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It’s a 1980s grinding, physical style of basketball being played at Studio City Harvard-Westlake, which should make the Wolverines a unique opponent when they open play in the eight-team Southern Section Open Division playoffs next week.
They haven’t officially made the bracket but that seems likely after the Wolverines (23-4) won the Mission League tournament on Friday night with an 81-66 victory over West Hills Chaminade at Crespi.
“Open Division, baby,” coach David Rebibo told his players in the locker room after they dumped water all over him.
With 6-foot-10 Mason Hooks and 6-8 Truman Gettings, the Wolverines are using a high-low attack that creates mismatches inside. Both look like they hang out in the weight room daily. Hooks gets the ball at the high post and looks to pass it inside to an isolated Gettings or vice versa.
Chaminade (23-7) had no answer defensively when the Wolverines were scoring on a flurry of layups. And the Wolverines’ guards also benefited with the focus on the two big men, getting open three-pointers.
“Me and Mason for the past three years have built up the chemistry,” Gettings said. “We’re blessed with height and take advantage.”
Another layup for Truman Gettings. Harvard-Westlake 14-4. pic.twitter.com/6mEiTKc5Hz
Harvard-Westlake had built a 9-0 lead to open the game, including three layup baskets. The lead reached 17 points in the second quarter when Hooks decided to launch a rare three-point attempt and it went it. It was 43-32 at halftime.
The Eagles needed to find a way to take Harvard-Westlake out of its dump-it-inside mode. They deployed full-court pressure in the third quarter, and as the turnovers mounted, the Harvard-Westlake lead shrank. Chaminade got as close as 53-47 late in the third quarter. Kenneth Simpson finished with 27 points for Chaminade.
Cameron Thrower knows how to celebrate. Harvard-Westlake 19, Chaminade 8. pic.twitter.com/OxWWawfa3D
By the fourth quarter, the Wolverines were able to increase the lead to 17 points. Hooks had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Gettings finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Wolverines also got major contributions from junior guard Brase Dootin and sophomore guard Cameron Thrower. Dottin had 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Thrower finished with 16 points and made three three-pointers.
“Our game plan is go inside out,” Gettings said. “The guards feed us and we feed them.”
Hooks was already making plans for next week.
“I am looking forward to the Open Division,” Hooks said. “I’ve been looking forward to it for four years.”
Southern Section pairings will be announced on Sunday. City Section pairings will be revealed on Saturday.
The Southern Section Open Division boys’ teams are pretty much decided.
The likely teams are Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, Corona Centennial, Etiwanda, Temecula Rancho Christian, Santa Ana Mater Dei, Long Beach St. Anthony, Bellflower St. John Bosco and Harvard-Westlake.
For girls, the eight teams to watch are Sierra Canyon, Mater Dei, L.A. Windward, Long Beach Poly, Fullerton Rosary, Etiwanda, Corona Centennial and Lynwood.