Boys’ basketball advances to semifinals, will play Loyola

Jake Liker

Harvard-Westlake defeated Martin Luther King 77-48 in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1A tournament Tuesday night.

The result of the game never seemed to be in doubt, with the Wolverines outscoring the Wolves 25-7 in the first quarter. Johnny Juzang ’20 lead the team in scoring with 27 points, while fellow freshman contributed 11 points. Cassius Stanley ’19 also scored 11, and Ali Iken ’17 finished the night with 8 points to his name.

About 65 miles away, just west of Downtown Los Angeles, Loyola defeated La Cañada 71-63. This sets up a Harvard-Westlake/Loyola showdown in the semifinals Friday at 7 p.m., which Loyola will host. The Wolverines swept the Cubs in Mission League play, most recently winning at Loyola in overtime.

The winner will not only advance to the championship game, but will also clinch a spot in the CIF State Division 2 tournament. The loser will be eliminated from all playoff contention. (Yes, Harvard-Westlake lost in the semifinals to Notre Dame last year and still made it to State, but that can’t happen this year, for reasons which The Chronicle has already explained elsewhere).

Even though the Wolverines are the top seed, the Cubs get to host because home court is awarded to whichever team enters a playoff game having been the home team in fewer of their previous playoff games that year. In the event that both teams have played an equal number of home playoff games, a coin is flipped to determine the home teams. Both the Wolverines and the Cubs had hosted twice, and the Cubs won the coin toss, which was carried out on Monday (see page 6 of the PDF in the link).

The CIF-SS Division 1A championship game will take place on either Friday, March 3, or Saturday, March 4, and will be played at either Azuza Pacific University, the Honda Center, or Godinez High School. If it’s any indication, last year’s 1A final between Santa Monica and Temecula Valley was played on a Saturday at the Honda Center.

In the other two quarterfinal games, Peninsula beat Mayfair 71-60, and Pasadena eked out a win over Corona del Mar, 47-44. The entire bracket can be viewed here.