By Robbie Loeb
For the first time in well over a decade, the boys’ basketball team was dangerously close to missing the postseason. The Wolverines needed a win tonight over Mission League champion Alemany in the last game of the regular season to clinch a playoff berth. The Wolverines got exactly what they needed to keep their season alive: a 81-62 victory over the now 9-2 Alemany Warriors.
A Wolverine loss and a Chaminade win over the winless Notre Dame Nights would have sent the teams to a fourth place tiebreaker game. That tiebreaker would have determined the Wolverines’ playoffs fate, but behind Derick Newton’s ’14 22 points, the team clinched a playoff spot. David Winfield ’13 got the start at center to exploit the Wolverines’ size advantage. He scored 19, after his 15-point bench performance against Crespi Monday.
Alemany, ranked third in Southern California by ESPNHS, was ahead at the end of a high-scoring first quarter, 24-20. In the second, however, the Wolverines outscored Alemany 17-9, entering halftime up 37-33.
Harvard-Westlake practically replicated its second quarter performance in the third, winning the period 18-10 and entering the final period up 12. A 26-point final quarter handed Alemany just its second loss in league play, clinching the fourth seed and playoff spot for the Wolverines.