Mariah Blake leads Westchester past Crenshaw and into City Section Open Division final

Mariah Blake portrait photo.
Mariah Blake scored 16 points for Westchester in its City Section Open Division girls’ basketball semifinal win over Crenshaw on Saturday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

When it comes to fast twitch, 5-foot-10 junior Mariah Blake of Westchester is in another world.

When she engages her leg muscles and decides to jump, the spring is so fast it’s like a frog leaping out of water.

“We call her a unicorn,” Westchester girls’ basketball coach Dominic Grimes said. “We can’t explain some of the things she does.”


Blake scored 16 points Saturday to help the Comets (28-1) advance to the City Section Open Division championship game with a 56-46 win over Western League rival Crenshaw at Pasadena City College. The Comets also got 15 points from Ron’yae Jackson and 13 points from Rylei Waugh, who made six consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter.

The Wolverines won’t be playing for the Southern Section Open Division title, but an even bigger prize is still very much in sight.

Feb. 17, 2023

Westchester, the No. 2 seed, will face top-seeded Granada Hills (25-4) in next Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game at PCC.

Granada Hills defeated King/Drew 43-37 in the other semifinal. Marianne Boco finished with 16 points and Krystal Pineda 14 points for the Highlanders.

Granada Hills coach Jared Honig said his team will need to focus on boxing out to handle the Comets’ athleticism.

“We have to match their physicality,” Honig said.

High schools have gone to online ticketing, creating issues for senior citizens who don’t use smartphones or computers.

Feb. 17, 2023

Sierra Canyon 89, Sage Hill 45: The Trailblazers improved to 29-0 and won their pool to advance to next Saturday’s Southern Section Open Division championship game at 6 p.m. at Honda Center. Juju Watkins had 29 points and 14 rebounds.

Etiwanda 71, Mater Dei 58: Kennedy Smith scored 26 points and Aliyahna Morris had 20 to help the Eagles win their pool and earn a spot in the Open Division final against Sierra Canyon, matching the top two seeds. Last season, Etiwanda was unbeaten and beat Sierra Canyon in the final, then lost to the Trailblazers in the regional playoffs. This time Sierra Canyon is unbeaten and Etiwanda is 28-2.


Ontario Christian 74, Bishop Montgomery 70: Chloe Briggs became the Southern Section all-time career scoring leader after a 42-point performance in a victory. She moved past former Riverside Poly star Cheryl Miller, who scored 3,446 points. Briggs needed 32 points to break the record.

Orange Lutheran 78, Chaminade 68: Princess Cassell scored 18 points to help Orange Lutheran to advance to the Southern Section Division 1 championship game. The Lancers will play Marlborough, a 63-44 winner over Rosary.

Hart 68, San Juan Hills 65: Morgan Mack scored 30 points and Laney Grider 19 to help the Indians advance to the 2AA championship game as the seek their first title since 2006.

Brentwood 52, Mark Keppel 33: The Eagles advanced to the 2A championship game.