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Boys' basketball: Taft is No. 1 seed in City Section Division I playoffs

February 11, 2012 |  2:32 pm

Former NBA guard Jason Hart, 33, in his first season coaching high school basketball, has his Woodland Hills Taft team seeded No. 1 in the City Section Division I playoff pairings released on Saturday.

The Toreadors (24-3) will open at home on Friday night against No. 16 West Adams.

Fairfax (19-9) received the No. 2 seed, followed by No. 3 Westchester (20-6), No. 4 Palisades (16-10) and No. 5 Crenshaw (22-4).

“I’m using the knowledge I learned from many coaches,” Hart said. “People look at me and see I’m young. But I know a little about basketball, too.”

Taft owns a win over No. 2 Fairfax and has been led by 6-foot-8 Anthony January, a transfer from Compton who became eligible in late December.

The seeding committee had to make a decision about the three-way tie for first place in the Western League among Fairfax, Westchester and Palisades, and decided the Lions’ sweep of Westchester, combined with a strong nonleague schedule, gave them the edge.

One of the best early matchups should come in the quarterfinals, with an expected Palisades-Crenshaw meeting. And the winner would earn an automatic invite to the state playoffs.

First-round games Friday

No. 16 West Adams at No. 1 Taft

No. 9 University at No. 8 Birmingham

No. 12 Sylmar at No. 5 Crenshaw

No. 13 Manual Arts at No. 4 Palisades

No. 14 Poly at No. 3 Westchester

No. 11 Fremont at No. 6 Washington

No. 10 Cleveland at No. 7 Dorsey

No. 15 Roybal at No. 2 Fairfax.

-- Eric Sondheimer