Taft's Anthony January drives to the basket on Loyola's Brendan… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
There has been so much talk about the supposed demise of City Section basketball this season that some people actually believed it. What happened Saturday at the Nike Extravaganza at Santa Ana Mater Dei will put an end to such nonsense.
Woodland Hills Taft, emerging as the City Section Division I title favorite, routed Southern Section power Los Angeles Loyola, 73-57. Fairfax defeated Rialto Eisenhower, 73-67. And Westchester defeated Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, 45-42.
"I think it means the City is still strong and can still compete with the big dogs," Taft guard Steven Jones said.
Taft (22-3), in particular, has been making impressive progress under first-year Coach Jason Hart, a former NBA player. The Toreadors are on a 12-game winning streak, and the way they beat the Cubs in the half-court game was all about execution and dominating the boards.
Taft outrebounded the Cubs, 47-28. Anthony January scored 26 points and had 14 rebounds. Brandon Perry had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"It's a process," Hart said. "They're getting better. There's so much more they can do, but I'm happy with the way they played."
Loyola (20-4) was listless from start to finish, and a tough Mission League game on Friday night against Studio City Harvard-Westlake appeared to leave the Cubs with no energy.
"They whipped us," Loyola Coach Jamal Adams said.
Long Beach Poly (21-1) continued its preparation for a Southern Section Division 1AA title run by beating Orange Lutheran, 67-45. Roschon Prince scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half for Poly. Rueben Strickland added 21 points. Gabe York had 23 points for the Lancers.
Je'ron Primus led Westchester on a 12-0 streak in the fourth quarter to defeat Capistrano Valley. He had eight points during the spurt and finished with 15 points.
Brendyn Taylor scored 22 points and made 10 of 10 free throws in Fairfax's (17-9) win over Eisenhower. Marvelle Harris had 25 points and Terrance Sims 23 for Eisenhower (16-7).
Huntington Beach Ocean View (21-3) received 26 points and 13 rebounds from 7-foot center Conor Clifford in a 92-80 win over Mission Viejo (21-3).
Ryan Hurst scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds in Los Alamitos' 56-50 win over Upland.