Etiwanda and Havard Westlake win Southern Section Championships

In two matchups of the best high school basketball teams in Southern California, the girls and boys CIF Southern Section Open Division Championships were held at the Fowler Events Center on the campus of California Baptist University in Riverside. The games were played on Friday Night, February 23rd.

In the first game of the evening, Etiwanda high school Eagles of Rancho Cucamonga easily defeated the Sierra Canyon high school Trailblazers of Chatsworth, 65-44. The win improved the Eagles to 29-3 for the season.

Etiwanda was led by 6-foot-3 junior center Grace Knox, who scored 19 points and 12 rebounds, despite picking up her fourth foul in the third quarter. McDonald’s All-American Kennedy Smith scored 13 points and added 11 rebounds. Smith, a 6-foot-1 forward, is the top-rated player in the state of California and has committed to play her college basketball at USC.

Knox and Smith were too-much physically for the Trailblazers to handle. Point guard Mykelle Richards and 6-foot-2 power forward Aliyahna Morris each added 13 points for the Eagles.

The Trailblazers were led by Jerzey Robinson with 17 points and 15 rebounds. A strong Eagle defense held the Trailblazers to 15 of 60 shooting from the field, including 0 for 14 from three-point range. The Trailblazers are 30-2 for the season.

On the boys’ side in the second game, the Harvard Westlake Wolverines took control of the game early in the first quarter and while they could never completely shake the Eastvale Roosevelt Mustangs, they never lost the lead in route to a 54-47 victory over the Mustangs.

Four-star forward Nikolas Khamenia scored 15 points in the game, eight in the first quarter when the Eagles took control. The 6-foot-8 Khamenia has offers from a wide variety of top basketball schools, including Gonzaga, Kansas, and UCLA.

Harvard bound guard Robert Hinton matched Khamenia with 15 points and USC bound point guard Trent Perry, a McDonald’s All-American, added 13 points. The Wolverines led 17-11 after the first quarter and 33-27 at halftime, and they took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter on a three-point shot from UCLA bound forward Christian Horry.

The Mustangs cut the lead to 50-47 with 38 seconds remaining, but the Wolverines hung on despite two missed free throws by Perry. Colorado State bound shooting guard Darnez Slater led the Mustangs with 18 points. Harvard Westlake with the win improves to 30-3 for the season, while the Eastvale Roosevelt Eagles fell to 30-3 for the season.


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