In a dramatic ending, Taft holds off Washington Prep 72-70

Sophomore Ramel Lloyd of Taft finished with 29 points in a 72-70 win over Washington Prep.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

A City Section nonleague basketball game on Wednesday night was so well played, so intense and had such a dramatic ending that it easily could have been a semifinal playoff game. Host Taft and Washington Prep kept going back and forth in the fourth quarter, neither team willing to back down.

Washington, down by two points, worked for a final shot after getting the ball back following a Taft turnover with 23 seconds left. Joshua Lee drove to the basket from the left wing and scored on a layup with 1.3 seconds left but the officials took away the basket and ruled he committed an offensive foul, running into Myles Lofton. Taft held on for a 72-70 victory.

Washington Prep coach Jovante King insisted it should have been a blocking foul, with Lee being able to go to the free-throw line to win the game. It was a close call either way, but Taft had been taking charging fouls all night. The Toreadors took five offensive fouls.

The Toreadors (1-0) and coach Derrick Taylor will take a win that should be helpful when City Section Open Division playoff seedings are decided next year. Taft received an impressive debut from sophomore transfer Ramel Lloyd, who finished with 29 points. Taylor also should be beaming because his son, Langston, hit a key three in the fourth quarter and had 10 points.


Washington Prep unveiled an unsung player in senior D’Anthony Ward, who scored 29 points and made four threes. He didn’t play last season because he had to take care of his 9-year-old brother after the death of his mother. His poise and shooting skills boosted the Generals. This week, until he made his varsity debut, his basketball experience was limited to playing JVs at View Park Prep.

In other games, Servite (2-0) defeated Elsinore 55-38. Tajavis Miller scored 21 points and Kunal Bagga had 20 points.

Damien (2-0) defeated Esperanza 83-37. RJ Smith scored 16 points. Brentwood defeated Agoura 68-47. Brayden Thomas had 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Bishop Montgomery defeated Saugus 60-52. Isaiah Johnson scored 18 points. Adrian McIntyre led Saugus with 22 points. Redondo Union defeated Crenshaw 76-63.