Los Angeles Preps: Oliver Mills
February, 22, 2011
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
WESTCHESTER -- Fairfax coach Harvey Kitani was hoping the third time would be the charm for his Lions when going up against the Westchester Comets in the quarterfinals of the CIF City Section playoffs.
Westchester (25-6), ranked eighth in the latest ESPNLA.com Top 20 rankings, was again too much for Kitani's Lions to handle -- for the third time this season. The Comets had already topped the Lions twice this season, by 27 points at Fairfax and by 12 at home. Tuesday, Westchester manhandled the Lions with a smothering man-to-man defense from the opening tip to take home the 59-34 win to set up a semifinals matchup with Washington at the Galen Center on Friday.
The Comets opened Tuesday's game with a 9-0 lead and led 25-10 at the half, never really letting the Lions into the game after that point. They withstood Fairfax's best run in the third quarter and led, 43-24, at the end of that period, before closing it out in the fourth with a well-balanced offensive attack that included a couple reserves.
"They didn't do anything different," Comets coach Ed Azzam said of the rival Lions. "And we didn't do anything different either. We struggle scoring, but they really struggle scoring, and so that was the difference. They just couldn't put the ball in the basket."
Westchester has now beaten Fairfax six consecutive times, with the last Fairfax win coming in February 2009 at Westchester. The storied rivalry, once thought to be fairly even at one point last decade, has clearly tipped in the Comets' direction.