How deep is the Westchester High boys’ basketball team?

The Comets played without starters Jason Hart, a 6-foot guard, and Damon Smith, a 6-3 forward, and beat Los Angeles, 90-48, and Venice, 93-81, last week to extend their winning streak to 14 games. Jarvis Young, a 6-2 forward, and Kelly Washington, a 6-0 forward, started in place of Hart and Smith, who did not play because of disciplinary reasons.

Young, a 6-2 forward, was especially impressive with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Los Angeles and 13 points and 11 rebounds against Venice.

Coach Ed Azzam was impressed with his team’s play.

“The enthusiasm is still there and the players know no one is going to hand them a win,” he said.


The Comets, ranked No. 3 in the Southland, are expected to be seeded second when the City Section playoffs begin Feb. 23. Could they meet defending champion Crenshaw in the finals?

“We have a long way to go before we can think about Crenshaw,” Azzam said.


Fairfax hopes to get use of its main gym starting next week. The Lions have been forced to practice and play away from home because their athletic facilities have been used as a Red Cross Shelter in the aftermath of the Jan. 17 earthquake.

The Lions will play a makeup home game today against Venice at Loyola Marymount University.

In a Western League game between the teams last week, Fairfax romped to a 99-60 win.

“That was our best game of the year,” Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said.

Tony Davis and Shaphan Roberts, both 6-2 guards, have made significant improvements offensively. Each has been scoring in double figures the past three games.


From the don’t believe everything you hear department. Fairfax football star Az-Zahir Hakim has not signed a football scholarship with San Diego State. In fact, the multipurpose player needs to pass his college entrance examination to qualify under NCAA regulations.

“There have been a lot of rumors floating around, but he hasn’t signed,” Coach Terrell Ray said. “Even if he does pass the (entrance exam), it’s debatable whether he will sign with San Diego State.”


Ray did say that running back Tyrone Evans signed with the Aztecs and defensive back/quarterback Myron Terry signed with Colorado State.

Evans, who led the area in rushing with 1,434 yards, was recruited as running back by the Aztecs. Ray, a former USC football player, said Evans is impressed with new Aztec Coach Ted Tollner, a former USC coach and NFL assistant.

“I think the fact that Marshall Faulk did well at San Diego State and that his parents can drive down almost every weekend to see him play were also factors,” Ray said.


Campbell Hall’s 6-11 center Alex Lopez can pose defensive problems for opposing teams, but Crossroads did not have any trouble slowing down the Washington-bound senior during last week’s home-and-away series.

Kejuan Woods, a 6-5 sophomore, was assigned to defend Lopez. In the first game, Lopez had only two points in the first half and 16 in the game. Woods had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

In the second game, Lopez had 14 points, but only two points in the second half. Woods had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.


Crossroads won both games, 63-59 and 68-61.


The St. Bernard girls’ basketball team needed strong play from its tallest players to have a chance at beating first-place Alemany in a Mission League game. Olympia Scott, a 6-2 forward, came through with 17 points and 18 rebounds. Marte Alexander, a 6-4 center, finished with only four points and five rebounds.

The result was a 52-47 loss to Alemany.

“I have to admit that overall they’re a better team,” St. Bernard Coach Lori Pawinski said. “They have five good all-around players.”

The Vikings (19-5), however, do not have to worry about Alemany when it comes to postseason play. The Warriors will be a seeded team in the Southern Section Division II-A playoffs and the Vikings will be in Division IV-AA.


The Crossroads girls’ team has developed a few more offensive threats to go along with Sherrise Smith.

On Friday, Yasmeen Yamini-Benjamin, a 5-10 junior forward, had 18 points and 22 rebounds and Erin Irving scored 19 points to lead Crossroads to a 70-22 victory over Campbell Hall.

“This team is playing well together,” said Roadrunner Coach Larry Wiener, who earned his 200th career victory with the win. “The passing is really sound and we’re spreading the ball around.”


Smith, however, still scored her points, totaling 65 in three games. She is averaging 18.3 for the season.