Westchester High School shut down center Chris Mills, used a fourth-quarter show by guard Sam Crawford and made three free throws down the stretch to beat defending champion Fairfax, 45-42, Wednesday night at Fairfax to advance to the City 4-A semifinals.
Westchester (20-5) will play Manual Arts, an 89-72 winner Wednesday over Dorsey at the Sports Arena on Friday. Top-seeded Crenshaw, which beat Washington, 107-86, and Fremont, a 54-53 winner over Taft, will meet in the other semifinal.
Mills was troubled the entire game by Westchester's box-and-one defense, a formation that worked well considering this was the first time the Comets had used it this season. The 1987 City 4-A player of the year finished with 18 points, but 7 of those came in a burst to start the third quarter.
Sam Crawford (13 points, 8 to start the final quarter) and Zan Mason (10) led the way for the Westchester offense. Mason made two free throws with eight seconds to play to clinch the win after Westchester's Scott Crawford broke a 42-42 tie with a point from the line with 2:09 to play, this for a team that hit just 6 of 16 in the second half.