1. The Woodland Hills Taft boys basketball team was put to the test again against Mt. Vernon from New York in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Taft won 72-56. The matchup pitted Colorado-bound point guard Spencer Dinwiddie from Taft against West Virginia-bound Jabarie Hinds from Mount Vernon. Dinwiddie and Taft held Hinds to 18 points on 7-of-25 shooting. Hinds was also 0-for-5 from 3-point range. Dinwiddie scored only five points, but he had 11 assists. The star of the game was Taft center Kevin Johnson who had 26 points and 13 rebounds. Taft steps off the national stage and returns to West Valley League play against El Camino Real on Wednesday.
2. The War on the Floor Showcase at Pierce College featured some of the best high school basketball the San Fernando Valley has to offer. Alemany exercised one its demons earlier in the week by ending an 11-game losing streak against Crespi. In the War on the Floor, Alemany continued its strong play by beating Oaks Christian, 70-67, in one of the more exciting games of the year. Alemany’s Jordan Fuller hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. Chass Bryan from Oaks Christian tied the game, 67-67, with 3.2 seconds left in the game. It was an exciting back-and-forth game in which Alemany erased a four-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.
3. The Harvard-Westlake girls basketball team lost only one game en route to a CIF Division 4 state championship last year. Harvard-Westlake has already lost eight games this year, but the girls extended their home winning streak to 22 games and their winning streak against Bellarmine-Jefferson to four games on Saturday night. Harvard-Westlake beat Bell-Jeff, 61-55, behind 18 points from Natalie Florescu. The Wolverines beat Bell-Jeff three times, including in the CIF Division 4 state regional quarterfinals, last year. Harvard-Westlake started the week with a 51-46 loss to Chaminade and ended a 13-game Mission League winning streak. Since losing to the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Students in the West Coast Holiday Classic, Harvard-Westlake has won seven of its past eight games. Harvard-Westlake has seven Mission League games remaining, starting with Flintridge Sacred Heart on Friday.
4. The Buena Showcase in Ventura featured some of the top girls basketball programs in the area. Host Buena beat Camarillo, 69-46. Keani Albanez scored 28 points and had eight steals for Buena. Valencia beat Rio Mesa, 67-38. Lauren Spargo had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Valencia. Santa Barbara routed Oxnard, 56-26. Four players from Santa Barbara scored in double figures. Riley Lloyd had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
5. Valencia running back Steven Manfro won the MVP of the Daily News All-Star game scoring three touchdowns and leading the East to a 21-20 win over the West at College of the Canyons in Valencia. Manfro gained 56 yards on 13 carries and scored on runs of 17 and 2 yards. He also caught 14-yard touchdown pass from Valencia quarterback Alex Bishop. The West had a chance to win the game after scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Hollywood’s Luke Reynolds broke up a two-point conversion try, knocking down a pass from Oaks Christian quarterback Richie Harrington to Thousand Oaks receiver Richard Mullaney. It was the fourth win in a row for the East All Stars in the 15-year history of the Daily News All-Star football game.