Westchester and Fairfax, two Western League rivals who have been considered the top boys' basketball teams in the City Section this season, were seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the eight-team Open Division playoff pairings released Saturday.
They split their two league meetings and could face off a third time in the championship game March 3 at Cal State Dominguez Hills. But there are potential obstacles ahead.
Marine League champion Narbonne is seeded No. 4 and is much improved since losing to Westchester by 18 points in the third game of the season. Transfers Jordan Griffin and Malik Muhammad have adjusted to their Gauchos teammates, and freshman Zion Sutton has come on strong. A Westchester-Narbonne semifinal is a distinct possibility.
Fairfax, led by guards Ethan Anderson and Jamal Hartwell, has gained momentum after its league victory last month over Westchester. A semifinal game against No. 3-seeded Taft would fit the Lions well, since both teams rely on guard play.
The big challenge in the Open Division was choosing a No. 8 seed, for if a team wasn't picked, it would be seeded No. 1 in Division I. El Camino Real got the nod over View Park Prep.
The schedule: No. 8 Birmingham at No. 1 Westchester; No. 7 El Camino Real at No. 2 Fairfax; No. 6 Crenshaw at No. 3 Taft; No. 5 Granada Hills at No. 4 Narbonne. The semifinals will be Feb. 24 at Roybal High.
View Park Prep was seeded No. 1 in Division I and Fremont No. 2.
Fairfax is the No. 1 seed in the girls' Open Division playoffs. Granada Hills is No. 2, El Camino Real No. 3 and Westchester No. 4.
Here's the link for complete pairings.