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Bailey's Burst Pops Harvard's Balloon


STUDIO CITY — For most of the game Friday night, Harvard-Westlake High basketball fans serenade Loyola's UCLA-bound guard Toby Bailey with chants of "overrated."

They might want to rethink that opinion now.

Bailey took over in the fourth quarter, breaking open a close game and leading the Cubs to a 62-53 Mission League victory at Harvard.

The loss was Harvard's first of the season after 13 victories.

"I knew I had to take the shots," said Bailey, who scored 24 points. "The team looks to me to be the man. I needed to do something to change the game."

The Wolverines took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Bailey spent the first three minutes of the quarter on the bench to be rested for the stretch run. Neither team could score while Bailey was out.

He started with a layup that gave the Cubs (9-5, 4-0 in league play) their first lead since early in the third quarter, 47-46. Then he assisted on Todd Edwards' layup.

Bailey followed with another layup while being fouled. After a jumper by Bailey's younger brother, Moose, Loyola led, 53-46, with three minutes to play.

In the final moments, Bailey added a pair of highlight-film baskets on a reverse layup and a driving layup in which he cut around three defenders.

"He's really a great athlete," Wolverine guard Scott Garson said. "His presence is felt just like any other great player. That's why he's going to UCLA."

Bailey scored eight points in the fourth quarter after not making a significant impact for the first 24 minutes.

Hence, the chants.

"I heard them," Bailey said. "I could understand why they were saying it. I wasn't having too good a game."

Bailey's strong fourth quarter helped the Cubs put Harvard (13-1, 3-1) in the loss column after a surprising start that included championships in the Covina and Faith Baptist tournaments.

Garson led Harvard with 16 points and six assists. Freshman Jason Collins had 11 points and three blocked shots.

His twin brother, Jarron, scored 10 and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.

The first half was tight throughout, with neither team leading by more than four after the Wolverines erased a quick 6-0 deficit.

The lead would change hands four times in the first half.

Loyola pushed its lead to four late in the second quarter when Edwin Canady scored eight consecutive points.

Harvard led most of the third quarter, pushing its advantage to as many as seven points, but Loyola surged late in the quarter while Jason Collins was on the bench with three fouls.

The Cubs pulled to within one as the fourth quarter began, setting up Bailey's heroics.

"He got the best of us this time," Garson said. "Hopefully, we can get him back at their place."

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