High school basketball fans might want to rent a helicopter to have the option of attending multiple championship games Saturday. There are four sites for Southern Section finals. L.A. Southwest College will host the City Section finals.
The Open Division matches best against best. In the Southern Section, for only the fourth time all season, Torrance Bishop Montgomery (24-5) is healthy. The Knights are 3-0 with their complete team. That means their No. 8 seeding is a little misleading and top-seeded Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (27-3) will need to be at its best for the 7:30 p.m. final at Cal Baptist University in Riverside.
“I think getting healthy has made us a better team,” Knights coach Doug Mitchell said.
Last season, Bishop Montgomery lost to Sierra Canyon in a pair of memorable playoff games, 77-74 in double overtime of the section semifinal and 72-70 in the regional final. Oregon State-bound guard Gianni Hunt is back in shape after an ankle injury. Montana-bound guard Josh Vazquez practiced this week after missing games last week.
Sierra Canyon is also at full strength. Terren Frank, who missed two months after a surgical procedure on his knee, is back in the starting lineup. The Trailblazers are known for their athleticism and scoring off of rebounds.
“They’re an incredible transition team,” Mitchell said.
In the Southern Section Open Division girls’ final (5 p.m. at Cal Baptist), Sierra Canyon (29-0) takes on L.A. Windward (24-5) in a rematch of a league game that Sierra Canyon won 66-57. The Trailblazers shut down UCLA-bound Charisma Osborne. Can it happen again?
In the City Section, Western League rivals Fairfax (26-1) and Westchester (23-3) will play for a third time this season when they meet for the Open Division title at 7:30 p.m. at L.A. Southwest College. Fairfax has won the first two times but the Comets are certainly capable of pulling off the upset and winning their 15th title under coach Ed Azzam.
Fairfax’s Steve Baik is trying to become the first coach to win City and Southern Section titles in the upper division. He coached Chino Hills to a 35-0 record in 2016.
Westchester (17-8) will play top-seeded Granada Hills (23-5) for the City Open Division girls’ title at 5 p.m. at L.A. Southwest College.
In other top games, the Southern Section Division 1 boys’ final (3 p.m. at Cal Baptist) matches Chino Hills and USC-bound Onyeka Okongwu against Santa Margarita and UCLA-bound Jake Kyman and USC-bound Max Agbonkpolo.
In Division 2AA, Lakewood Mayfair and top junior guard Josh Christopher takes on Rancho Cucamonga in a 4:30 p.m. final at Azusa Pacific.