Before Chatsworth High's semifinal basketball game against Crossroads on Friday in the Chaminade tournament, Chancellor Coach Sandy Greentree expressed concern about his team's ability to stop Crossroads' offense.
It turned out that Greentree's concerns were not warranted. The Chancellors responded with a strong defensive effort to defeat the Roadrunners, 70-55, and advance to the championship game tonight at 7:30 against Riordan of San Francisco.
"We went into this game with two goals," Greentree said. "The main thing was a concentrated effort on shutting down their big man (center Austin Croshere) and, secondly, a balanced offense."
The Chancellors limited the 6-foot-9 Croshere to 13 points, while four Chatsworth players scored in double digits--Ken Manor (20), Brady Mertes (16) Christian Dunbar (12) and Dennis Byrd (10).
Chatsworth (9-3) held the Roadrunners (3-5) to seven points in the first quarter and broke a 7-7 tie with 11 consecutive points for an 18-7 lead entering the second period.
Crossroads, which trailed at intermission, 28-23, cut the lead to three points early in the second half when Bakir Allen, son of former UCLA and Los Angeles Laker player Lucius Allen, hit a short jump shot. But Chatsworth countered with a 6-0 run to open the lead to 34-25, and the Roadrunners did not get closer than five points. Allen led Crossroads with 21 points.
In other games:
Chaminade 61, Vintage 54--The Eagles (5-6) reached the consolation final as Bobby Holland tallied 24 points to lead the way. Ted Corcoran added 11 points for Chaminade, which will play Harvard-Westlake.
Harvard-Westlake 81, Granada Hills 74--Forward Shelton Simmons scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but the Highlanders (3-9) were eliminated from the tournament.
Greg Peters paced the Wolverines (7-4) with 21 points, and Tarlin Ray and J.W. Hobson each added 13 points.
Riordan 64, St. Monica 60--Junior center Jaha Wilson continued to dominate the field with 26 points, leading the Crusaders (7-4) into the final. Wilson has scored 59 points in two tournament games.