Harvard-Westlake boys basketball routs Sierra Canyon to remain unbeaten in Mission League

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STUDIO CITY — Terrance Barnum has been the athletic director at Harvard-Westlake for 19 years, yet the scene in front of his office was something he’d only witnessed a few times before.

Harvard-Westlake students lined up for tickets to the Mission League showdown against Sierra Canyon and senior Bronny James. The school allocated 200 tickets for the student section. The line started forming at 8 a.m. that filled the entire hallway and went all the way out the building.

“It reminded me of the days when Harvard-Westlake and Loyola was a big rivalry,” said Barnum, alluding to games that included the likes of Bryce Taylor and Jordan Wilkes. “It’s good to see that excitement back.”

The atmosphere delivered, but Sierra Canyon was without James and standout junior Isaiah Elohim, as Harvard-Westlake went on to beat the Trailblazers 72-52 in front of a sold-out crowd Friday night.

Brady Dunlap led the Wolverines with 20 points, Trent Perry had 15 points and Jacob Huggins added 13 in the Mission League victory. Ashton Hardaway led Sierra Canyon (18-5, 4-1 Mission) with 20 points, including six 3s, Osiris Nails added 10.

Watch Brady Dunlap grab this rebound and go down the floor – under control – for a nice pull-up jumper. He’s got 7 of Harvard-Westlake’s 11 points.

End of 1: HW 11, Sierra Canyon 6. pic.twitter.com/LFcAIAmNl0

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) January 21, 2023

The win gives Harvard-Westlake (22-1, 5-0) sole possession of first place in the Mission League and makes it the only unbeaten team with Chaminade and St. Francis left to play on Jan. 25 and 27, respectively.

Dunlap scored 14 of his 20 points in the opening half as Harvard-Westlake used an 14-2 run in the second quarter to balloon its lead from 16-15 to 30-17 at halftime thanks to a Perry 3-pointer right as the halftime buzzer sounded.

Harvard-Westlake took a 20-point lead when Christian Horry hit a 3-pointer to create a 41-21 lead at the 2:45-mark. Sierra Canyon responded with an 8-2 run, including two 3s from Dylan Metoyer and Hardaway, but Dunlap hit a 3 of his own to douse any comeback hopes.

Brady Dunlap can do no wrong tonight. He’s got 20pts through three quarters, including this buzzer beater.

Harvard-Westlake 49, Sierra Canyon 29. End of 3. pic.twitter.com/bOG2TDGazL

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) January 21, 2023

Dunlap then crushed Sierra Canyon’s spirit with a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter from 40 feet to give the Wolverines a 49-29 lead heading into the final quarter. Harvard-Westlake eventually opened up a 57-34 lead in the fourth quarter and the rout was on.

It was Harvard-Westlake coach David Rebibo’s 39th birthday Friday. The Harvard-Westlake student section sang Happy Birthday to him as the clock wound down.

Loyola 51, Crespi 48: Joe Sterling led the Celts with 15 points and Ivan Belkin added 14.

St. Francis 52, Alemany 37: Luke McGrath led the Golden Knights with 12 points.

Notre Dame 93, Chaminade 66: The Knights are tied with Sierra Canyon for second place in the Mission League at 4-1 and will play each other at Pauley Pavilion Jan. 27 at 8 p.m.

WEST VALLEY LEAGUE

LAKE BALBOA — The excitement was palpable and the crowd noise was ear-splitting in a jam-packed gym at Birmingham High School Friday night, as the crowd was treated to a back-and-forth boys basketball clash between West Valley League rivals Birmingham and Taft.

Neither team was able to gain an advantage in the first four quarters of play, leading to an overtime period that got heated and chippy.  Both head coaches were able to keep their teams composed after a minor scuffle and with the game in the balance, Birmingham guard Caleb Newton sealed the 81-77 victory with two made free throws.

Naseef Lubowa led the Patriots with 22 points, Caleb Newton added 18 and Tyson Jackson had 16. Keyon Kensie Jr. led Taft with 24 points.

With the win, Birmingham remains undefeated in league play and will face Cleveland on Monday. Taft falls to 3-1 in league play and will play Pasadena Saturday.

-Dan Lovi, correspondant

FOOTHILL LEAGUE

West Ranch 75, Valencia 62: Jaqari Miles had 22 points and Andrew Meadow added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats. Mikah Ballew had 24 points for Valencia.

Saugus 69, Hart 58: Justin Perez tallied 24 points and 10 rebounds for Saugus, which sits at second place in the Foothill League behind West Ranch with the win.

Canyon 45, Golden Valley 44: Lincoln Phillips led the Cowboys with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

COASTAL CANYON

Oak Park 65, Royal 55: Isaiah Sherrard notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Simi Valley 61, Moorpark 43: Ryder Mjoen led Simi with 25 points.

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