Boys' basketball: Fairfax is City Open Division champion

For most of the night, the rubber match looked more like a mismatch.

Donald Gipson scored 18 points and Isaiah Ajiboye added 17 as Los Angeles Fairfax captured its seventh City Section title and fourth under Coach Harvey Kitani with a 56-47 victory over Westchester in the inaugural Open Division final Saturday night at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

"This is the best one," Kitani said. "These guys came out of nowhere! I thought we played solid defense tonight didn't make any stupid mistakes. We had no breakdowns."

Fairfax built a 27-17 halftime lead and stretched the margin to 14 points at the end of the third quarter.

Ellis Salahuddin made back-to-back three-pointers to pull 12-time City champion Westchester within seven with 49 seconds left, but the Comets got no closer than six the rest of the way. Keith Fisher, Jordan Terrell and L'Kielynn Taylor scored seven apiece for Westchester.

Lorne Currie added 10 points for Fairfax (30-2) in the first finals matchup between the Western League rivals since 2007. Westchester holds a 3-2 advantage, having beaten the Lions for the Division I title in 2002, 2003 and 2005.

Lindsey Drew didn't score until a putback layup with 5:32 left in the game and the Lions leading by 12. He finished with three points.

The teams split their league meetings this season, each winning on its home floor, but Fairfax rose to the challenge on the big stage Saturday.

Salahuddin scored 19 points, including five three-pointers, for the Comets (21-12), who lost in the finals for the second straight year. 

-- Steve Galluzzo

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