In Long Run, Chatsworth Not So Short


Marcel Wilson played perhaps his best game Wednesday. His front-court pal, Tarik Hill, kept up his end of the bargain too.

Good thing, because Chatsworth High is suddenly running low on players.

If not us, who?

“We don’t have many guys left,” Wilson said. “We’re down to basically our starting five.”

But a high five they are. Despite losing three players in the past week to academic ineligibility, Chatsworth showed it is still the class of the North Valley League by downing Cleveland, 67-55, Wednesday to clinch a share of the league championship.

Last week, Chatsworth lost starting swingman Trenell Floyd, the team’s second-leading scorer. Two top reserves, sophomore forward T.J. McCoy and freshman guard Isaiah Thomas, were felled by the academic ax this week.


All of which bothered Wilson and Hill not a bit. Wilson, a senior forward, scored 25 points and Hill added 16 as the Chancellors (12-7, 4-1 in league play) ensured themselves of the league’s top seeding when the playoffs begin in two weeks.

Chatsworth can win the title outright with a victory over last-place Kennedy (7-10, 2-3) on Friday. The Chancellors may be down to the few and the proud, but maybe there’s something to be said for familiarity.

“I think we’re at our peak right now,” Hill said. “I think we’re ready for the playoffs.”

Chatsworth was definitely ready for Cleveland, thinning ranks or not. Chatsworth, with 10 players in uniform, had to scramble for replacements on occasion.

Sophomore center Eddie Miller, who scored 10 points, suffered a cut on his right arm in the third quarter and was automatically removed because he was bleeding. Chatsworth didn’t have any bandages at courtside, so seldom-used Alvaro Camas had to fill in for Miller and made one of two free throws.

Free throws were definitely Cleveland’s undoing. The Cavaliers, who spotted Chatsworth a 15-4 lead in the first quarter, nonetheless stayed within striking range into the fourth quarter. With Chatsworth holding a 61-51 lead with 1 minute 42 seconds remaining, Hill fouled out.

However, Louis Fernandez, who scored 16 points, missed two free throws and it got only worse. Cleveland (12-7, 3-2) missed its last five free throws, including an airball by Edtwaun Adams with 1:21 left. In all, the Cavaliers made six of 16 at the line.


“It was getting a little close down the stretch,” Hill said. “I was getting kind of nervous.”

Wilson, however, already had given Chatsworth a commanding lead with a superlative third quarter. The transfer from Granada Hills scored 14 points in the quarter, two fewer than Cleveland.