Wolverines top Diamond Bar, advance to tournament championship

Point guard Alex Copeland ’15 continued to score at will, point guard Ali Iken ’17 had one of the finest offensive performances of his varsity career, and the varsity boys’ basketball team pulled away in the second half to win its second consecutive nationally streamed game with a 74-47 win over Diamond Bar (8-4 overall, 0-0 in Palomares League) to stay in title contention of the Gatorade Division of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.

As has been customary this season, Copeland led the Wolverines in scoring; the CIF-SS Division 4AA scoring leader continued his impressive season with a staggering 30 points on 10-for-21 from the field in today’s matchup, while also adding four assists and four steals. Iken had his own big day from the field, shooting 7-for-13 including two three-pointers on his way to 16 points. Wolfgang Novogratz ’16 also had a stellar performance, scoring 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting and adding a career-high 14 rebounds and seven assists. Noah Gains ’15 was held scoreless, but found other ways to contribute, dominating defensively with 12 rebounds and four blocks while adding three assists.

The Wolverines struggled early on in the game, down 15-10 after a quarter and only up 31-29 at the half. However, quick hands on defense led to countless transition points late in the game for Harvard-Westlake, as the team slowly built its lead in the final quarters up to the eventual 23-point final margin.

Today’s gaudy point differential proved to be huge for the Wolverines — Harvard-Westlake (8-3 overall, 0-0 in Mission League) and Diamond Bar finished tied for first in their pool with respective 2-1 records so far in the tournament, but the Wolverines have the edge in both head-to-head play and point differential (the Wolverines are +24 in the tournament, compared to -6 for Diamond Bar). Consequently, the Wolverines will advance to the Gatorade Division title game on Tuesday, where they will see Foothill High School (10-3 overall, from Henderson, NV), the 6th best team in Nevada according to MaxPreps’ Freeman Ratings.

Earlier in the day, Head Coach Greg Hilliard was honored for his reputable career by the tournament’s directors in a ceremony at the Rancho Mirage High School gym. More coverage on that is available on the MaxPreps website here:

http://www.maxpreps.com/m/article.aspx?articleid=5a5dd5ec-0dc8-4a79-ae0c-5b857a5d6dda

“High School Cube” showed the game to the nation for free again, as today’s matchup had 1,230 viewers by the end of the contest. Those wanting to re-watch today’s game can see it here:

http://www.highschoolcube.com/event/harvard-westlake-vs-diamond-bar-maxpreps-holiday-c-425455

In addition, the divisional title matchup of Harvard-Westlake vs. Foothill will also be aired on the website on Tuesday at 2 P.M. The link to that contest can be seen here:

http://www.highschoolcube.com/event/teams-to-be-determined-gatorade-divison-championsh-426781

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