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Boys' basketball: Buckley is seeking first title

February 25, 2013 |  8:58 am

Sherman Oaks Buckley, where the tuition is $33,775 and sports isn't exactly a top priority for its student body of 319, has advanced to the Southern Section Division 5AA championship game.

The Griffins (23-6) have never won a basketball title since the school opened in 1933.

The school is known for its academic excellence and famous alumni include Matthew Perry, Laura Dern and Alyssa Milano from the world of movies and television. Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers' beat writer for The Times, is also a proud Buckley grad.

Mike Hamilton, a former Harvard-Westlake assistant in his 10th season as coach, has twice before gotten the Griffins into the championship game. This time, San Luis Obispo Mission Prep will be the opponent at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Mater Dei.

The team has no transfers. Most of the players have been at the school since seventh grade. The top player is 6-foot-4 senior Tyler Coppin-Carter. Sophomore point guard Austin Butler has also come on strong. Junior Chase Holliday is the brother of former Oaks Christian football standout Blair Holliday. And 6-6 Reid Womack is the player who guarded 7-5 Mamadou Ndiaye of Huntington Beach Brethren Christian in the quarterfinals.

"I'm excited for them," Hamilton said. "They work real hard."

-- Eric Sondheimer