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State basketball: Jason Crowe Jr. leads Lynwood to Division V title

Freshman Jason Crowe Jr. of Lynwood High gets focused along the sideline before the Division V state championship game.
Freshman Jason Crowe Jr. of Lynwood scored 36 points to lead his team to a Division V state championship basketball game at Golden 1 Center on Friday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)
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With NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce sitting behind the bench while smiling in his fashionable shades, Lynwood High‘s group of talented freshmen, led by 14-year-old Jason Crowe Jr., put on an NBA-like show at the home of the Sacramento Kings on Friday afternoon to win the state Division V boys’ basketball championship 89-58 over Tollhouse Sierra.

It might be the start of something big since Lynwood started four freshmen.

“We set a goal before they leave to be in the Open Division,” Lynwood coach Jason Crowe Sr. said afterward.

His son, averaging 34 points, scored 36 in the win. Crowe Jr. made a three-pointer from well beyond the top of the key in the third quarter that would have had LaMelo Ball cheering. Another freshman, Chace Holley, scored 24 points, making 10 of 13 shots.

Crowe Sr. called his son “the best player in the state” and admitted he might be sounding “a little LaVar Ball-ist.”

“We keep waiting for him to not have a great game,” he said. “He doesn’t do it. It’s been amazing to watch.”

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Crowe Jr. picked up his third foul in the second quarter and his father didn’t remove him to prevent a possible fourth foul in the first half. He went out briefly but soon returned and didn’t commit another foul.

“He knew I would get it done,” Crowe Jr. said. “I knew I couldn’t get another foul. Me and him have a bond, we can trust each other.”

Crowe’s 36 points ties the Division V state record and ranks behind only Glendora’s Tracy Murray (64 points), Cloverdale’s Craig McMillan (37) and Santa Margarita’s Klay Thompson (37) for most in a title game. Crowe finished the season with 1,295 points, third most in state history.

Jason Crow Jr. (left) and his father coach, Jason Crowe Sr. of Lynwood after winning state Division V championship.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Logan Kilbert scored 19 points for Sierra, a school of 315 that received a police escort from its local law enforcement. It was Lynwood’s first boys’ state title.

Division IV girls

L.A. Shalhevet 50, San Anselmo San Domenico 46: Avenging a loss in last year’s Division V final, Shalhevet received 21 points and 13 rebounds from junior Yalee Schwartz to win the first state championship in school history for the orthodox Jewish school. Arielle Grossman had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Both were members of last year’s team that lost to San Domenico.

“We worked for 365 days to get back here,’’ coach Ryan Coleman said.

Division III girls

Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos 65, Colfax 48: Freshman guard Jackie Polk shredded Colfax for 30 points in the Division III championship game. That tied the state record for most points in a Division III final.

“Jackie is a special talent,” coach Dawnesha Buckner said.

Division III boys

Oakland 59, Ventura Buena 43: Down 9-0 to start the game, Buena (31-6) could never adjust to Oakland’s quickness in dropping the Division III final. Money Williams scored 22 points for Oakland. Zane Carter led Buena with 19 points.

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“Took the wrong night to go cold offensively,” Buena coach Matt Colton said.

Division I girls

Oakland Tech 75, Corona Santiago 52: Despite 21 points from McKinley Willardson, the Sharks were beaten in the Division I final.

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