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Harvard-Westlake basketball holds off Chaminade’s late surge to take Mission League top spot

Harvard-Westlake basketball holds off Chaminade’s late surge to take Mission League top spot

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WEST HILLS – No lead is safe, at least that’s what the Harvard-Westlake boys basketball team learned Saturday afternoon at Chaminade.

The Wolverines had a 29-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and saw it dwindle to seven with two minutes to play, but they were able to fend of Chaminade’s late surge to win 92-84 to take first place in the Mission League, for now.

“When Chaminade’s energy picked up, we struggled to take care of the ball,” Harvard-Westlake junior Cameron Thrower said. “It’s another learning experience.”

Harvard-Westlake (7-2, 4-0 Mission League) is lucky to learn a lesson and win, that’s rare in high-level basketball. Thankfully for the Wolverines, their large lead was enough security to deal with Chaminade’s fourth quarter rally anchored by a suffocating full-court press. The Eagles (5-1, 3-1) scored 45 points in the first three quarters before scoring 39 in the final frame.

Thrower led the way for Harvard-Westlake with 30 points. Senior Truman Gettings added 15 points. When the final horn sounded, the Harvard-Westlake postgame huddle had a sense of defeat after being outscored 39-18 in the fourth quarter.

“The guys were really upset about how that game ended,” Harvard-Westlake coach David Rebibo said. “That’s telling of where we’re trying to go.”

Chaminade’s senior trio of KJ Simpson, Keith Higgins and Colin Weems scored 31, 20 and 12 points, respectively. Just like Harvard-Westlake learned a lesson, so did Simpson and Higgins.

“We know the leadership has to come from us,” Simpson said. “Keith and I take full responsibility for those first three quarters.”

Harvard-Westlake had a bevy of underclassmen contribute in the win, which helped create a 28-18 first-quarter lead and led to al 49-29 lead at halftime.

Sophomore Brady Dunlap scored 10 points in his Harvard-Westlake debut after serving a sit-out period for his transfer from Hart High. Sophomore Jacob Huggins scored six. The freshmen trio of Trent Perry (10 points), Liam Campbell (3) and Robert Hinton (4) combined for 17 points.

“Anytime our young guys get a chance to play in a game like this, against a team like Chaminade in a league match, with this intensity, it’s great for our young guys,” Rebibo said.

In Friday night’s Mission League action, Crespi beat Alemany in a 82-52 thanks to 21 points from Jaqari Miles and 17 from Mason Dorsey.

Jake Goldberg scored 18 points to help St. Francis edge Notre Dame 53-51 .Sophomore Dante Ogbu notched 10 points and 10 rebounds for Notre Dame.

The Mission League standings heading into next week:

  1. Harvard-Westlake 4-0
  2. Chaminade 3-1
  3. Loyola 2-1
  4. Crespi 2-1
  5. St. Francis 1-2
  6. Alemany 0-3
  7. Notre Dame 0-4

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