a game-high 19 points in a losing effort.

After a three-week layoff, Long Beach Poly (12-1) opened Moore League play by routing Lakewood, 74-30. Junior forward Roschon Prince had 25 points, getting to the free-throw line 26 times.

Loyola (13-2) is back in the Mission League race after beating Harvard-Westlake, 64-54, in front of a full house at Cal State Los Angeles.

In the Alpha League, Windward (13-5) beat Brentwood, 80-72, to gain the edge atop the standings. And despite the loss, Brentwood (12-3) proved its legitimacy. Pacific Hills (14-3), the league's other contender, was idle.

In the Ocean League, Santa Monica (11-5) beat Culver City, 67-61, despite 27 points from Centaurs guard Keilan Horton.

St. John Bosco (13-2) improved to 3-0 in Trinity League play with a 78-69 win at Santa Margarita. Top junior prospect Isaac Hamilton had a game-high 30 points. The Braves get the chance to make a statement when they host Orange Lutheran next week.

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

Underdog Culver City still dancing

December, 7, 2011
Culver City looks like the team of destiny.

No one expected the Centaurs to make it past top-seeded Gardena Serra in the first round, let alone make it to Friday night's Western Division championship game at Arroyo Grande.

The team's three representatives were all smiles Monday morning at the CIF-Southern Section championships luncheon in Long Beach. But don't think they're happy just to have made it this far.

"We've taken that underdog role through this playoff run," senior receiver Alex Jackson said. "We're the Cinderella team."

The dance began with a complex waltz against local giant Serra. Culver City (10-3) came away with the surprise of the playoffs.

"It was a big win for us," senior captain Kevin Porche said. "Serra had been there many times before but we played hard."

Then, after a second-round blowout of Santa Maria Righetti, the Centaurs drew Ocean League rival Santa Monica, which had taken league and beaten Culver City 17-14 in November.

"We wanted the revenge," said senior quarterback Lukas O'Connor, who has passed for 3,002 yards and 32 touchdowns. "They beat us on our senior night and we wanted to beat them to get to the championship."

Said Jackson: "It was good that Santa Monica got the Ocean League title, but it was bigger for us to get to the divisional championship."

Now the Centaurs, making their first title game appearance in 33 years, travel up the coast to face Arroyo Grande (12-1), which aims to avenge last year's championship loss to Serra.

And if everything goes right, you can bet they'll dance on the bus ride back to Culver City.

All 170 miles.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.