It wasn't exactly the kind of start Garfield wanted in a game that would likely decide the Eastern League championship. The Bulldogs fell behind, 9-0, to Bell on Monday on their home court.
But when Alexis Farias, a junior guard, started to heat up from outside, the Bulldogs settled down and secured a 54-43 victory to take over sole possession of first place with two games to play.
Farias finished with 27 points. Also making major contributions was Stevie Williams, Garfield's football quarterback. He had 11 points. Garfield is 16-7 and 9-1. Bell is 14-7 and 8-2.
Sun Valley Poly clinched the East Valley League championship with a 59-41 win over Verdugo Hills. Cesar Reyes had 19 points and 10 assists. North Hollywood defeated Chavez, 62-47. Sean Fernandez had 25 points.
Fairfax and Westchester each won convincingly to set up a Western League title showdown for Wednesday at Westchester. Fairfax (26-1) defeated Venice, 92-50. Donald Gipson scored 21 points, Babacar Thiombane had 14 points and Jeremy Hamilton 13. Westchester defeated University, 60-40. Keith Fisher led the Comets with 20 points. Cushan Allen had 12 points for Uni.
In the Coliseum League, Dorsey clinched at least a share of the league title with a 69-44 win over View Park. Tommie Groce had 18 points. The Dons are 20-5 and 10-0. They close with games on Wednesday against Crenshaw and Friday against Fremont. Fremont defeated Manual Arts, 56-48. Marquis McKinzy scored 17 points.