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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Woodland Hills Taft seeded No. 1 in City playoffs

The Toreadors (24-3), led by 6-foot-8 transfer Anthony January and 33-year-old first-year Coach Jason Hart, get top seeding in Division I ahead of No. 2 Fairfax, No. 3 Westchester and No. 4 Palisades.

February 11, 2012|Eric Sondheimer

Former NBA guard Jason Hart, in his first season coaching high school basketball, has his Woodland Hills Taft team seeded No. 1 in the City Section Division I playoff pairings released Saturday.

The Toreadors (24-3) will open at home Friday night against No. 16 West Adams. Fairfax (19-9) received the No. 2 seeding, followed by No. 3 Westchester (20-6), No. 4 Palisades (16-10) and No. 5 Crenshaw (22-4).

"I'm using the knowledge I learned from many coaches," the 33-year-old Hart said. "People look at me and see I'm young. But I know a little about basketball, too."

Taft owns a win over No. 2 Fairfax and has been led by 6-foot-8 Anthony January, a transfer from Compton who became eligible in late December.

The seeding committee had to decide among Fairfax, Westchester and Palisades, who tied for first place in the Western League, and decided the Lions' sweep of Westchester, combined with a strong nonleague schedule, gave them the edge for the No. 2 spot.

One of the best early matchups should come in the quarterfinals, with an expected Palisades-Crenshaw meeting. And the winner would earn an automatic invitation to the state playoffs.

The semifinals will be Feb. 25 at Cal State Dominguez Hills, with the championship March 3 at Dominguez Hills.

Woodland Hills El Camino Real (18-7) received the top seeding in Division II. Van Nuys Grant (24-5) is seeded No. 1 in Division III. LACES is No. 1 in small schools.

In girls' pairings, Narbonne was seeded No. 1 and Fairfax No. 2 in Division I. Palisades received the top seeding in Division II, Gardena in Division III and Elizabeth in small schools.

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