High school basketball is about guard play these days, and Fairfax High has three future NCAA Division I guards in Lorne Currie, Lindsey Drew and Donald Gipson, making it difficult for opponents.
Each made tough shots, slammed home at least one dunk and played strong defense Friday night to help the Lions begin play in the Open Division of the Southern California regionals with a 75-53 victory over Orange Lutheran.
The Lions (31-2) will play Etiwanda in Tuesday's semifinals at home. Etiwanda held off El Cajon Foothills Christian, 56-55.
Currie scored 16 points and had seven rebounds and four assists. Gipson had 13 points and Drew added 10 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Two other Fairfax guards, Isaiah Ajiboye and Antoine Monroe, added 12 and eight points, respectively.
"When you have any kind of players that play smart and intelligently, it makes the game easier for your team, and these guys did that collectively tonight," Coach Harvey Kitani said.
It wasn't as if Orange Lutheran (24-5) didn't have good guards itself. Rogers Printup finished with 22 points and CJ Hankins had 17.
But the Lions put together too many spurts. They opened a 10-0 lead to start the game, had an 11-0 surge in the third quarter and started the fourth quarter with another 10-0 run.
There also was an intriguing battle of future Division I football players. UCLA-bound Keisean Lucier-South of Orange Lutheran and Texas El Paso-bound Foster Dixson of Fairfax were banging each other inside hustling for rebounds and loose balls.
Fairfax, the City Section Open Division champion seeded No. 2, continues to display unselfish play that keeps the Lions in gear when shots aren't dropping.
"I love this team," Currie said. "It's one of the funnest teams I've ever been on. We get along on and off the court, and it makes it easy because of the bond we have."
Top-seeded Torrance Bishop Montgomery received 29 points from Stephen Thompson Jr. in a 75-61 win over San Diego St. Augustine and will be the home team in the semifinals tentatively Wednesday against Santa Ana Mater Dei at Redondo.