Without Cassius Stanley ’19 for a second consecutive game due to a concussion, the Wolverines were able to defeat the Serra Cavaliers 47-43 in the CIF Division IV Regional Semifinals to advance to the championship game on Saturday where they will face Viewpoint at Colony High School at 4 p.m.
Serra, who won the CIF Southern Section Division 4-AA championship over Notre Dame, came into the matchup with the Wolverines on an eight-game winning streak, seven of which came in the playoffs.
It was a tightly contested defensive battle throughout, with the referees letting both teams get away with seemingly anything in terms of physicality.
In the first quarter, the Wolverines were helped by L Simpson ’19, who replaced Stanley in the starting lineup. Simpson finished the first quarter with six of his eight total points, propelling Harvard-Westlake to a 15-13 lead at the end of one.
However, spanning between both the first and second quarters, the Cavaliers went on a 7-0 run and took an 18-15 lead.
After a low-scoring second quarter, which saw the Wolverines score only nine points, Serra led 25-24.
The third quarter was also back-and-forth, with Harvard-Westlake again scoring only nine points; however, the Cavaliers continued to cling to a 35-33 lead after three periods of play.
The game continued to be extremely tight until the Wolverines took a 41-36 lead on a Ray Mueller ’17 layup with just over two minutes remaining.
However, the Cavaliers were not ready for their playoff magic to end, and fought back, knotting the game up at 43 with 31 seconds left on a three pointer.
Carter Begel ’17 and Wolfgang Novogratz ’16 were both fouled in the final seconds and drained all four of their free throw attempts to cement the Wolverines place in the Regional Finals.
Novogratz finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, Begel had 10 points as well, Simpson ended with eight and Henry Vogel ’16 scored seven points.
Stanley has been cleared to play in the Regional Finals this Saturday.