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Basketball roundup: Harvard-Westlake advances; West Ranch, Notre Dame, Heritage Christian bow out of Classic at Damien

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LA VERNE — Like ESPN’s Stuart Scott used to say, “As cool as the other side of the pillow.”

That was the Harvard-Westlake boys basketball team in its 67-56 Platinum Division quarterfinal win over Etiwanda in the Classic at Damien tournament Wednesday night.

The Wolverines started the game down 9-0, but kept its calm demeanor with patient offense and quality shots to eventually take a 17-15 lead in the second quarter. Later in the game, with just three minutes to play, Nikolas Khamenia hit a corner 3-pointer and Jacob Huggins converted a tough basket underneath to balloon Harvard-Westlake’s lead from four to nine that iced the game.

Notre Dame signee Brady Dunlap and four-star recruit Trent Perry starred in the victory, scoring 23 and 20 points, respectively.

Brady Dunlap sheds the contact, scores the basket. Harvard-Westlake’s lead back to double digits in the fourth quarter. pic.twitter.com/H5wJsw3FC0

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) December 29, 2022

Harvard-Westlake (15-0) will face Curtis High of Washington in the semifinal Thursday night at 7 p.m.

West Ranch and Notre Dame lost in each of its Platinum Division quarterfinals.

The Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season to Rancho Christian 45-41 despite 23 points and eight rebounds from center Jazz Gardner. Andrew Meadow added 15 points in the set back. Dusty Stromer scored 28 points, but it wasn’t enough in the Knights’ 87-83 loss to Liberty High of Nevada. Duke-bound Caleb Foster had 21 points and Mercy Miller scored 15.

Notre Dame (9-4) and West Ranch (14-1) will now face each other Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in a rematch from the Providence High Tournament final on Nov. 19. West Ranch won 66-64.

Caleb Foster from way downtown. Liberty (NV) leads Notre Dame 40-36 with 3:43 left in the opening half. pic.twitter.com/5YeJOw9P9i

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) December 29, 2022

Both programs are vying for a berth to the CIF Southern Section Open Division, the section’s most competitive eight-team playoff. Notre Dame earned a berth for the first time in program history last season. If West Ranch, which won the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas last week, were to earn a berth this season it would be the first time in program history.

“We talk about playing the Open Division everyday, that’s our goal,” said West Ranch’s Andrew Meadow, who’s signed to play for Boise State.

In the Gold Division of the Classic at Damien, Heritage Christian fell to Ironwood of Arizona 63-53 in a quarterfinal matchup. The Warriors (8-3) have a lot of talent with sophomores Tae Simmons and Dillan Shawm, junior Seven Bahati and senior Giovanni Goree, a transfer from Viewpoint.

Patience is a virtue. Heritage Christian runs through a set to find Tae Simmons in the post for the old fashion 3-point play. Heritage Christian is mounting a comeback, trailing 50-42 with 7mins to go in the 4th. pic.twitter.com/xamSOcKszq

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) December 29, 2022

Heritage Christian trailed by as many as 19 before getting to as close as eight points in the four quarter before Ironwood pulled away. Goree led Heritage Christian with 16 points and Bahati added 12 in the loss.

GOLD DIVISION

Colony 47, Birmingham 45: Tyson Jackson scored 13 points, Kory Blunt had 10 and freshman Caleb Newton added nine in Birmingham’s loss.

DIAMOND DIVISION

Village Christian 70, Saint Monica 48: Thomas Luczak led the Crusaders with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Jaden Karuletwa added 16.

Lakewood 59, Oak Park 54: Isaiah Sherrard’s 18 points and nine rebounds isn’t enough as the Eagles drop to 9-7 on the year.

SILVER DIVISION

St. Francis defeated Washington Prep 48-40 Tuesday thanks to Jackson Mosley’s 15 points, which placed the Golden Knights into the semifinals against Campbell Hall, which defeated Saugus 72-59 led by Aliaun Iscandari’s 23 points. The semifinal is set for 7 p.m. at Bonita High on Thursday night.

NOTABLE SCORES/NOTES

Thousand Oaks received the services of sophomore Trent MacLean after serving a sit-out period for his transfer from Westlake. MacLean scored 32 points in his debut, but the team fell to Providence 64-59. He scored 19 points in the team’s 42-36 win over Inglewood on Wednesday.

Viewpoint fell to Fountain Valley High 92-90 in triple overtime despite 45 points from Aeneas Grullon, who also added 12 rebounds and seven assists. Grullon, who transferred from Heritage Christian, is only a sophomore who recently became eligible after serving the sit-out period.

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