Harvard-Westlake basketball storms past St. John Bosco to reach CIF-SS Open Division final

Harvard-Westlake’s Nikolas Khamenia puts up a shot over St. John Bosco’s Dominic Perfetti in the final round of pool play in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake’s Nikolas Khamenia tries to get off a shot against St. John Bosco in the final round of pool play in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake’s Dominique Bentho is fouled by St. John Bosco defenders during the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry is defended by Brandon McCoy Jr. and Kade Bonam of St. John Bosco during the final round of pool play in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake’s Nikolas Khamenia is defended by St. John Bosco’s Kade Bonam during the final round of pool play in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Brandon McCoy Jr. looks for help under pressure from Harvard-Westlake’s Christian Horry in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake boys basketball coach David Rebibo leads his team against St. John Bosco Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

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STUDIO CITY — Before Friday night’s boys basketball game between Harvard-Westlake and St. John Bosco, Wolverines star guard Trent Perry was presented his McDonald’s All-American jersey by Harvard-Westlake alum and 10-year NBA veteran Jarron Collins.

Perry joins Collins and his brother Jason as the only boys basketball players in program history to receive the honor.

And the USC commit showed exactly why he earned the illustrious distinction, leading Harvard-Westlake to a 64-40 win over St. John Bosco in the final game of pool play in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division playoffs.

Harvard-Westlake will face Roosevelt in the championship game at Cal Baptist University on Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Perry, who finished with a game-high 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. “I always had a lot of talks with my dad about this and I’m just very fortunate to be in the position that I’m in.”

“All-American has a new meaning and it’s winner, because that’s who he is and that’s what he’s about,” Harvard-Westlake David Rebibo said. “I couldn’t be prouder.”

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry receives his McDonald’s All-American jersey prior to their game against St. John Bosco Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake wrapped a 3-0 record in pool play, holding both Sierra Canyon (38 points) and St. John Bosco to season lows in points in back-to-back games.

Perry said that offensive struggles early in the season forced the team to focus even more on defense, and use it to propel the offense.

Harvard-Westlake’s smothering defense forced St. John Bosco into difficult shots all night.

“The ball was sticking a little bit early in the season and we said we can’t let our offense be our defense, we have to have our defense be our offense,” Perry said. “It’s just a great mindset and it feels good to get stops, get easy buckets and have fun as a team.”

While Perry orchestrated the offense, Nikolas Khamenia made his presence felt in the paint. The junior excelled in halfcourt sets and scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, using an array of moves in the post to score.

Christian Horry added nine points via three 3-pointers and Robert Hinton scored nine points.

Brandon McCoy Jr. led St. John Bosco with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

The Wolverines are one game away from checking off their second goal for the season, the CIF-SS Open title that eluded them last year.

“I’m happy but I’m not satisfied,” Perry said. “We still have one more game to complete and I know we’re focused right now as a team to get that job done.”

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