And the FAB 50 girls hoop champion is ..

It would have been something had Lynwood defeated seven nationally ranked teams during the season and not won its state title.

After a slow start, Lynwood made sure the Student Sports FAB 50 No. 1 ranking would be heading back to Southern California with a 74-55 victory over Northern California champion Kennedy (Sacramento) in the CIF Division I final Saturday at Arco Arena in Sacramento.

Lynwood's 33-0 final record marks the second time the Knights have been undefeated state champions. The first was in 1993 and current coach Ellis Barfield was the coach then, too.

Two years ago, the Student Sports FAB 50 national champion was 34-0 Narbonne of Harbor City, which is located only a few miles from Lynwood.

Kennedy actually led 20-19 midway through the second quarter as sophomore Alisha Hicks racked up 15 of those points. After Lynwood took a 21-20 lead, the Knights got a scare when star sophomore Sa-de Wiley-Gatewood fell and started clutching her right wrist. With Wiley-Gatewood on the bench, however, it was Lynwood that became energized -- not Kennedy.

The Knights scored six straight points and poured it on in the second half.

Wiley-Gatewood returned in the second half and finished with 18 points.

Lynwood's Nebraska-bound guard Janice Bright had 14 points despite playing only days after the death of her father. But the real difficulty for Kennedy was stopping Lynwood's "other" guard Andrea Adams. The senior connected for a team-high 20 points.

Hicks continued to score well for Kennedy throughout the game and ended with 27 points.

Boys Division I: Westchester (Los Angeles) 80, Oakland Tech 75

If there's a tradition in the California state finals, the Oakland teams always play very tough against their Southern California opponents. It happened again Saturday night, but Westchester was able to hang on for the victory.

It was second state title for coach Ed Azzam, who won while coaching the Comets in 1998.

Oakland Tech was hampered in the first half when standout junior Leon Powe got into foul trouble. He picked up his third foul late in the first quarter and didn't play the rest of the first half. The Bulldogs did not wilt, however, and trailed 41-33 at halftime.

In the second half, with Powe back in the game, Oakland Tech chipped away at Westchester's lead and may have made the game closer had it not been for a 35-foot basket at the third quarter buzzer by Brandon Bowman, giving Westchester a 59-49 lead.

Oakland Tech closed the lead to three points on three occasions in the fourth quarter. With 53 seconds left, a basket by Powe made the score 74-71. Westchester answered with a basket by Brandon Heath with 30 seconds left for a 76-71 advantage. Then, after Tech's Armondo Surratt made a basket with 13 seconds left closing the margin to 76-73, Heath connected on two free throws five seconds later to ice the win.

Arizona-bound Hassan Adams had 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals for Westchester. Heath had 20 points and seven rebounds. Bowman finished with 18 points.

For Oakland Tech, Surratt had 23 points, seven assists and five steals. Powe came back to score 19 points and had 10 rebounds. Tech's Kenneth Smith had 14 points.

Oakland Tech, with sports history dating back to 1908, was trying to win a basketball state championship for the first time.

Westchester finishes 31-2 with losses to Oak Hill (Va.) at the Nike Academy Invitational in Houston and a league loss to Fairfax -- a team it defeated three other times. Westchester had victories over three state champions -- Miami Christian and Lakewood of Florida and New York Federation Class A champion Rice.

Notes: Cal-Hi sports correctly predicted the winners of all 10 CIF state finals for the first time ever. Last year, Cal-Hi went 8-for-10.


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