CHATSWORTH (CBSLA) — The main goal from the beginning of the season for the Sierra Canyon High School boys basketball team in Chatsworth was to win an unprecedented third straight state title.
And, after a dramatic end to the Open Division game in the 2020 California Interscholastic Federation SoCal Championship, the team was exactly where they needed to be to make their goal a reality.
With just one win to go before clenching the title, the coronavirus pandemic struck, and the CIF canceled all remaining games.
“It was a great disappointment at first, not for me so much, but for the seniors,” coach Andre Chevalier said. “They’re not going to have a chance to go to state again.”
Chevalier broke the news to the team via text message.
“That just broke our hearts,” BJ Boston, a Sierra Canyon High School senior, said. “Because, you know, we worked so hard just for that game.”
But with school shifted online and no opportunity to compete, the shooting guard who’s headed to the University of Kentucky in the fall said he was taking advantage of this time to focus on what matters most.
“I’m really focusing on family first, because I don’t really get the time that O usually get with them,” he said. “So I focus on them, then I do school work, keep up with my grades.”
And while the Trailblazers did not get the chance to finish what they started, Chevalier said he couldn’t be more proud of what his team accomplished.
“I think that whenever you are able to win your last game that you are a champion,” he said.
Chevalier said that though the CIF will not officially recognize a state champion this year, he believes tha this group has left behind a lasting legacy.
“In the history of L.A. basketball, this team is going to be known as the most followed team, the team with the most pressure,” he said. “And although they dealt with all that, they finished. The way that they were able to win it, I just think that historically, we’ve never seen it, and I just don’t know that we’ll ever see it again.”
To honor the team, the school ordered rings for what they considered a championship season, complete with a C-19 engraving to remind the players of the unique challenge of COVID-19 that prematurely ended their season.
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