Brentwood outlasts Crossroads in 2AA title game

There aren’t many times that Brentwood guard Charley Wadler finds himself behind the three-point line without a defender rushing toward him.

When the 5-foot-10 senior prepared to launch a three-pointer with 1:30 left in the game, he hesitated a bit, expecting a Crossroads defender lurking inside the three-point line to at least get a hand up.

No hand was raised and no one rushed, so Wadler pulled the trigger from 25 feet out and drained it to give Brentwood a six-point lead.

“He just stood there so I shot it,” said Wadler, who scored 10 points. “I thought it was kind of disrespectful.”


Wadler turned to the crowd with his arms up and a slight shoulder shrug, and Brentwood rode that momentum to a 48-41 victory over Gold Coast League foe Crossroads in the CIF-SS Division 2AA championship game Saturday at Azusa Pacific.

It was second straight Southern Section title for the Eagles, who beat Burbank last season in the 3AA championship game in the same building.

Brentwood coach Ryan Bailey said he nearly prevented Wadler’s moment from happening.

“I told Charley I was half a second from calling a timeout,” he said. “Then I saw the guy didn’t close out, I pulled my timeout back. Talk about nails.”

It was the second big moment for the Wadler family Saturday. Earlier, Charley’s sister, Sammy, a freshman on the girls’ team, made a game-tying three-pointer before coming up with a steal and game-winning layup in the 4AA title game against Foothill Technology.

The Eagles (24-7) avenged two league losses to Crossroads this season (each by four points) by using a defensive scheme that focused on shutting down Crossroads forward Shareef O’Neal, a UCLA commit.

“We made it a point to have somebody else beat us,” Bailey said. “We made sure to always keep a body on Shareef.”

The strategy worked well for Brentwood as O’Neal finished with just nine points on three-of-nine shooting. D.J. Houston scored a game-high 19 points for Crossroads (20-9) but he only made nine of 25 shots.

Junior Braelee Albert was one of the key reasons O’Neal was held at bay. The 6-foot-5 forward pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds, which helped limit the Roadrunners to mostly one-shot possessions. Albert also led Brentwood in scoring with 14 points.

Brentwood and Crossroads both will take part in Division II state playoffs. Those seedings will be announced Sunday.