Boys' basketball: Here come the Crenshaw Cougars
The eight-time state champion Crenshaw Cougars are enjoying their run in the CIF Southern California Division I playoffs. Crenshaw knocked off Rancho Verde, 61-59, on Saturday night to advance to Tuesday's semifinals against Los Angeles Loyola at Loyola.
Don't count out the Cougars. Micah Winn, who had the game-winning three-pointer against Rancho Verde with two seconds left, has gotten hot. Andre Edwards is playing under control. And Coach Ed Waters has his team getting better after losing in the semifinals of the City Section Division I tournament.
Loyola and Crenshaw have both benefited from the new Open Division format that sent the usual top Division I teams into the Open Division. The two other semifinalists, Santa Monica and San Diego Mission Hills, are also thriving.
In particular, Mission Hills somehow avoided getting put in the Open Division when the San Diego Section sent zero teams to the Open Division and knocked off Inglewood on Saturday.
Now the four teams are just two wins away from a trip to Sacramento.
Yes, it will be only sportswriters pointing out how fortunate the Division I teams are while being cheered on by their loyal fans.
It has made for some tough, competitive games. And just imagine if Santa Monica and Loyola win. Then they'd be playing for a third time this season. Jordan Mathews vs. Trey Mason. Trevis Jackson vs. Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Chris Smith vs. Thomas Welsh.
But beware of the Crenshaw Cougars.
-- Eric Sondheimer
Photo: Crenshaw guard Micah Winn brings the ball upcourt against Rancho Verde on Saturday night. Credit: Rob Helfman