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Can Washington Prep or Birmingham prevent a Fairfax-Westchester final?

Can Washington Prep or Birmingham prevent a Fairfax-Westchester final?
Guards Jeremiah Turley (left) and Jordan Brinson lead Westchester. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

The big question for Saturday’s City Section Open Division basketball semifinals at Venice High is can Washington Prep or Birmingham prevent an expected championship game between Fairfax and Westchester?

Washington takes on Fairfax at 7:30 p.m., with Westchester playing Birmingham at 5:30 p.m.

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Washington and Birmingham have both played enough tough teams during the regular season to be capable of winning if Westchester and Fairfax take them lightly.

Washington is 20-6 and has four players averaging in double figures in Hansen Clark, Noel Scott, Bilal Mike and DeShawn Johnson. This is a team that fears no one. Fairfax will need strong performances from its trio of guards _ Ethan Anderson, Robert McRae and Keith Dinwiddie.

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Birmingham is 16-10 and won the West Valley League. Corey Cofield, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, emerged as the best player in league play and could be rejoined by his brother, Elisha, a 6-5 junior who has been sidelined with a hand injury. The Patriots like a quick tempo, so Westchester better be careful.

But Birmingham has no big man to challenge Westchester’s Kaelen Allen. And Comet guards Jeremiah Turley and Jordan Brinson are veterans and used to playoff competition.

The winners will advance to next Saturday’s championship game at L.A. Southwest College.

The Open Division girls’ semifinals also will be held on Saturday at Venice. It will be rivalry games.

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Narbonne will play Westchester at 2 p.m., followed by Granada Hills taking on El Camino Real at 3:30 p.m. Throw out the seeding when rivalry games take place. Anything can happen.

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