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Basketball roundup: Harvard-Westlake suffers season’s first loss in tournament final

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LA VERNE — Harvard-Westlake is no longer perfect. But it’s still number one.

The Daily News’ No.1-ranked Wolverines fell to Liberty of Nevada 59-56 in the Classic at Damien Platinum Division boys basketball final Friday night. The loss is Harvard-Westlake’s first of the season, dropping it to 16-1.

The matchup was worth the price of admission, highlighted by two of the top point guards in the junior class going at it. Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry and Liberty’s Dedan Thomas Jr., who’s being heralded as the best point guard in the 2024 class, were excellent.

Head coach David Rebibo of Harvard-Westlake reacts against Liberty in the second half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Brady Dunlap #11 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Liberty in the second half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Head coach David Rebibo of Harvard-Westlake reacts against Liberty in the second half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake shoots over Andre Porter #5 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Jacob Huggins #12 of Harvard-Westlake shoots against Tyler Bright #25 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Robert Hinton #2 of Harvard-Westlake shoots against Dedan Thomas #11 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake shoots over Angelo Kambala #2 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Robert Hinton #2 of Harvard-Westlake consoles teammate Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake as Liberty defeated Harvard-Westlake 59-56 to win the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Brady Dunlap #11 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Christian Horry #15 of Harvard-Westlake reaches for the rebound against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Nikolas Khamenia #4 of Harvard-Westlake shoots against Andre Porter #5 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Brady Dunlap #11 of Harvard-Westlake shoots against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Brady Dunlap #11 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Jacob Huggins #12 of Harvard-Westlake rebounds against Javares Reid #22 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake shoots over Javares Reid #22 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Robert Hinton #2 of Harvard-Westlake shoots over Tyler Bright #25 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Robert Hinton #2 of Harvard-Westlake shoots against Kaeden Castillero #3 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Jacob Huggins #12 of Harvard-Westlake fights for the ball against Javares Reid #22 of Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

Head coach David Rebibo of Harvard-Westlake looks on against Liberty in the first half of the Platinum Division championship game of the Classic at Damien Basketball Tournament at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday, December 30, 2022. (Libby Cline Birmingham/contributing photographer)

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Perry led Harvard-Westlake with 19 points and Thomas, whose father played at Taft High in Woodland Hills, finished with 23 points. Robert Hinton added 16 points for the Wolverines. Notre Dame-bound wing Brady Dunlap and Perry were awarded All-Tournament honors.

Harvard-Westlake’s sluggish start could not be overcome after starting the game trailing 22-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Wolverines chipped away to come within 55-54 with 2:18 left to play in the final frame, but Thomas slithered his way through the Harvard-Westlake defense for a layup to  maintain the lead.

Despite the loss, Harvard-Westlake is still an early lock for the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs as the new year turns. The Wolverines will look to win the Mission League, which only plays one round of games before playing in a league tournament at the end of the season. This year’s year-end tournament will be played at Alemany in early February.

Harvard-Westlake’s much-anticipated matchups with Notre Dame and new league addition Sierra Canyon, which added transfer AJ Swinton from Oak Hill Academy Friday, are on Jan. 18 and 20, respectively.

CAMPBELL HALL WINS ON BUZZER BEATER, AGAIN

Campbell Hall, which won the Silver Division semifinal on Aaron Powell’s half court buzzer beater to top St. Francis Thursday night, used a dramatic last-second shot 24 hours later to top La Mirada in the championship game Friday night.

Baron Bellamy had an offensive rebound that he grabbed and put back up in the same leap to give Campbell Hall a 70-69 victory.

Campbell Hall 70, La Mirada 69, final. Another buzz-beater. Wild finish. @gocampbellhall wins Silver Division championship @ClassicAtDamien. @SGVNSports pic.twitter.com/0lGrBOO7Q0

— Donald Morrison (@BruinDonaldRuns) December 31, 2022

OAKWOOD WINS TOURNEY IN HAWAII

Oakwood won the Punahou Invitational in Hawaii after topping St. Louis High of Honolulu 51-50.

Ben Eisendrath scored 14 points, Oliver Ford had 11 and Peyton Slaughter added 10 in the victory.

Congrats @oakwoodbball on first place champs @PunahouSchool @GoPuns 2022 invitational! @pollonpreps pic.twitter.com/GpHayzgGUD

— Jeremy Falk (@jerfalk) December 31, 2022

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