During a timeout in the third quarter of Westchester’s game against Palisades on Monday, 6-foot-9 center Marland Harris didn’t agree with something coach Ed Azzam said. He made a face as if he was frustrated. Soon Harris was pulled from the game and sitting in a chair as Azzam kneeled and offered words of advice.
“Listen don’t talk,” was the message Azzam, the winningest coach in the City Section history, was trying to get across.
Harris came back in the fourth quarter and recorded two dunks. He finished with 11 points in Westchester’s 73-47 Western League victory.
The Comets (10-6, 2-1) are unranked and have been largely forgotten amid a wide-open race to win a City Open Division title, but it’s best to consider the Comets a work in progress.
“I wouldn’t be coaching,” Azzam said when asked if he was convinced his team was in the title mix.
Harris and 6-7 Angel Corona, who didn’t play because of an injury, give Westchester something no other team in the City has _ size. If they figure things out, beware.
“We have a powerful inside game,” Azzam said. “We just haven’t learned to use it.”
If the Comets can create a consistent inside game, it will help open opportunities for junior guard TJ Wainwright, who doesn’t miss open shots. He had a slow start but finished with 15 points.
Palisades (7-7, 2-2) hasn’t beaten Westchester since the 1996 season. The Dolphins received 11 points from Graham Alphson.
Fairfax stayed unbeaten in league with an 89-48 win over Hamilton. Keith Dinwiddie scored 18 points. University defeated Venice 47-41. David Cheatom scored 21 points.
In the West Valley League, Taft continued its rise and Birmingham continued its decline. Taft opened a 35-9 lead and defeated the Patriots 72-53. Ramel Lloyd scored 29 points.
In the Coliseum League, View Park defeated Fremont 66-53. Marcus Dewberry and Tyvonne Kelly each scored 14 points.
In the East Valley League, Poly defeated Grant 57-51. Joshua Gregorio had 21 points for Poly, which is 3-0 in league. Aviv Hazan had 15 points for Grant.