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Fun at the Watts Games

I wish the bracket was online. I tried to re-create one here, but it isn’t happening, so I’ll recap the left side of it as well as possible.

First round, yesterday:

Carson beat Monroe and Crenshaw beat Palisades.

Alemany beat Long Beach Poly 2 and Cajon beat Dominguez.

Washington Prep beat Arleta and Culver City beat Southeast.

Dorsey beat Canoga Park and North Torrance beat Peninsula.

Second round, today:

Carson beat Crenshaw and Cajon beat Alemany.

Washington Prep beat Culver City and North Torrance beat Dorsey.

Third round, today:

Cajon took two overtimes to beat Carson, 65-59.

Prep started to pull away from North Torranace big time, right as the second half started, and they never looked back. Final score was 54-24.

Cajon (green) and Carson do the handshaking thing before the game commenced.

It was a fierce battle back and forth.

North Torrance (in white) was quick, but Washington’s athleticism ran them into the ground.

I was wondering what Cajon would bring, since they just graduated the two reasons they’ve been a power team for the last two years in Cal-bound Layshia Clarendon and Darshae Burnside, headed to Arkansas. But after checking them out against Alemany this morning, it looked like the returning players have stepped up. I had a feeling the game against Carson – a fiesty team loaded with shooters – would be a good one, and it was.

Kori Walker, who will be a junior at Cajon this fall, was balllin today. I’d seen flashes of it in the Cajon games I saw this past winter. She looks like she’s ready to shine right now. The Cowgirls also got a lot of play from a big girl whose name I wish I knew, but all teams wear just their practice jerseys at the Watts games, which don’t usually have their real numbers on them. So I don’t know her name yet. But maybe Cajon won’t be so bad off this year after all.

Neither will Carson. They graduated only three last year, and Coach Marcel Sanders always has more in the tank. He is a talented coach.

On the other side of the bracket, Washington Prep only graduated three seniors this year, and none of them were starters. So the team is already in good shape. Though they had some rusty moments on the court today, they caught up to their former selves quickly and maximized the mistakes of their opponents.

Soon-to-be junior Cheyenne Bonam has taken over at the point guard spot, and it’s a great choice. She seems to be a natural at the position, and her presence there lets almost-senior Kejuana Gardner focus solely on the 2-spot, her best place on the court.

Next year’s Washington Prep squad will be lead by (left to right) Cheyenne Bonam, Reshanda “Too Tall” Gray, and Kejuana Gardner.

On the right side of the bracket, the two victors today were Long Beach Poly and Narbonne. This Saturday, the two semi-finals will take place at LA Southwest College: Prep vs. Cajon at 9 a.m., and Poly vs. Narbonne at 10 a.m. The championship game will take place at 1 p.m.

The Watts Games are always interesting because seniors have just graduated, and teams haven’t played together consistently for a while. New players have been moved up and transfers have come aboard. So it’s the first, raw glimpse of what will be each team’s constitution next year. It’s exciting!

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