Measuring sticks

first_imgSeveral of the area’s top high school basketball teams will be competing in showcases this weekend, taking a break from league play to see how they stack up against other quality Southland programs. The fifth annual War on the Floor Extravaganza on Saturday at Taft High in Woodland Hills features eight teams ranked in the Daily News’ Top 20 or Small Schools Top 10 and Price of Los Angeles, which is the top team in Southern Section Div. V-A and six-time defending section champion. “High school basketball is changing,” said Bort Escoto, whose Sylmar team will play in the tournament. “Playing in these types of tournaments on the weekend is becoming the norm. It gives the fans and teams a chance see good matchups they would not normally have the opportunity to check out.” The fourth annual Reebok Southern California Shootout at Azusa Pacific University features plenty of intriguing games, including Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, top-ranked in Div. IV-AA, against Colony of Ontario, the best Div. II-A has to offer. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Campbell Hall’s 42-game winning streak was snapped earlier this year by Taft of Woodland Hills in a Modesto Christian tournament game, and the Vikings lost to Dorsey of Los Angeles, another perennial City Section power, the following night. The prevailing wisdom is that tougher competition during the regular season benefits teams when the playoffs roll around. “These tournaments are great,” Campbell Hall coach Terry Kelly said. “We get a chance to go out and challenge teams we’ve never seen before and may never see again. We’ve always tried to play anyone who has ever called us. Our motto is ‘Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere.’ ” La Canada also will receive a difficult challenge in Azusa, taking on Pasadena, Div. I-A’s top-ranked team. The Spartans, who won their 47th consecutive Rio Hondo League game on Wednesday, could face a team much like Pasadena – perhaps Artesia of Lakewood or Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita – during the Div. III-AA playoffs. center_img “How we respond early in the game, whether we show some composure and confidence against a very good defensive team like Pasadena, that’s what I’m looking for,” said La Canada coach Tom Hofman, whose team arrived at Azusa Pacific last season with a 20-0 record and lost 69-65 to Colony. “Just playing in that arena, in that environment, it tells you a lot about your team. And that’s what we’ll find out Saturday.” Among the big games at the War on the Floor Extravaganza are Montclair Prep of Panorama City – the defending Div. IV-A champion – taking on Chatsworth, and Birmingham of Lake Balboa facing Price. The festivities culminate with Sylmar taking on Cleveland of Reseda, a game with Valley and City Section bragging rights at stake. The early-morning game, Canoga Park against Van Nuys, is an interesting encounter. Van Nuys went 0-21 last season but has turned things around under first-year coach Jason Bryant and is 7-7. “Playing in games like this gives us the ability to create new rivalries,” Escoto said. “People want to see what a Price team will do against a Birmingham or Sylmar versus a Cleveland. It’s going to be intense.” Sean Ceglinsky, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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