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Boys' basketball: 'The Closer' returns in double OT win for Loyola

February 4, 2013 |  9:39 pm

The return of standout junior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright for Los Angeles Loyola after a monthlong healing period for an ankle injury happened Monday night, and what an environment it was.

Loyola and Harvard-Westlake took their rivalry up another notch, with the Mission League game requiring two overtime periods to complete. Loyola (19-6, 9-2) was able to pull out a 56-52 victory to clinch at least a share of the Mission League title.

Cartwright was supposed to be brought back gradually, but he ended up playing both overtime periods and more than 25 minutes before finishing with 11 points.

After looking rusty and out of sync in the first half, he was the Parker of old when the game mattered most, playing his role of "the Closer."

“This is why I play,” he said. “Coming back to a rivalry game is like throwing me into the fire the first game back. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Double overtime, tight to the wire. I love it.”

Harvard-Westlake (16-10, 6-6) found a way to give the Cubs all they could handle despite lots of injuries. The Wolverines relied on a new contributor in 6-foot-9 David Winfield Jr., the son of the Hall of Fame baseball player.

With his father and Hall of Famer Joe Torre watching from the stands at Occidental College, Winfield scored baskets at the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime to keep the game going. Winfield, who is headed to Pennsylvania, has been slowed by knee problems, but he played his best game of the season and showed his potential with his rebounding and shot blocking.

“That’s the most energy and sustained effort he’s had all year,” Wolverines Coach Greg Hilliard said. “His knee wasn’t hurting. I take it as a good sign.”

With Jackson-Cartwright back controlling the ball, Max Hazzard had freedom to contribute more on offense. He finished with 17 points. Trey Mason added 12. Winfield had 12 points for Harvard-Westlake. Bryan Polan had 11 and Alex Copeland 10.

Chaminade defeated Alemany, 72-68. Jaron Martin scored 31 points. St. Francis defeated Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 43-31.

-- Eric Sondheimer