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Westchester gets No. 1 seed in City Open Division basketball

Westchester gets No 1 seed in City Open Division basketball
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Westchester, seeking a record-tying 16th City Section boys’ basketball championship under coach Ed Azzam, has been seeded No. 1 for the Open Division playoffs. The Comets finished the shortened regular season at 9-0, including two wins over Western League rival Fairfax. They will open at home against Woodland Hills El Camino Real in the eight-team tournament.

“We’re playing better,” Azzam said. “We seem to turn it on a little bit in the second half. We’re still trying to figure out how to play against the other team’s defense and it takes us awhile to get going. We still have things to work out and will try to figure it out on the fly like everyone is doing. We’re enjoying it.”

Seedings were challenging because COVID-19 restrictions resulted in some Los Angeles Unified School Districts teams starting to play just two weeks ago, and the committee had to evaluate by comparing scores rather than relying on head-to-head matchups. There were 60 boys’ teams and 43 girls’ teams that decided to participate in the playoffs.

Lake Balboa Birmingham is seeded No. 2, with Fairfax No. 3 and Harbor City Narbonne No. 4. All eight teams are automatic qualifiers for the regional playoffs.

For Open Division girls, Palisades is seeded No. 1 and Birmingham No. 2.

First-round games for boys’ and girls’ teams in Division I, II, III and IV are Thursday and the second round is Saturday. Open Division begins Friday. Semifinals for all divisions are June 9 and finals June 10-12.

JSerra is No. 1 in baseball

San Juan Capistrano JSerra was awarded the No. 1 seed for the always competitive Southern Section Division 1 baseball playoffs despite having lost twice to No. 2-seeded Studio City Harvard-Westlake. Beating No. 3-seeded Orange Lutheran twice last week to win the Trinity League championship apparently was enough for the seeding committee to decide the Lions deserved to be No. 1. Chino Hills Ayala is No. 4.

The Lions started the season as a consensus No. 1, struggled during the opening month, then went on an 18-game winning streak. They are back at full strength led by a pitching staff that features four UCLA commits. They have a bye in the first round on Thursday and will play the winner of Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley-West Hills Chaminade on June 8.

The Southern Section announced that Blair Field in Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton will be the sites for championship games June 18 and 19.

Thousand Oaks is seeded No. 1 in Division 2 and Newhall Hart is No. 1 in Division 3.

Soccer

City Section champion Birmingham has been seeded No. 1 for the Southern California Division I boys’ soccer regionals that begin Tuesday. Southern Section Division 1 girls’ champion Harvard-Westlake is is the top seed for Division I girls.





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