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High school basketball: No. 6 Harvard-Westlake beats No. 14 Roosevelt 54-47 for Southern Section Open Division title

Wolverines win 10th section crown after big performances from Nikolas Khamenia, Trent Perry, Robert Hinton.

In a battle where stars on both sides shined, No. 6 Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) defeated No. 14 Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) 54-47 on Friday in the Southern Section Open Division final at Cal Baptist University.

Harvard-Westlake held off Roosevelt late as the Mustangs cut the lead down to 50-47 with 38 seconds left. Senior Harvard pledge Robert Hinton put the game out of reach, burying a pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining to give the Wolverines a 52-47 lead.

This is the second straight year that Harvard-Westlake, the reigning CIF Open Division state champions, has won 30 games.

The road to state is still a reality for Roosevelt. A season ago Centennial won the Southern Section Open Division but Harvard-Westlake went on to win state.

The Wolverines used a pair of big runs to pull out the victory. Down 7-5 in the first quarter, Harvard-Westlake scored 10 straight as four-star junior Nikolas Khamenia dropped eight of his 15 points in the first quarter.

Khamenia played efficiently all night, finishing around the rim, knocking down turn-around jumpers, 3-pointers and free throws.

McDonald’s All American Trent Perry was a dominant force for the Wolverines. He picked up big baskets when needed, including a big fourth-quarter bucket to give the Wolverines a 48-41 lead. He also had the first score of the second half to give Harvard-Westlake a 37-27 lead.

Roosevelt then went on a third quarter 7-0 run as five-star junior guard Brayden Burries and senior Colorado State commit Darnez Slater picked up big baskets. Roosevelt junior Issac Williamson hit a huge 3-pointer that cut the lead to 37-34.

But Harvard-Westlake ended the run as Khamenia picked up a basket. Moments later, with the score 44-36, senior Christian Horry buried a 3-pointer to send Harvard-Westlake into the fourth quarter with an eight-point lead.

This was the first time the Mustangs have played in the Southern Section Open Division championship and it was a whirlwind ride to get there. Roosevelt went through JSerra Catholic, St. Pius-St. Matthias Academy and an overtime win over Mater Dei in pool play to advance to the final.

Harvard-Westlake got to the final by defeating Centennial, then rolling through No. 16 Sierra Canyon and St. John Bosco by a combined 58 points.

Roosevelt got the lead down to three late in the fourth after Slater hit a 3-pointer. Hinton then hit the two free throws to put the exclamation point on the ballgame.

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