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Westchester girls basketball tops Granada Hills to claim Open City title

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PASADENA — Westchester girls basketball coach Dominic Grimes put it simply.

“I felt like we left (the City title) on the floor last year,” said Grimes, reflecting on the Comets’ loss to Birmingham in the final last season. “We were motivated. After that game, we got into the gym and started working. We talked about it every day, we didn’t run from it.”

The Comets certainly didn’t run from it, instead, running to a 51-44 win over Granada Hills Charter in the City Section Open Division final at Pasadena City College Saturday night.

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda, left, consoles teammate Granada Hills Karma Paez, right, after she fouled out of the game against Westchester in the second half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester celebrates after defeating Granada Hills 51-44 to win the City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills bench reacts late in the fourth quarter as Westchester defeated Granada Hills 51-44 to win the City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester celebrates after defeating Granada Hills 51-44 to win the City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester celebrates after defeating Granada Hills 51-44 to win the City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester celebrates after defeating Granada Hills 51-44 to win the City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester Mariah Blake #2 rects after scoring against Granada Hills in the second half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester teammates mobbed head coach Dominic Grimes after defeating Granada Hills 51-44 to win the City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills head coach Jared Honig reacted against Westchester in the second half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills head coach Jared Honig reacted against Westchester in the second half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Marianne Boco #5 controls the ball against Westchester in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 drives to the basket against Westchester Reigne Waugh #5 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Marianne Boco #5 is helped up by teammates after a foul in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship against Westchester at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 drives to the basket against Westchester Reigne Waugh #5 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 rebounds over Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Natalie Melendez #2 shoots over Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Natalie Melendez #2 drives to the basket against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester Ron’yae Jackson #22 rebounds over Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester Ron’yae Jackson #22 rebounds over Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills guard Sydney Vo #13 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Reigne Waugh #5 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Karma Paez #23 shoots over Westchester Mariah Blake #2 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills guard Sydney Vo #13 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Reigne Waugh #5 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Mariah Blake #2 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills guard Sydney Vo #13 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Reigne Waugh #5 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Westchester Mariah Blake #2 rebounds over Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Marianne Boco #5 drives to the basket against Westchester in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Marianne Boco #5 drives to the basket between Westchester Mariah Blake #2 and teammate Westchester center Anyse Grimble #33 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Krystal Pineda #31 reaches for the rebound against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Granada Hills Marianne Boco #5 is called for offensive foul against Westchester Rylei Waugh #4 in the first half of a City Section Open Division girls championship at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

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Westchester outscored Granada Hills 10-3 in the final four minutes, including an 8-0 run capped by a baseline jumper from Rylie Waugh that served as a dagger with 1:22 to play and give the program its fifth City title.

Junior guard Mariah Blake led the Comets with 20 points and 19 rebounds. Waugh finished with 11 points in the victory.

Westchester’s Rylie Waugh hits a baseline jumper to cap an 8-0 run and give the Comets a 49-41 lead over Granada Hills with 1:22 to play. It could be the dagger. pic.twitter.com/dMDScR3bG0

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) February 26, 2023

Westchester’s biggest advantage in the game was on the glass, heavily out-rebounding the Highlanders to create more shot attempts, even grabbing offensive rebounds on free throw misses on multiple occasions.

“We emphasize trying to control the glass,” Grimes said. “We have great athletes that are very active. I figured if we win that battle, we’d have a good chance to win the game.”

Granada Hills’ best chance was through star guard Marianne Boco, who had a game-high 29 points. Boco had 11 points in the first quarter and 12 points in the third. But no other Highlanders scored in double digits.

Westchester. City champs pic.twitter.com/bpZ6Cviu0p

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) February 26, 2023

Boco had to come out of the game for a portion of the second quarter with an ankle sprain. After being taped by an athletic trainer, she checked back into the game, but was held scoreless in the frame.

“We want to get other players involved, it just wasn’t happening tonight,” Granada Hills coach Jared Honig said.

Granada Hills scored just six points in the fourth quarter. Boco scored all of them.

“It was almost impossible,” Grimes said about trying to stop Boco. “But I felt like if only one player gets loose, we’d be alright.”

Westchester will await its fate on placement in the CIF State playoffs when the brackets get released Sunday afternoon. It’s still unknown if the CIF State Open Division will take the winner from the City Open Division. If not, the Comets will be in the Division I state playoffs next week.

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