Last year the Bel-Air Prep boys basketball team reached the Small Schools Division final before losing to Whitney, and this year the Bruins were moved up to the 1-A Delphic League, which has been dominated by Crossroads for five years.
Last week Coach Mike Whiting's Bruins justified their elevation to a stronger division as they edged Crossroads, 51-50, on the latter's home court at Santa Monica High School. Senior forward Derrick Thornton led the Bruins with 21 points.
Bel-Air didn't just upset a league power. Since 1982, Crossroads has been in five straight CIF-Southern Section finals, has won three CIF championships, including two Small Schools and one 1-A title, and has been a Division III state finalist twice.
As the week began, the Bruins were 3-1 in Delphic League play (7-6) overall, and Crossroads was 2-1 and 9-5. In the CIF sportswriters' poll, Crossroads dropped from second to fifth in 1-A while Bel-Air was listed among others just outside the top 10.