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High School Sports

Sierra Canyon prevails over Harvard-Westlake in front of an A-list crowd

Lakers star LeBron James celebrates March 7, 2020, at the playoff game between Sierra Canyon and Harvard-Westlake at Pepperdine.
Lakers star LeBron James gets on his feet Saturday at the regional playoff game between Sierra Canyon and Harvard-Westlake at Pepperdine.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

When Drake, Maverick Carter and LeBron James are sitting courtside together at a high school basketball game, you know it’s just another day in Los Angeles.

Welcome to the era of Chatsworth Sierra Canyon basketball.

Pepperdine’s Firestone Fieldhouse was filled to capacity of more than 3,000 on Saturday night for the Southern California Open Division semifinal regional playoff game between Sierra Canyon and Studio City Harvard-Westlake.

As Terren Frank and Amari Bailey delivered consecutive dunks in the second quarter for Sierra Canyon, the A-list celebrities started getting excited. By halftime, the Trailblazers’ lead was nine points. When the final buzzer sounded, Sierra Canyon prevailed 75-65 to advance to play Etiwanda in Tuesday’s regional final at Cal State Northridge.

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Bailey finished with 22 points, Ziaire Williams 18 and Harold Yu 18. Mason Hooks and Brase Dottin each scored 18 points for Harvard-Westlake.

Sierra Canyon (29-4) has won 17 consecutive playoff games since 2018, and there’s no sign the talent-laden Trailblazers are going to lose anytime soon. After a Bailey reverse dunk in the fourth quarter, Drake was shouting something to him as if he were at a Toronto Raptors game.

Harvard-Westlake played well and was within 53-50 with 6:28 left after Dottin made his fifth three of the game. Then the Trailblazers went on a 9-0 surge, with Williams scoring seven in a row.

“Fourth quarter, I said, ‘I’m not missing.’ I just took over,” Williams said.

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Williams used to lose to Harvard-Westlake when he was playing for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. “I’m not going to lie. They used to beat up on me,” he said.

But he’s now on a team with many more weapons. One big uncertainty is whether the state championships will be played next weekend in Sacramento.

Sacramento Sheldon, the No. 1 seed in the Northern California Open Division regional, was forced to withdraw from a semifinal game on Saturday night after the Elk Grove Unified School District announced it had canceled all classes and school activities for a week following the disclosure that a family in the district is under quarantine related to the coronavirus.

The CIF announced that Sheldon’s scheduled opponent, Dublin, will advance to Tuesday’s regional final. That means the Southern California champion will be a heavy favorite in the final if the games take place. As of Saturday, the CIF says the tournament is on but coronavirus developments are being monitored daily.

Etiwanda advanced with a 65-61 win over Santa Ana Mater Dei behind Camren Pierce, who scored 19 points.

In Open Division girls semifinals, Los Angeles Windward defeated Long Beach Poly 44-41 and will travel to face No. 1-seeded La Jolla Country Day, a 54-44 winner over Etiwanda. Michelle Duchemin led Windward with 18 points, including 14 of 14 from the free-throw line.

In the battle of downtown Los Angeles teams for the Division I boys’ soccer regional championship, Cathedral defeated Loyola 4-1 at Redondo Union. JP Olmos, Jonathan Carrillo, Alejandro Mendez and Jason Argueta scored goals for the Phantoms.

Upland defeated San Juan Capistrano JSerra 3-2 in Division I girls.


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