Popscout takes a look at the LA City Section
Open Division Final Four Match-ups.
Saturday February 24, 2018
Roybal High School
1pm El Camino Real vs Granada Hills
3pm Fairfax vs Westchester
5pm Fairfax vs Taft
7pm Westchester vs Granada Hills
Girls Open Division Final Four:
El Camino Real (22-9, 8-2) vs Granada Hills Charter 25-4, 10-0)
The third match-up this year between these two city powers should provide players with more opportunities to become special. Long Beach State commit Kianna Hamilton-Fisher runs the point for El Camino, providing her team with enough athleticism and court ‘savviness’ that usually spells results for her ball-club. GHC has been their arch nemesis this year and years past. Sr. PG Emily Mitchell stands just 5’5 but brings the heart of a 7 footer. She does a wonderful job getting her team into their sets and providing offensive scoring punches when the game goes into later rounds (crunch time you feel me). Look for Kianna and Emily to become special and be the deciding factors on whether or not their team advances to the ‘Ship. There’s no ‘I’ in team, so players on each team will have to step up and support their star players in order for them to advance.
Westchester (24-8, 10-2) vs Fairfax (25-4, 12-0)
Fairfax has been flying under the radar – so to speak – all season long. Word on the street is that the Lions don’t appreciate all the talk about GHC and EL Camino when they are the defending City Champions (beat Palisades last year 82-80 in OT for the ‘Ship and semifinal victory over GHC 68-63 OT). The buck stops Saturday at Roybal, seeing who will play for this years Open Division City Section title and silence all the critics. Popscout didn’t get a chance to see either teams so we can’t comment too much. The Lions did defeat Westchester twice in league play to go undefeated as well as knocking off El Camino Real during the John Burroughs West Coast Tourney (Dec. 30, 61-54). Westchester is in the drivers seat until next weeks marquee match-up.
Boys Open Division Semifinal:
Fairfax (21-8, 11-1) vs Taft (26-7, 9-1)
Two of the best PG’s battle it out Saturday to see who’ll represent for a shot at the CIF La City Section title next week. Fairfax Sr. PG Jamal Hartwell is slippery when wet with the rock. Time will tell where this young man lands on the recruiting trail, after a good showing in this years’ playoffs. Taft PG Kihei Clark has already committed to Virginia so he’s focusing his attention on winning a ‘Ship – and nothing less. The X factor will be Fairfax big man Sr. F Kirk Smith and whether or not he can contain his emotions throughout the playoffs and step up big for his squad. This one might be a blowout if taft gets off to a slow start and can’t generate enough scoring. Kihei Clark will become special and keep Taft close. Ethan Anderson always enters a zone – Fairfax is hoping he can take his game to the next level and bring home the ‘Ship.
Westchester (28-5, 11-1) vs Granada Hills Charter (19-9, 7-3)
Westchester played a national schedule that allowed their players (and coaching staff) to truly gauge their level of play, against some of the big boys around the country. Look for this experience to prove huge dividends for the Comets at the end of the day. Granada Hills Charter pulls the bow and arrow on the regular, so look for them to come out with their guns blazing. If GHC can get into a groove and hit some shots , it could spell an upset in the making. Westchester has a pair of mid-sized bigs who eat with their mouths open, not caring if anyone else at the table sees their bad table manners. If the Comets begin to assert themselves down low, its a wrap. GHC must develop a game-plan that allows their players to reach maximum potential while being able to limit what the Comets bring to the table.
February 23, 2018
City Section Open Division Consolation games
Crenshaw vs El Camino Real 7pm
Willie West Pavilion – Crenshaw High
Girls CIFLA City Section
Carson vs North Hollywood 730p
Legacy vs LACES 6pm
Crenshaw (15-0, 12-0) vs Dorsey (17-7, 10-2) 730
Hamilton vs San Fernando 6pm
Venice High School
West Adams vs Contreras 7pm
Locke vs Reseda 7p
Animo Watts vs Math & Science College prep 5pm Lock High
New West Charter vs Triumph Charter 5pm
Gardena vs Harbor Tech 12pm
Bravo vs Jefferson 10:30a