Every win is sweet, but Saturday night’s victory over Harbor City Narbonne had to taste just a little sweeter for Westchester Coach Ed Azzam.
The top-seeded Comets captured their 13th City Section championship — and first in the Open Division — with a 51-42 triumph at Cal State Dominguez Hills, the exclamation point to a historic season for their longtime coach. In December, against the same team, Azzam notched his 804th career victory to pass Willie West of Crenshaw as the all-time winningest coach in City basketball history.
Azzam’s win total is now 822 and counting thanks to a 14-point performance from Western League most valuable player Keith Fisher.
Jamal Hicks scored 12 points and D’Mauria Jones added 11 for the second-seeded Gauchos (23-7), who were seeking their first City title since winning the Division II championship in 2011.
Chris Kendrick scored 16 points, including three three-pointers, and Crenshaw won the Division I title with a 61-52 victory over Hamilton.
It was the Cougars’ first section championship since 1997, when they captured the last of their 16 City titles under West, who retired 10 years later with 803 career victories.
Crenshaw Coach Ed Waters became only the second coach in the program’s history to win a City title, and he accepted the trophy from his mother, Rep. Maxine Waters.
Fourth-seeded Crenshaw (19-12), which tied View Park for third place in the Coliseum League, began to pull away in the second quarter on a fastbreak layup by Tyral Garrett and a three-pointer by Kendrick. The Cougars maintained a 10-point cushion for most of the second half.
Senior Louis Walker scored 22 points to lead the Yankees (12-17), who were seeking their third City title in four years under Coach Mark Mizuno.
Lincoln held off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by Robert F. Kennedy Community to win, 80-75, in the Division III final. Jesus Martinez scored 24 points and Devin Handford and Jamal Cole each had 16 for the top-seeded Tigers (18-7), who led 46-31 at halftime.
Miguel Garcia finished with a game-high 32 points and Victor Kim added 20 for Robert F. Kennedy (20-8).