Kennedy High School is in the City girls' 4-A title game for the third straight year, this time against Crenshaw, but are the Golden Cougars happy?
Who knows? After Kennedy's 41-38 win over Westchester in the 4-A semifinals Friday at the Sports Arena, Kennedy Coach Craig Raub refused to talk to a reporter. Assistant coach Pete Sullivan said Raub was upset because of the lack of coverage of Kennedy's quarterfinal win over Carson Wednesday.
Had Raub talked, maybe he would have said the Golden Cougars were a bit lucky. After building a nine-point halftime lead, Kennedy struggled in the second half, scoring only two points during one 6 1/2-minute stretch.
But Westchester couldn't take advantage of the scoring drought, missing several layins and many makeable shots, and that was the difference.
"We start off so slow," Westchester Coach Beverlie Pendleton said. "If we had a better first half, we would have had this game."
Westchester, which trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half, pulled within five at 33-28 with nearly five minutes remaining.
But Kennedy guards Yolanda Lewis and Tisa Rush prevented the Comets from getting any closer. Lewis made it 35-28 when she hit an 18-foot jumper with 3:40 left, and Rush followed with an 18-footer of her own to make it 37-28.
After a Westchester basket cut the lead to 37-30, Lewis made an 18-footer and a 10-footer to increase the lead to 41-30 with two minutes to play. Westchester scored the final eight points of the game to make it tense, but time ran out on the Comets.
Crenshaw, led by Kelly Murphy's 18 points, reached the final with a 69-42 win over Jordan.