The first stop on the road to Staples Center was St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, where the FIYA D-1 Basketball playoffs started on Monday and Tuesday. The girls played Monday, with undefeated regular season champs La TIjera taking their show on the road for the first time this season. St. John Chrysostom was ready for the challenge, but the Tigers proved too strong in the end and La Tijera advanced. Lou Dantzler followed with a win over New West, setting up a rematch of one of just two losses they suffered this season.
On the other side of the bracket, View Park out lasted a game Culver City squad, and now hopes to avenge an earlier loss to St. Jerome, who held off Wilders in a hotly contested battle that was the third time the teams had met this season.
On Tuesday the boys took center stage, with the West league looking to make amends for the all East Final of last year. First up was 2013 Runner-Up Frederick Douglass, which had its hands full with St. Jerome. Despite finishing 4th in the West League, St. Jerome was confident coming in and was able to hold on in a game decided in the final seconds. Culver City took the court next, and this group who as 7th graders finished second in last year’s D-1A league would not be denied as they defeated Crozier to move on.
In the third game, undefeated West League champs Frank Parent took on Lou Dantzler. Not being intimated at all by perennial power and 2012 Champions Parent, Dantzler came ready to play and gave the Panthers all they could handle before Parent eventually prevailed.
Despite all the great basketball played beforehand, nothing could match the intensity of the final game of the night between Paul Revere and Monroe. Revere seemed to be in control midway through the second half with an 11 point lead before Monroe implemented a full court press to get back in the game. Tied at 40, the teams moved on to an extra period with the crowd in a frenzy. Capping a great two days at St. Mary’s, Revere held on for the win and a chance to advance to Staples.
FIYA Final Four - Thursday 3/7 @ Challengers Boys & Girls Club
4 PM – La Tiera vs. Lou Dantzler
5 PM – View Park vs. St. Jerome
6 PM – St. Jerome vs. Culver City
7 PM – Frank Parent vs. Paul Revere