First, females in the military. Now, girls in the War on the Floor.
The War on the Floor, the region's best boys' summertime tournament since 1996, welcomed girls to the event for the first time this week.
"I thought everything went very well," said Bort Escoto, boys' coach at Sylmar High and the tournament's director. "I'm pleased."
So was Harvard-Westlake, which defeated Fairfax, 50-35, on Saturday night at Pierce College to win the five-day, 38-game girls' tournament.
The boys' tournament, won by Inglewood with a 73-34 victory over Alemany, had 28 teams. Byron Joseph led Alemany with seven points.
"In the past, there's always been a boys' tournament at the start of the summer, but none for the girls," said Coach Cathi Cornell of Eagle Rock, the girls' tournament director. "This fills that void."
The War on the Floor hopes to increase participation from 16 to 24 girls' teams next year and establish itself as the ideal prelude to the Santa Clarita Shootout at College of the Canyons and the Bell-Jeff Summer Hoop Finale later this month.
"It's too early to say, but we'll probably be back," said Coach Brian Taylor of Harvard-Westlake. "To be able to come here and get six games in is really big for us."
The Wolverines marched past Marshall, Rolling Hills Prep, Taft, Chatsworth and Hart to reach the final.
Harvard-Westlake, 10-1 this summer after advancing to the state Division III final in March, was sparked by Rolake Bamgbose's 21 points. L'Tanya Robnett scored 12 points and Brooke Porter scored nine. All are returning starters.
But not all the news was good.
Junior guard Erin Stepheson left the game in the first half with a possible hyper-extended right knee.
Ashlee Dunlap scored 11 points for Fairfax and Allison Gonsalves scored 10.
In consolation championship games:
Cleveland 93, Westlake 75--Anthony Davis, a 6-foot-4 junior who is considering transferring from Locke, scored 30 points for Cleveland in the boys' consolation final.
Taft 51, Chaminade 47--Ashaya Murphy, among the top incoming freshmen in the region, scored 22 points to lead Taft in overtime in the Silver Division girls' consolation final.