Boys' basketball: Loyola-Crenshaw game brings together old rivals
There's a park near Loyola High. It's the Normandie Recreation Center, and Crenshaw's Brandon Baker has played there often against players who ended up at Loyola.
On Wednesday night in a first-round game of the Division I Southern California Regionals, Crenshaw and Loyola will face off in the Loyola gym in an intriguing City Section vs. Southern Section matchup.
"It's nice not to have to get on the bus to Fresno," Crenshaw Coach Ed Waters said.
Crenshaw didn't play last week, and Waters gave his team time to rest after a tough loss to Taft in the City Division I semifinals.
"We needed some rest," he said.
The Cougars could be a dangerous first-round opponent for the Cubs with Baker and Andre Edwards, a junior forward.
City Section teams are looking forward to the state tournament in an attempt to earn some respect for the section. Some think the talent level is down this season, but City Section teams Taft, Westchester and Fairfax all won when they played Southern Section teams in the Nike Extravaganza.
"I think the parity was good," Waters said. "There's a lot of people excited."
Saturday night's Division I boys' and girls' final drew more than 2,800 paying fans at Cal State Dominguez Hills, the most since Taft played Westchester in 2009 at the Galen Center and drew more than 5,000 fans.
-- Eric Sondheimer