Taft, Dominguez, Narbonne, Poly, and View Park win titles
Jason Lewis | 3/5/2008, 5 p.m.
Taft took the title to their side of the hill with a 65-55 victory, and Narbonne kept the title on this side with a 68-57 win.
Tafts Larry Drew Jr., son of former Lakers guard Larry Drew, Sr., put on a show and was the driving force behind Tafts victory over defending City and State champion Fairfax. Drew, a point guard who is headed to North Carolina, spent most of the night in the paint as he scored 24 points and had six assists.
Drew drove the lane at will and made some acrobatic lay ups that were Kobe Bryant like, including one under the stretched-out arms of 6-foot-10 Renardo Sidney, who is the No. 1 junior in the nation.
Taft held an eight-point halftime lead, as they held Sidney to only four first-half points. Fairfax struggled to get the ball down to Sidney and they had to settle for a number of long-ranged jumpers.
Sidney picked his game up in the third quarter, where he scored 10 points and Fairfax closed the gap to three points. But Taft quickly rebuilt their lead and was up by double digits for most of the fourth period. Sidney finished with 23 points.
Tafts Justin Hawkins scored 13 points, and Eugene Phelps scored 11.
This is Tafts second title in recent years. They defeated Fairfax for the City title in 2004 with former UCLA Bruin and current Laker Jordan Farmer as their point guard. That season Fairfax went on to win the State title.
Taft is the clear favorite to win the State Division I title. They have routed Dominguez twice, they defeated Westchester earlier this season, and now they have defeated Fairfax.
In the girls bracket Narbonne has restored order in the City. They were stripped of their 2006 City title and banned from post-season play last year.
Last month they lost their first Marine League game in 12 years when Washington edged them out. After avenging their defeat to Washington, they captured their seventh City title, the last one coming in 2004.
Narbonnes Teiko Thomas scored 26 points, and Tipsea Moorer had 19.
In the small schools bracket View Parks boys and girls teams defeated LACES.
The View Park girls defeated LACES 54-43. View Park led by as many as 20 points in the game. Junior forward Shaneva Hayward led the team with 16 points, and Danielle Pruitt scored 15. Her sister, Natasha Pruitt, scored nine.
Jasmine Scott scored 18 points for LACES.
The View Park boys team had a rough start but they pulled away as they defeated LACES 67-49. View Park fell behind by 14 points in the second quarter, but sophomore guard Bryce Jones came off the bench to lead the comeback. Jones scored 33 points and had 14 rebounds.
In the Southern Section the Dominguez boys team proved why they were seeded No. 1 over Mater Dei, who was 31-0 and ranked second in the nation by USA Today.
Dominguez led by as much as 12 points in the first half and held off Mater Dei to win 63-60, giving Dominguez head coach Russell Otis his 11th Southern Section title.
Dominguezs junior forward, Jordan Hamilton, and senior guard, Bryce Cartwright, scored 16 points each.
In the girls division it looks like Long Beach Poly can be penciled in for their third State title in a row. After blasting Lynwood 57-32, top-seeded Poly routed No. 2 seed Long Beach Millikan 66-33.
It is no surprise that Poly won the game, but after the two teams split their two Moore League games during the regular season, it would have been hard to imagine Poly defeating Millikan by so many points.
This is Polys third Southern Section title in four years.
Polys Jasmine Dixon, who is headed to Rutgers, scored 14 points, and Monique Oliver and Ariya Williams scored 12 points each. Poly shot 44% from the field, while they held Millikan to only 19%. Dixon left the game midway through the third quarter because Poly was up by so many points.