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PREP EXTRA / A weekly look at the high school sports
scene in the Southland | CITY SECTION REPORT

Westchester, Narbonne Are Teams to Beat

February 08, 2001|GARY KLEIN

Brackets for the boys' and girls' basketball playoffs will be announced Saturday morning after league representatives meet at Manual Arts High.

There is no doubt that defending champion Westchester (22-1) will be the top-seeded boys' team and that defending champion Harbor City Narbonne (18-3) will be No. 1 in the girls' City Championship Division playoffs.

Sixteen boys' teams and 16 girls' teams also will be selected for the Invitational Division playoffs.

First-round games in both divisions are Feb. 16.

Westchester's 77-56 victory at Fairfax last Wednesday clinched the Western League title for the Comets and cemented their status as the team to beat.

"You can't relax for a second or you'll find yourself down 15 points," said Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani, whose 18-5 team also lost to Westchester, 82-64, on Jan. 9. "We tried not to give them easy shots but they just outrebounded us and got second chances."

Said Westchester Coach Ed Azzam: "This was not only the toughest game we'll probably have in league, but in the City period. Just like last time, we won it with depth."

The Fremont and Crenshaw boys' teams are playing for the Coliseum League championship Friday at Crenshaw in a game that also will likely determine the No. 2-seeded playoff team.

Fremont (17-5) is 8-1 in league play, its only a defeat a one-point loss to Dorsey two days after beating Crenshaw for the first time since 1996. Crenshaw (18-4) is 7-2.

A Fremont victory gives the Pathfinders the title outright--and a chance to avoid a matchup with Westchester until the City championship game.

If Crenshaw wins, there will be a coin-flip to determine the league's top representative.

Dorsey, Washington and Palisades could also figure prominently in the boys' playoff race.

"You have to be able to rebound and have three scorers to play with Westchester, or they'll blow you out," Fremont Coach Sam Sullivan said. "I feel like if we can get that far, I like my chances."

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