From the beginning, North Hollywood High girls basketball Coach Rich Allen treated Wednesday's game against Taft like a test drive, and substituted liberally.
The Huskies' basketball machine had plenty of horsepower, but after sputtering to a 49-39 win, it appears to need a tuneup before the playoffs begin.
North Hollywood (10-5, 8-1), which clinched the West Valley League championship, shot just 33%, committed 28 turnovers and often played with a visible lack of intensity while winning its sixth straight game. The Huskies led by 12 in the second quarter but almost let Taft (4-8, 2-6) back in the game in the fourth quarter.
"It wasn't smooth, but it got the job done," Allen said. "That's all that we wanted. They knew they had the league all wrapped up, and it was more important than anything else to stay healthy.