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Calabasas Wins First Ever Basketball CIF Championship

Calabasas High first opened its doors in 1975, but it wasn’t until Thursday night at the Anaheim Convention Center that the school hoisted up its first ever CIF boys basketball championship.

“This is absolutely incredible,” said senior Spencer Levy. “We’ve always dreamed about this since we were little kids.”

Calabasas (27-3) defeated South Torrance 69-39 for the Div. 3AA title.

“I think (the team) executed the gameplan flawlessly,” said Coach Jon Palarz. “We defended well, and we then got the rebounds. We won the boards 45-32. It’s what you pray for as a coach.”

The Coyotes jumped out to a quick 27-2 start and never looked back.

“I think it all started on defense, and then we just executed on the other end,” said Jeremy Lieberman, who finished with a game-high 15.

The Coyotes dedicated the season to assistant coach Joe Frazier, who is currently in a coma after suffering a head injury in a hit-and-run accident.

“Joe is a coach, a mentor, a father, a brother to all of us. He’s smiling right now, and when he wakes up, he’ll have a big, old ring on his finger,” said Levy, who finished with 13 points.

The win means Calabasas advances to the first round of the Div. 3 State Championship tournament on Wednesday, March 7.

“This is huge for us,” said Lieberman. “Our school’s never won a championship ever. It was a dream season, but it’s not over yet.”

Leading Scorers:

Jeremy Lieberman scored 15. Holden Israel scored 14. Spencer Levy added 13. Austin Smith had 10. Alex Monsegue scored five. Zac Hepps had four. Nema Sahebifard, Max Levinson, Joshua Cohan and Eric Skylar each contributed two points.

Anaheim– It was four years in the making for seniors Lauren Holiday and Nicole Tolbert. They both arrived at Campbell Hall as freshmen dreaming to duplicate their brothers’ success.

Steven Tolbert II, Justin and Jrue Holiday raised a CIF banner together in 2005.

After tough losses in the quarterfinals the past three years, the two younger sisters have finally achieved their goal hoisting up the school’s first ever CIF trophy in girls basketball.

“Since freshman year we’ve talked about where we were going to put our banner and we just talked about it,” said Tolbert, who scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. “Now, it’s a dream come true. We finally have our names up and when people go in the gym and see our names (on the banner), they’ll say, oh, that was that one team that made history.”

Campbell Hall (21-6) defeated Brentwood 66-29 Wednesday for the Div. 4-A CIF-SS Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Vikings jumped out to a quick start 13-4 start and never looked back.

“They’re a wonderful team, so we knew we had to come in hard and strong immediately, and not wait until the second or third quarter,” said Coach Toya Holiday.

It was the second and third quarter where the Vikings gained major separation, outscoring Brentwood 35-8 to extend the lead to 54-17.

The charge was led by transfer Natalia Azad, who made six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22.

“Entering high school I couldn’t even expect being here,” said Azad, who transferred from Calabasas and Montclair Prep before arriving at Campbell Hall. “Everything that I went through transferring, I’m just so glad that I ended up where I am right now. I love my team.”

The win means Campbell Hall advances to the first round of the Div. 4 State Championship tournament on Wednesday, March 7.

“It’s just really cool, it hasn’t hit me yet,” said UCLA-bound Lauren Holiday, who finished with 16 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists. “I’m so proud of my team.”