Daily News basketball: Previews for the boys and girls state championship games

Six basketball teams from the Daily News area will travel to Sacramento to compete in the CIF State championships this week at the Golden 1 Center, home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Here’s a look at the matchups for the four boys teams and two girls teams playing in the finals on Friday and Saturday:


All games at Golden 1 Center, Sacramento



Harvard-Westlake (32-3) vs. Salesian College Prep (31-1), Saturday, 8 p.m.

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Preview: The Wolverines are headed to Sacramento to defend their Open Division state title against a Salesian College Prep team that has beaten five of its six playoff opponents by nine points or more. Harvard-Westlake shook off a double-digit deficit to beat Roosevelt in the SoCal regional final Tuesday and earned a trip to the state championships. USC commit Trent Perry and Harvard commit Robert Hinton combined for 44 points in the win. The two also bring leadership to a deep team that also won a CIF Southern Section Open Division championship this season.


Alemany (24-15) vs. Santa Cruz (27-6), Friday, 4 p.m.

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Preview: Alemany earned just one win in Mission League play, but the level of competition in the league prepared the Warriors to win a CIF-SS championship, a regional championship and now an appearance in the state finals. It’ll be Alemany’s first state finals appearance since 2012. Senior Jared Mims is the Warriors’ leading scorer and has averaged 17.4 points per game and 2.2 rebounds per game across 20 games. Michael Lindsay, a dual-sport athlete in basketball and football, is averaging 9.1 points per game and 2.2 rebounds per game. Santa Cruz leans on forwards Kirby Seals and Demarco Hunter, who average 15.7 and 12.6 points per game, respectively. Center Ben Dotten averages 16.2 points per game.


Chatsworth (20-14) vs. Monterey (24-6), Saturday, noon

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Preview: Two players recorded double-doubles in Chatsworth’s regional championship win over Cleveland: Alijah Arenas (21 points, 16 rebounds) and Taj Unuakhalu (17 points, 17 rebounds). Arenas has been a scoring force all season and posted 53 points in the Chancellors’ regional semifinal win. Chatsworth has defeated its state playoff opponents by an average of 17.5 points. Monterey senior guard Ryan Roth scored 22 points in the team’s regional championship win, which was also its fourth straight win on the road.

Chatsworth’s boy basketball team celebrates after winning the CIF Southern California Division IV championship with a victory over Cleveland on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (Photo by Gene Blevins, Contributing Photographer)


Verdugo Hills (25-11) vs. Athenian (27-8), Friday, noon

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Preview: The Dons’ last three wins have come by three points or less, but they’ve won 10 straight games since Jan. 31. Verdugo Hills got stronger as the season went on after bouncing back from two-game losing skids on three different occasions. Alexander Martinez averages 15.6 points per game and is shooting 45% from the field. Four different players average over seven rebounds per game: Georges Abdulnor, Gianmarco Figueroa, William Gharabekyan and Alexander Martinez Martinez. Athenenian has offensive power in Surya Devasenapathy (16.4 ppg) and Evan Lucas (16.1 ppg).


Harvard-Westlake’s Deana Thompson makes a move to the hoop against Notre Dame in the CIF SoCal Regional Division II final March 5, 2024. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)


Harvard-Westlake (18-18) vs. Colfax (34-2), Saturday, 2 p.m.

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Preview: Don’t let the Wolverines’ .500 record fool you. Harvard-Westlake is peaking at the right time and is making its first state finals appearance since 2010. The team is fully healthy except for Bella Spencer, who has been out due to an ACL injury. Valentina Guerrero broke her nose and entered concussion protocol on Jan. 16 but returned to play in the regional championship game and scored a game-high 15 points. Deana Thompson has been reliable offensively, averaging 16.0 points per game, and the Wolverines can sustain a defensive press throughout all four quarters. Colfax is coming off its second consecutive regional title and is on a 12-game win streak. Three players average 10 or more points per game.


Harvard-Westlake girls basketball is going to the state championships for the first time in almost 15 years full story: https://www.dailynews.com/2024/03/05/harvard-westlake-girls-basketball-comes-together-to-beat-notre-dame-and-win-cif-regional-championship/ #sports #basketball #highschoolsports #coach #studiocity #girlpower #womensbasketball #girlsbasketball #highschoolbasketball #rain #championships

♬ original sound – Haley Sawyer


Granada Hills (21-11) vs. Caruthers (24-8), Friday, 2 p.m.

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Preview: The Highlanders are the first girls basketball team to represent the CIF Los Angeles City Section in the state championships in Sacramento since 2001. The gritty Granada Hills team has pulled off wins by three or four points in its last three games and is led offensively by senior Karma Paez’s 13 points per game. Brigita Bulotaite’s 41 precent shooting from the field and Emma Perez’s 8.9 rebounds per game have been assets for the Highlanders. Fourteenth-seeded Caruthers will be making its third state championship in the last six years.

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