Harvard-Westlake High routed Chaminade, 79-35, Friday night at Chaminade to clinch at least a share of its third consecutive Mission League boys’ basketball title.
But it was the Wolverines’ defense that impressed.
Harvard-Westlake (26-1, 10-0 in league play), the defending state Division III champion and ranked No. 1 in the state by Cal Hi Sports, clamped down on Chaminade (17-6, 8-2) from the start.
The Wolverines leaped to a 19-9 first-quarter lead and ended the Eagles’ hopes of staying close by stretching the advantage to 49-18 by halftime.
In the third quarter, Chaminade was outscored, 19-3, managing only a three-point basket by reserve guard Robby Tanouye.
When it was over, guard Cayce Cook led the Eagles with nine points and no other starter had scored more than four.
“We wanted to come in here and establish our team defense right from the start,” said senior guard Ryan Smiley, who had 17 points.
Senior center Jason Collins led the Wolverines with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Jarron Collins, Jason’s twin, had 15 points and six rebounds. And each Collins delivered a pair of two-handed dunks.
The victory was Harvard-Westlake’s 24th consecutive league triumph and 57th in the past 61 games. It also was the second lopsided victory of a league foe in as many games. The Wolverines blasted Alemany, 119-52, on Wednesday.
With the playoffs approaching, however, Harvard-Westlake Coach Greg Hilliard said his team can expect the cakewalks to end.
“We try not to worry about the score and just play good basketball,” he said. “It’s a hard focus to keep all game long.”
Said Jarron Collins: “If we keep the intensity and focus up, we should be fine.”
Staying close was Chaminade’s plan. But the Eagles, who lost to Harvard-Westlake, 78-40, last month, unraveled by committing numerous turnovers.
Coach Jeff Young was whistled for a technical foul in the second quarter and junior forward Scott Long, who scored only three points, 11 fewer than his season average, was charged with a technical in the third quarter.
“Frustration,” Young said. “We really did expect to play better. We’re a lot better than the score indicates. But they’re just an awesome team.”
Junior guard Victor Munoz of Harvard-Westlake had 10 points and eight assists.
Reserve guard Michael Kokorowski of Chaminade scored six points to rank as the team’s second-leading scorer.