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FutureStarrTaft Edges Fairfax for the City Section Open Division Boys' Basketball Title
On Saturday at Pasadena City College, Taft boys basketball team narrowly defeated Fairfax for the City Section Open Division title. It was an intense, hard-fought contest that came down to the wire.
Other area teams that still have hopes of winning their first City titles since 2011 include Birmingham and Granada Hills girls' basketball. This year could be particularly special for these squads and the surrounding community as a whole.
On Saturday night at Pasadena City College, Woodland Hills Taft narrowly edged Fairfax for the City Section Open Division boys' basketball title in an epic contest. Coach Derrick Taylor's Cougars came out on top 64-62 to claim their fourth City title in five years, ending up as champions with a 64-62 win.
At halftime, the Lions led 32-27. But Taylor's team rallied with a 15-4 run over four minutes in the third quarter to take an overwhelming 55-48 advantage heading into the fourth. Additionally, two 3-pointers were hit in the final three minutes to seal the victory for them.
Trey Lyles scored a team-high 20 points to lead the charge. He was joined by juniors Stanley Johnson and Karl Towns Jr., both of whom are among MaxPreps' 2013-14 All-American first-team selections.
Even after winning their third consecutive title, Taft still can't quite catch rival San Bernardino Valley (13-game winning streak against Taft (11-2) and currently leads the state rankings. In fact, San Bernardino Valley has defeated TC twice on home fields - a 1-1 tie in October and 3-0 sweep this season.
Two weeks from now, the Lions will return to the City playoffs and aim for their first title since 2012. A win against Westchester on Friday - who host the semifinals - would give them another shot at another championship.
In the other semifinals, Granada Hills advanced to its fifth consecutive City final with a 56-46 win over Crenshaw. Mater Dei defeated Lawndale Leuzinger 79-74 and will also participate in the finals.
Sierra Canyon advanced to their third consecutive City final by defeating Etiwanda 69-57 in a match of undefeated teams. The Eagles now have the chance to win the Southern Section championship on Sunday when they take on defending champion St. John Bosco.
Since 1985, the Eagles have won a City section championship every year. That includes 3A crowns in 1985 and 1987 as well as winning their fourth 4A title and ultimately taking out the City (upper division) title in 2007.
Westchester has been the undisputed champion of the Open Division for much of this season. The Eagles have won 10 City section games, six by at least 20 points and five by 30 or more points.
These numbers are not surprising considering the abundance of talented players on their roster, including sophomores Mariah Blake and Bryce Jones. Both averaged over 16 points per game this season and were among the top scorers in the city.
Conversely, Fairfax was near the bottom of the city's power rankings with a 6-8 record this season. Additionally, it was outscored by teams such as Cerritos, Santa Monica and Los Angeles Pierce in its five games this season.
On Saturday at Pasadena City College, the top two teams in the City Section Open Division boys' basketball tournament battled to a conclusion. Woodland Hills Taft edged Fairfax by one point for their fourth title under coach Derrick Taylor. The Lions took an early lead and never trailed by double digits until Darius Carr's free throw with 3.4 seconds left gave Fairfax a 62-61 advantage.
At halftime, the game was tied at 28-28. But after some close misses by Bluitt III and Carr, the Lions took control of the third quarter with two three-pointers each. Carr's long jumper put them ahead 34-28.
Taft took control of the game with a 15-4 run to take command. The Toreadors outscored Fairfax 29-19 in the third to take a 52-48 advantage with four minutes left in regulation.
In the final moments, Souljah Niles leapt as high as he could to block Carr's last-second three-pointer from beyond the arc; however, his shot came up short, giving Taft a 64-62 victory.
This year's MaxPreps All-American Team featured some of the country's finest senior players. Selections were determined based on their performances throughout the season, which included individual and team success as well as local, regional and state honors.
While many of the selections were senior players, some were sophomores who earned their place on the list. The MaxPreps All-Americans are comprised of 50 of America's top high school players as voted on by their peers.
Many of the players on this list were top 10 candidates for their state's player of the year award and some even earned selection to the national high school all-star team.
Other top 10 players include Chaminade's Jayson Tatum, who earned a place on MaxPreps All-American Team as one of three sophomores. Not only was he an impressive scorer but also an impressive rebounder and defensive champion.
The MaxPreps All-American Team is composed of the top 50 high school basketball players in America as selected by their coaches and peers. Each team's top five players are chosen based on their season performance - which includes individual and team success as well as local, region, and state honors.
On Saturday at Pasadena City College, Woodland Hills Taft Panthers edged Fairfax for the City Section Open Division boys' basketball title and retained it under coach Derrick Taylor. This is their fourth title in six years and sixth overall.
This win came as a major shock. The Panthers had been expected to be an elite team, yet had lost in the opening round of the playoffs by 20 points against Tulsa Washington and by three against Muskogee.
After a slow-starting first half that included some questionable defensive plays, Taft took control of the game with an impressive 15-4 run in the third quarter. The Panthers shot 12-for-22 from the floor and grabbed 12 of their 13 rebounds during that stretch - leading by as many as 11 at one point.
But Fairfax rallied and the score was even at halftime, 32-32. Sophomore guard Darius Carr hit two three-pointers in the final two minutes of the second quarter, including one with 6.6 seconds left that cut Taft's lead to 64-62. Souljah Niles leapt as high as he could to block Carr's last-second shot but it missed.
Walker noted the play as a pivotal moment in the game and one that made all the difference in the final five minutes. Although Niles made his shot, the Toreadors could not mount any sustained pressure on Taft.
Moore, a 6-5 forward who typically sees about 50 percent playing time after leaving the bench, had an outstanding game as well. He scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots in just over half an hour of action. Moore played an integral role in helping Taft maintain its lead throughout the second half and helped them capture their first City Section championship since 2012.
Lee, who had a terrible shooting performance to start the game, hit his biggest shot with 1:35 left and Taft went on to win. His basket gave Taft a 61-59 lead but Rehl missed an 18-foot jump shot at 1:06 while Parker made two free throws at :32 for the final margin of victory.
Senior guard Donald Bluitt III led the Lions with 26 points, but his early surge could not be sustained. Despite hitting two three-pointers, he finished 5-for-19 from the field and scored just seven points in the final 16 minutes of play.
Rehl was 3-for-6 from the field with four points and had two costly turnovers. Additionally, he was called for charging fouls late in the game.
Taylor's victory at Taft in his 19th season marked his fourth City Section boys' basketball title and sixth overall. Prior to this he had previously coached Jordan Farmar and Larry Drew to titles during his two first stints at the school.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players compete on an oval court. The primary objective is to shoot the ball (approximately 9.4 inches (24 cm) in diameter) through the defender's hoop.
College coaches seek student-athletes with excellent academic performance and test scores who demonstrate responsibility and discipline off the court. They may even contact a recruit's high school coach to gain more insight into their attitude, talent and work ethic on the court.
Westchester has never finished lower than second in CHSAA's City and Southern Section rankings, and has been an unbeaten powerhouse in that regard for nearly 40 years. This season has been no different.
Catherine Rinaldi is optimistic Metro-North ridership will return to pre-pandemic levels soon, thanks to a series of major upgrades such as East Side Access project and construction of four new stations in East Bronx by 2026. Despite these setbacks, Rinaldi remains optimistic the rail system will soon reach its pre-pandemic levels.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more challenging than ever for political candidates to raise funds. Kim DiTomasso has provided political figures like Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Westchester County Executive George Latimer with strategies for staying connected to their donors. She's also advised Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation which assists young people in developing leadership abilities.
Burlingame's Bearcats earned their fifth City title in program history by defeating rival Chase County on a last-second touchdown run. Colby Middleton rushed for 171 yards and two scores while Matthew Heckman intercepted Kyle Budke in the end zone to help Burlingame improve to 4-0.
Burlingame, California is located on the Bay Area Peninsula and part of San Mateo Union High School District. As a major commuter suburb to San Francisco, Burlingame and its surrounding areas are home to numerous technology companies.
The city is bordered by three highways: Highway 101, Highway 82 and Skyline Boulevard. It's connected to Oakland International Airport through BART and San Francisco International Airport through AirTrain. Furthermore, several Bay Area Rapid Transit bus lines serve the area, such as the Red and Yellow lines.
Aptos has won its fifth City title, propelling them to the CCS Division II championship game against Christopher on Friday night. After finishing second in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League behind co-champions Harbor High and Soquel, Aptos outlasted both teams for its second section title and first since 2011.
This year's squad plays an aggressive version of the wing-T that can be difficult to defend. It relies on quick handoffs and deception in order to stall defenses.
Senior outside hitter Maggie Walters and sophomore setter Emily Strah combined for 40 kills, battering the Mariners' usually airtight defense at times. Soquel kept errors to a minimum in the final two sets to make life difficult for Aptos' offense.
The Knights' 6-0 run in the second set allowed them to cruise to a match-tying victory, but Soquel filled in all of its defensive holes in the third and fourth sets, proving that its streak of winning division showdowns wasn't an aberration.
On Saturday night, Menlo School boys basketball team claimed its fifth City title in program history with a 42-6 victory against Hollister. Head coach Todd Smith noted that this victory marked the culmination of an effort that began back in 2020.
The Knights have won three straight victories in the postseason, upstaging King's Academy, Live Oak and Hollister by a combined score of 100-40.
On Saturday, the men's wrestling team claimed its second Cascade Collegiate Conference championship, earning top honors before a home crowd of thousands. Two champions were crowned and six placers earned All-Conference recognition.
Lynbrook's football program has won five City titles in its short history. This year it also claimed both Nassau County and Long Island Class III championships.
Travis Lock and Paul Magloire led a dominant running game that allowed the Owls to easily defeat Division and Hewlett. Kendall Bruton and Mike Kozlakowski led the defensive end position as well.
Lynbrook had already won its first two playoff games, dominating Lawrence and Sewanhaka. Even though they lost a key game against Lawrence in the final week of the season, the Owls made sure to prevail, scoring three touchdowns on their way to an impressive 42-27 triumph.
Lynbrook campus is divided into classroom wings on the back (east) side and a central quad with cafeterias, auditoriums, gyms and tennis courts. This central quad hosts various student activities like homecoming skits and Club Food Day.
Years ago, Priory didn't even have a girls basketball program. Nowadays, it's an unstoppable force in the region.
On Friday afternoon, Priory girls basketball team earned its school an historic victory and symbol of its dedication to building upon its storied tradition. Their 69-48 win against St. Francis College Prep in the section championship game served as both a testament to hard work and encouragement for this group of players going forward.
In other City basketball news, Stuart Hall won the NorCal regional tournament for a second consecutive season and will compete for the state championship on March 11 at Sacramento's Golden 1 Center against defending state champion Eastside College Prep.
Homestead High School is one of the largest high schools in the area, boasting 22 varsity sports teams across 10 boys' and 10 girls' squads. Additionally, it has numerous student clubs and organizations that compete at league and state tournaments. Furthermore, Homestead boasts an acclaimed media department with top-notch broadcasting and video production capabilities; its television and video production programs have been recognized as some of the best by Indiana Association of School Broadcasters five consecutive years.
Los Gatos has won its fifth City title in program history, raising its all-time wins total to 612 since 1896. It ranks fourth behind Manual Arts (Los Angeles), Long Beach Poly and Central Catholic (Modesto) for this distinction.
Christopher Foster set a CCS Division II boys' cross country record of 15:19.2, earning him an automatic trip to the state meet. He was joined in the top 15 by teammates Jack Sexton and Ben Haderle, as well as junior Sanjay Mohan in the top 20.
Los Gatos easily dominated Soquel 14-0 in the opening quarter and never looked back. Lex Harris, Leah Murphy and Addison Lane each scored twice while Natalie Salerno, Summer Stelck and Kayla Matthies each added two goals.
Saturday night, Aragon High School's boys team won its fifth City title and broke the previous record set by 1994's squad. Longtime coach Steve Sell said this year's Dons have a special group.
On Saturday, the school continued its reputation of being a top-tier team when junior forward Gabe Aragon and senior Thomas Trujillo earned Academic All-American status at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Greenville.
The Dons offer an attractive opportunity for those seeking to expand beyond their current holdings. Their first expansion route should be through Provence and the Balkans, with France as their initial ally.
On Sunday night, the SAG Awards streaming online should offer a low-key Oscar preview and the opportunity for favorites to practice their acceptance speeches. As actors make up the largest voting branch of the Academy, big wins at the SAGs often presage trends at the Oscars.
Last year, TNT/TBS broadcasted the Film and TV Acting Guild award show from Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles; however, Netflix has recently signed on to stream it via their YouTube page and social media channels. This year's event, held at Fairmont Century Plaza again this year, will be streamed live via their YouTube page and other Netflix-affiliated websites.
The SAG Awards, which honor actors for their work in film and television, are often a reliable predictor of which movies will win Oscars later that year.
This year's SAG Awards will stream live on Netflix - a dramatic shift from years past when they were broadcast on TNT and TBS.
After losing their longtime broadcast home on those networks, the SAG Awards have announced a multiyear partnership with Netflix. The streaming service will host the ceremony at Fairmont Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles and feature it on both YouTube and social media channels of the streaming service.
Due to their often-previewed Oscar-nominated films, many people look forward to watching the SAG Awards each year. With its glamorous red carpet and intimate dinner-party setting, these awards have become a beloved tradition during awards season.
This year's slate of SAG Award nominees includes several fan-favorites: sci-fi sensation "Everywhere At Once," Irish tragicomedy "The Banshees of Inisherin," and comedy "The Whale." We can't wait to see what these contenders bring to the table!
The 2023 SAG Awards promise a variety of surprises with such an impressive slate of nominees. Who knows, one of these may even deliver one of the biggest upsets this awards season!
This Sunday's Best Supporting Actor category could provide some major surprises, as it has been filled with a plethora of big names in recent weeks. The winner could go from an established name like Frances McDormand or Gary Oldman to someone unknown - an surefire way to shock the Academy!
Kotsur, a deaf actor, has been receiving critical acclaim for his performance in "CODA," an Apple film about a deaf fisherman. This award is just the latest achievement for the indie film which has gained momentum since its virtual Sundance Film Festival premiere last year.
Kotsur could easily repeat last year's performance and earn his first SAG Award, potentially positioning himself as a front-runner for Best Actor. Furthermore, he could become the first deaf actor to receive an individual SAG Award - another historic milestone.
Since 2009, only one SAG winner for supporting actress has failed to earn an Oscar nomination: Emily Blunt for "A Quiet Place" (2018).
SAG typically follows suit with other acting awards and selects its nominees based on the best picture nominees. It's hard to imagine this year's slate breaking that tradition.
However, the SAG awards do provide winners with an opportunity to make an impression on Oscar voters with their speeches. Nicole Kidman and Olivia Colman's roles in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story put them in contention; however, it will be tough for them to surpass Glenda Cleveland (Nicci Nash-Betts) from The Dropout.
Ariana DeBose's breakout performance and Female in a Supporting Role award should put her in the running for an Oscar as well. As the first Afro-Latina and openly queer woman of color to win a SAG award, there's likely no doubt she will be nominated for this year's Academy Award as well.
Paul Dano's performance in The Fabelmans should also propel him into contention for an Academy Award nomination. His nomination at the SAGs is especially beneficial, considering there is significant overlap between their guild and awards show.
Dano should have no trouble earning his second Academy nomination if he wins, as there is plenty of crossover among the guilds and voters will be looking for someone who resonates with them.
The SAG Awards give fans a chance to see their favorite actors' performances, which could help determine who wins in the Oscar race. But whether Blonde and Everything Everywhere All at Once will have the same impact at the Oscars remains to be seen.
Ke Huy Quan's performance in "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is one of the year's most impressive. As a veteran actor who took a decade off from filmmaking, he returns with an impact in this '80s-style action thriller. Already awarded Critics Choice and Golden Globe awards, he is expected to take home SAG award too, which could increase his chances of receiving an Oscar nod.
A win for a best actor in drama at the SAG Awards often heralds an impressive Oscar victory for that film, since many of the acting categories overlap with those at the Academy Awards - and oftentimes, those who win these kudos bodies vote just like those who take home awards at these ceremonies.
One recent example was "Parasite," which won a SAG Award for ensemble and went on to win the Oscar for best picture. But that's not the only way a film can triumph at the SAG Awards: It could also take home top honors in the best supporting actor category.
A film that wins best supporting actor at the SAG Awards is likely to receive nominations for other awards as well. In addition to receiving SAG nominations, it could also garner Critics Choice or Golden Globe nods, plus there's always the possibility of earning a nod for best supporting actress in a drama too.
Another strong contender for an Oscar nod is "Evans," the biographical drama about Elvis Presley that has already earned over two dozen nominations and includes a spot in best picture. Austin Butler, who stars as Presley in the movie, won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama and could potentially receive another nod for his work.
Other contenders for best picture include "Green Book," the musical about a real-life rabbi and his black chauffeur; HBO's critically acclaimed drama series; and "House of Gucci," about the family behind an exclusive fashion label. All these films have been nominated for both SAG Awards, plus best picture should be decided between them.
Sunday evening the SAG Awards will stream live from Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hanger, marking its first return there since 1996.
The SAG Awards are an iconic milestone in Hollywood and for Academy voters who decide who takes home the Oscars each year. It's a star-studded party like no other, featuring unexpected reunions and intimate moments onstage and off. On this one night a year, you can see your favorite stars up close and feel part of an exclusive community.
With the Academy Awards just around the corner, it's important to watch which performances will likely win gold at these early major award shows. The SAG Awards streaming Sunday should be an ideal place to begin as six of 15 acting categories award motion pictures; who wins these awards often serves as a tipping point in the Oscar race.
This year the guild will return to an in-person format after going entirely virtual last year. This change should give the SAG Awards a fresh look with new faces and stories.
On March 14th, several awards will be handed out to performers from film and TV, including Best Actor in a Comedy. However, the big prize for the night could potentially be Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture which could serve as an indicator for what may happen at the Oscars next month.
The SAG Awards recognize actors who portray supporting roles in motion pictures, as well as ensembles in comedies and dramas. The winners are determined by a voting process involving representatives from SAG-AFTRA union, National Board of Film and Television Arts and Sciences, and Independent Filmmaker Project.
For the first time ever, nominees are not limited to one film but can represent individual episodes of TV series or standalone pilots. HBO's "House of Gucci," which earned five nominations, stands as a prime example; its actors, known for their campy charm and snarkiness, are likely to gain support from veteran voters at the TV Academy.
Steve Martin, triple-nominated for both writing and acting in "Only Murders in the Building," is another pleasant surprise. While his only Oscar win was for writing, his physical comedy style and sharp sense of humor could make him a formidable challenger to other leading men in this category.
Anthony Carrigan, who stars as NoHo Hank on "Barry," is an unexpected nominee for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. His endearing performance in the HBO dramedy may give him an edge over other nominees but Bill Hader (also featured on "Barry") could pull off an upset as well.