It was an electric atmosphere at Challengers Boys & Girls Club for the 2014 FIYA D-1 Girls & Boys Final Four Thursday night.
In the first girls game, undefeated La Tijera looked to continue their dream season while Lou Dantzler had different ideas in hoping to avenge one of their just two losses. With a raucous crowd cheering every play, Dantzler held the lead for much of the game before La Tijera showed why they were the regular season champs by battling back to go ahead. Dantzler had one last chance but a three point shot rimmed out in the final seconds and La Tijera held on for the win.
The second game saw View Park and St. Jerome locked in a defensive battle. While St. Jerome led throughout there was no putting away View Park who refused to go down quietly. In the end though St. Jerome held on to advance to Monday’s Championship at Staples Center.
The girls of Spartan Nation hung around to cheer in hopes that their boys counterparts would join them on the Clippers floor, but the boys had the tall task of getting through Culver City who defeated them in the regular season. At times during the game Culver City seemed poised to take control, but St. Jerome refused to be deterred. Despite trailing for most of the second half, St. Jerome railed to force overtime. In a game that left all participants and spectators exhausted, Culver City ultimately prevailed 58-57 by making several timely plays that led to victory.
The final game of the night pitted perennial power Frank Parent vs. West League rival Paul Revere. Revere gave Parent everything they could handle in their regular season matchup, but Parent was up to the task this time and was able to overcome the excellent effort of Revere to move onto the Finals.
With the Final Four games decided, the championship schedule is:
Monday March 10th at Staples Center
12 PM – Girls Finals – La Tijera vs. St. Jerome
1:15 PM – Boys Finals – Frank Parent vs. Culver City
Tickets are $10 per adult and $5 per student (8th grade and below) and will be available at participating schools on Friday or at the Staples Center 11th Street gate on Monday from 11 AM –12 PM.