For any child growing up in Los Angeles, there is nothing quite like getting the opportunity to compete on the floor of Staples Center. For the La Tijera (Inglewood) and St. Jerome (Westchester) girls and Frank Parent (Inglewood) and Culver City boys that dream was realized Monday afternoon.
Before friends and family these four teams gave everything they had in hopes of capturing the 2014 FIYA Basketball Championship. First up were the girls, where La Tijera hoped to complete an undefeated season and St. Jerome vied to avenge an early season loss. The first half saw both teams battle valiantly, but ultimately the inside-outside combination of the Tigers proved too much for the Spartans and La Tijera emerged victorious as the 2014 Girls D-1 Champs.
On the boys’ side, Frank Parent had cruised through most of the regular season but knew they were up for a challenge against Culver City. As sixth graders, this Culver City group competed well in the first year of FIYA Basketball against 8th grade teams, and as seventh graders came up just short in last year’s D-1A title game; this year they hoped to take the final leap to end their season with a win and a championship.
In the first few minutes it seemed apparent this game would come down to the final moments, and the teams did not disappoint. It was a back and forth game throughout with Parent occasionally taking a lead that Culver would respond to with a run of their own, including in the final minute when Culver rallied to force overtime. Parent proved to have a bit too much in the extra period though, hitting the key shots that led to a 48-43 victory, and Frank Parent’s second of three FIYA D-1 Boys Basketball Championships.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the schools and FIYA, and congratulations to all four teams on excellent seasons.
La Tijera - D-1 Girls Champions
St. Jerome - D-1 Girls Second Place
Frank Parent - D-1 Boys Champions
Culver City - D-1 Boys Second Place