Los Angeles Preps: Steve Kerr

LA North: Loyola 55, Torrey Pines 53

March, 8, 2011
LOS ANGELES - - With final seconds ticking off the fourth-quarter clock, Jacob Hazzard launched up a desperation 3-pointer that appeared to be heading right through the basket. Somehow, someway, the ball ricocheted out and off the rim.

Justin Childress, however, was in the right place at the right time during Tuesday's Southern California Regional boys' basketball playoffs.

He grabbed the rebound, put the ball back up in a hurry and scored the game-winner as the final buzzer sounded to lift Los Angeles Loyola to a dramatic 55-53 victory over visiting San Diego Torrey Pines in a Division I first-round game.

Loyola will next play at Mater Dei in a second-round game Thursday.

"The ball came me to, things we're going in slow motion, the only thing that I wanted to do was get the shot off in time,'' Childress said.

Hazzard, on the other hand, thought he was going to be the one who made the clutch shot. “My jumper was going in, no doubt, I couldn't believe it when the ball didn't drop,'' he said. “My heart dropped. I'm glad Justin was there to bail us out.''

Childress did just that, he bailed out Loyola (25-5), which had built an eight-point lead in the first half and appeared to be heading for an easy victory. Torrey Pines (25-7), on the other hand, entertained ideas of playing spoiler.

“We didn't get a stop at the end of the game and that proved to be the difference,'' Falcons coach John Olive said. “It was a tough loss, but a great high school basketball game. My kids played their hearts out. Loyola did a good job too''

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LA North: Loyola is looking to make a statement

March, 7, 2011
This is it. Finally, at long last, the time has come to separate the men from the boys with regards to the overall perception of the Los Angeles Loyola High prep basketball program.

The Cubs are about to embark on play in the Southern California Regional playoffs, where they will be competing at the toughest of levels, Division I, with the state's top teams.

The first test comes on Tuesday night against visiting San Diego Torrey Pines at 7 p.m. A victory, of course, would be a statement-maker and perhaps serve as proof that Loyola deserves to be mentioned among the Southland's best after competing in Division II all season long.

“I think we're considered, maybe, a notch below some of the big-time programs around here,'' Cubs coach Jamal Adams said. “But here we go, here is our chance, our opportunity to be recognized as one of the top teams in Los Angeles, in the state, and maybe, in the nation.

“Would we like to raise out profile? Yes, most definitely. Would we like to be more high-regarded and respected? Yes, of course. We have a major mental challenge ahead of us, we know that. But we're ready, that's the good part about this whole situation. We're pumped up.''

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LA North and Inland Empire: No. 11 Loyola 70, No. 2 Etiwanda 64

January, 29, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- This time around, the hype actually lived up to all of the advanced billing. And then some.

With five Southland boys' basketball programs ranked in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 scheduled to compete in the Fairfax State Preview Classic, it appeared as if the spectators in attendance at Fairfax High on Saturday were bound to get their money's worth with plenty of fast-paced action. Turns out, no one walked away disappointed.

Etiwanda and Los Angeles Loyola, ranked No. 2 and No. 11, respectively, was the marquee matchup of the day-long event. Those who stayed around for the nightcap, no doubt, were treated to a rather entertaining affair as the underdog Cubs battled back from numerous deficits to pull off a surprising 70-64 upset over the Eagles.

“Etiwanda is tough team, we knew that coming in, that's one of the best programs in the state,'' Cubs coach Jamal Adams said. “The best part about a showcase like this is that our team gets to come out and see how we measure up against the best around. We were tickled to be a part of something like this. It was exciting for us and the fans.''

Etiwanda's Byron Wesley was the story early on.

The 6-foot-5 senior, a USC commit, scored nine points in the early going and Etiwanda (23-0 overall) took a five-point lead at the end of one quarter. All told, Wesley had 17 points in the first half to help extend the advantage to eight at halftime.

It was more of the same after the break. Wesley had 26 points at the end of the three, and accordingly, the Eagles had a 57-49 lead.

“We knew that we were going to play in front of a big crowd, a packed house, and we wanted to show we're the real deal,'' Wesley said.

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