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Big crowd sees Fairfax topple Sierra Canyon, 64-47

Eric Sondheimer
Contact ReporterVarsity Times Insider
Second-ranked Fairfax shows it's the real deal by beating top-ranked Sierra Canyon

Except for a Southern Section or City Section championship game, there have been few high school basketball games quite like the hyped event in a sold-out Fairfax High gym on Saturday night.

Fans who got in seemed in hoops heaven, getting the chance to see Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, ranked No. 1 in Southern California, take on No. 2 Fairfax. Dozens were left stranded outside unable to get a ticket.

What was learned is that Fairfax's 23-0 record is no fluke. The Lions routed Sierra Canyon, 64-47. They're off to their best start since the Chris Mills-led, unbeaten-regular-season team in 1987.

"It's not over yet," junior guard Donald Gipson said. "This is just the beginning."

Gipson scored 18 points, Lorne Currie had 13 and Lindsey Drew 10. Fairfax made eight three-pointers and did a good job defensively to limit the fastbreak opportunities for Sierra Canyon (16-2). Cody Riley scored 14 points and Adam Seiko 13 for the Trailblazers.

"We were fortunate to play good team defense helping each other," Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said.

Fairfax led by seven points at halftime and by 14 points through three quarters.

The Lions have developed the kind of chemistry combined with talent to make them one of the best teams in California.

But they haven't even clinched the Western League title just yet.

"We really haven't done anything," Kitani said. "There's still a month and a half left in the season."

It was an impressive week of gaining four wins, including a victory over rival Westchester. But the Lions face more tests next week, with a game against Santa Ana Mater Dei on Saturday as part of the Nike Extravaganza.

They're picking up lots of fans along the way. Flea, co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Lions' No. 1 fan, brought along his friend, Steve Nash, to a game Friday. Mills, the former NBA player, was sitting courtside Saturday.

There were nine games played on Saturday at Fairfax, and one of the best individual performances was by Oregon State-bound Stephen Thompson Jr., who scored 37 points to help Torrance Bishop Montgomery (23-1) defeat Los Angeles Loyola, 94-34.

Another big matchup saw Los Angeles Price defeat Lawndale, 68-62, in a game that featured three players 6 feet 9 or taller and more than a dozen dunks. Roderick Williams scored 17 points for Price. USC-bound Chimezie Metu scored 21 points for Lawndale.

Follow Eric Sondheimer on Twitter @LATSondheimer

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