The Westchester High School Comets had seen the Fairfax High School Lions three other times this season, but one thing the Comets hadn’t seen was such a commanding performance by the Lions and their star senior forward Chace Stanback.
The Comets suffered their fourth defeat of the season to rival Fairfax, 77-44, in the finals of the state Division I Southern California Regional playoffs at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion Saturday, March 17th.
The 33-point deficit for Westchester was 16 points more than three other losses to Fairfax this season combined.
It was the first state regional championship since 2004 for Fairfax (27-5), which had to defeat Westchester (26-7) to capture two other titles this year — the Western League and Los Angeles City Section championships.
The Lions will face McClymonds High School of Oakland in the Division I State Championship game at Arco Arena in Sacramento Saturday, March 24th.
The last time Westchester faced Fairfax four times in a season was when the Comets won the Division I state title two years ago.
This season Fairfax has had the upper hand against Westchester, and in the regional final, the Lions showed they are ready to rule the state.
Stanback, who is headed to UCLA next season, proved that he is most definitely comfortable playing on the Bruins’ home court, scoring 35 points and grabbing ten rebounds to lead Fairfax to victory.
Fairfax jumped out to a 21-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a five-point lead at halftime, but then surged ahead with a 26-point third quarter performance.
The Lions put another 20 points on the scoreboard in the final quarter and cruised to the victory by holding Westchester to just eight points.
Westchester was led by sophomore De Shun McCoy, who finished with 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the game.
Cordell Hadnot and Jarred Dubois each scored seven points, while Oscar Bellfield and Dominique O’Connor added six points each in Westchester’s final game of the season.