Harvard-Westlake is no longer a young team. The Wolverines are all grown up and showed how much they've developed on Friday night, turning in a standout performance in the first half and then beating Pasadena, 68-58, in the Southern Section 1A championship game at Azusa Pacific.
The Wolverines used three freshmen and a sophomore at times. They opened a 42-22 halftime lead while turning in one of their best efforts of the season.
"We played real together," said freshman Johnny Juzang, who scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds. "We shared the ball. We left everything on the floor."
Cassius Stanley played under control and came through when his team needed him in the fourth quarter. He finished with 16 points and six assists.
Bryce Hamilton scored 30 points for Pasadena, which started all underclassmen and should be a top team for next season.
But Harvard-Westlake's future is also bright. Last season the Wolverines won a state Division IV championship. Now they've won a section title under second-year Coach David Rebibo and will go to the state Division II playoffs as one of the title contenders.
The Wolverines are on the rise. Two other freshmen, Mason Hooks and Terren Frank, also made key contributions. Hooks scored eight points and had five rebounds. Frank had nine points and three rebounds.
It's all coming together at the right time.