Girls’ basketball: Harvard-Westlake vs. Long Beach Poly is Open Division showdown


All season, everyone has known that Long Beach Poly would reach the championship game in the Southern Section Open Division girls’ basketball tournament.

The Jackrabbits (24-3) have two of the top players in California in 6-foot-4 Ayanna Clark and 6-0 Jasmine Jones. The only question has been who would be Poly’s opponent?

Harvard-Westlake (25-3) is that opponent, and now the two teams will meet on Saturday at 8:45 p.m. at Honda Center.


Harvard-Westlake Coach Melissa Hearlihy has won six Southern Section titles and one state title in 34 seasons of coaching at Alemany and Harvard-Westlake. She knows what her team is up against, but she also has an impressive duo in the Ruffus-Milner twins, Jayda and Jayla.

“They’re good and they’re taller than the twins,” Hearlihy said of Poly’s duo, “but it’s not something we haven’t faced. What I like about the twins is they play like 6-1. They’re 5-8.”

Harvard-Westlake has a definite game plan.

“I think we’re going to do what we’ve done all year _ grind on defense and be patient on offense,” Hearlihy said. “We’re going to need to shoot well from the perimeter.”

For the latest on high school sports, follow @LATSondheimer on Twitter