Hollywood Hoops Teams 'Master' USC

The Sheiks' girls basketball squad clinches the Central League title with a blowout victory over USC-Mast while the boys squad remains in control of its own destiny.

The girls' basketball team has lived by the motto "unfinished business" all season, so you can imagine it would take care of business Friday against an overmatched USC-Mast team at the Epic Center.

The Sheiks dominated the Lady Trojans from the tip-off onward, scoring 34 consecutive points at one point en route to a 67-10 victory. The win clinched the Central League title for Hollywood (15-6, 10-0) with two games remaining in the regular season.

"This is a really good feeling," said senior center , who has now been on two league-champion teams for Hollywood. "We're excited. I can't wait to go in there and take it all. I'm looking forward to it."

Hollywood's goal all season was not just to qualify for the City Section playoffs, but advance straight through them. Winning the division — this is the second Central crown in four seasons for Hollywood and third under coach — merely represents the invitation to the City tournament that they've had circled on their calendars since the summer.

"We're happy to have (the league title)," Herron said. "We're feeling good about ourselves, but we're still not done yet. We want to make some noise in the playoffs."

There was one tense moment in the contest, when Gomez had her ankle rolled up on midway through the second quarter. The injury looked serious at first for the Sheiks' leading scorer and rebounder, but she was able to get up moments later and eventually re-entered the game.

"I broke this ankle before," said Gomez, referring to a right ankle injury suffered in her freshman year. "I was confident enough to know it wasn't serious."

Herron's heart skipped more than few beats when he saw his star player on the floor.

"The whole season flashed before my eyes," the coach joked.

led all scorers with 18 points. Gomez had 16 points and 18 rebounds, and chipped in with 14.

While not quite displaying the level of superiority that the girls showed, the Hollywood boys were dominant as well Friday, routing the host Trojans by the score of 68-28.

Hollywood was in control of the game from the outset, allowing coach the opportunity to give many of his bench players significant playing time. Junior guard led all scorers with 15 points, senior guard had 12 points to go with six steals, and sophomore guard finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.

The win moves Hollywood to 9-1 in the Central League, giving it a one-game lead over 8-2 Bernstein with two games remaining for both teams. The Sheiks control their own destiny, but the margin for error is small.

If Bernstein wins out to finish at 10-2 and Hollywood falls next week to either Torres (5-5) or Belmont (4-5), the Dragons would win the division. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, which settles nothing since the teams split their two matchups. The second is better overall record, which favors the Dragons, who are 14-8 on the season. Hollywood is 9-5.

"We want to just win because we don't want to put it in someone else's hands," Sheiks' senior guard said. "We want to control what we do."

The Sheiks will get that chance starting Wednesday against host Torres at 4 p.m.


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