Another high school boys basketball season has passed in Western League play, and the Westchester High School Comets are still the dominating force that continues to rack up league titles.
Westchester (17-3, 10-0) secured another Western League championship in impressive fashion by defeating league rival and host Fairfax High School 66-62 Wednesday, February 9th, for the sixth straight time.
The Comets proved their continued reign over Fairfax and the league, but — even more important — they solidified a top seed in the Los Angeles City Section championship playoffs. The Comets will host 16th-seed Birmingham High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 18th.
In last year’s regular season, Westchester also twice beat Fairfax, which went on to win the Division 1 state title, but the Comets were kept from the playoffs because of a team recruiting violation ruling.
This season the Comets expect to make up for last year’s missed chances and show that they are the premier team in the Southland.
Getting through Fairfax for the second time this year was no easy task for the Comets, who are ranked as the number-one team in the Southland by the Los Angeles Times. After defeating the Lions 68-61 earlier in the season, Westchester had to fight off a Fairfax team that was eager for redemption.
Fairfax stayed close with the Comets far into the fourth quarter, mostly because of the performance by senior Jamal Boykin, who finished with 27 points and nine rebounds. But Westchester was able to hold off Fairfax with the key free-throw shooting of senior guard Joey Knox in the last seconds of the game.
The Comets picked up ten three-pointers in the game, including four by sophomore Dane Suttle, who scored a team-high 17 points.
Back-to-back defending Ocean League champion Santa Monica High School finished in second place in the league this season after a 56-49 victory over host Hawthorne High Thursday, February 10th.
The Vikings (18-8, 6-4) finished league play behind champion Inglewood High and earned a spot in the Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs. Santa Monica will host the winner of a wild card game in the first round at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 18th.
St. Bernard High School earned a third-place finish in the Del Rey League after a 62-55 victory over Bishop Amat High School at home Monday, February 7th.
The Vikings (18-8, 5-3) will try to reach the Southern Section Division IV-AA finals again after picking up a fourth seed in the playoffs, and will host Daniel Murphy High School at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 16th.
Venice High School ended the season with a fourth-place finish in the tough Western League after an 89-75 loss to host Hamilton High School Friday, February 11th.
Senior forward Larry Johnson scored a team-high 17 points for the Gondoliers (5-14, 3-7) in their final game this season.
St. Monica High School took home fifth place in the Camino Real League after losing 63-59 to league champion and host Cantwell-Sacred Heart High School Wednesday, February 9th.
Junior guard John Khela scored 17 points in the final game of the season for the Mariners (9-12, 3-7).
In girls basketball games:
Venice High School took the throne as the Western League champion this season, despite losing 46-38 to visiting Hamilton High Friday, February 11th.
The Gondoliers (15-6, 8-2) earned the 11th seed in the Los Angeles City Section championship playoffs and will play at sixth-seed Marshall High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 18th.
The Santa Monica High School Vikings finished as co-champions to complete an impressive season in Ocean League play after a 49-27 victory over visiting Hawthorne High School Thursday, February 10th.
The Vikings (18-6, 9-1), who shared the league title with Morningside High School, were led by senior guard Amanda McGrew with 19 points in the victory.
Santa Monica will host the winner of a wild-card game in the first round of the Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 19th.
St. Monica High School finished third in the Camino Real League after a 58-50 victory over host Mary Star of the Sea High School Thursday, February 10th.
The Mariners (15-11, 7-3), play at Laguna Beach High in the Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 17th.