In L.A., it's Westchester and then who?

After crushing Fairfax last Tuesday in a showdown between two nationally-ranked teams, the Westchester of Los Angeles boys basketball team continued to roll with wins over Venice and Los Angeles. And despite the loss to the Comets, Fairfax may still be the L.A. City Section's No. 2 team.

Fairfax came into its first game of the week against Westchester at No. 12 in the Student Sports FAB 50. This was based on the team's narrow 86-84 loss to the Comets (who are No. 4 in the nation) earlier in the season plus its victories over Clovis West and Montrose Christian of Maryland at the Iolani tourney in Hawaii.

Unlike the first meeting, there was no chance of a Fairfax win in the fourth quarter. The Comets led by 18 at halftime, started the third quarter with a 10-0 run and rolled to a 100-68 victory. UCLA-bound Evan Burns had 21 points for Fairfax, but 10 came in the fourth quarter when only the final score was left to be decided.

Brandon Heath led Westchester with 24 points and Hassan Adams, playing in front of Lute Olson, his future college coach at Arizona, added 14 points and five assists.

Westchester then won on Wednesday over Venice, 92-28, and dominated on Friday against L.A. High with an 87-52 win. Coach Ed Azzam's club improved to 14-1 overall.

Under normal circumstances, a big loss like the one Fairfax had to Westchester would plummet a team in the next rankings. Fortunately for the Lions, though, both Fremont and Crenshaw, two other L.A. City Section teams who were in last week's state top 20, also lost last week.

The team that beat both of them was Dorsey. The Dons won over the Cougars on Wednesday by 82-79 and on Friday knocked off Fremont, 75-70. Fremont was No. 2 in the L.A. Times rankings and was No. 3 in the state. Against Dorsey, though, the Pathfinders gave up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Junior guard Drew Gibson poured in 30 points and Donald Wilson scored 22 for Dorsey. The Dons also could have a claim at L.A.'s No. 2 ranking, but they're only 10-4 overall. They have avenged one of their losses (which was to Fremont) and two others came at a tourney in Kentucky when several players weren't used for disciplinary reasons. Dorsey also has a win this year over Inglewood, one of the CIF Southern Section's top teams.

Fremont fell to 14-2 after the loss. The Pathfinders won earlier in the week, 105-66, over Jefferson behind Mark Bradford's 21 points and Darren Brown's 18 points and 15 rebounds.

Fairfax improved to 17-3 on Friday with a 77-56 triumph over Palisades. Burns was the Lions' top scorer with 18 points.

Note: Information primarily from the L.A. Times and Daily Breeze websites was used to compile this story.

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