The Extravaganza at Crossroads School is annually one of the most festive sports events on the Westside.
It is a day of competition between Crossroads and Brentwood in various sports, with large crowds streaming between the venues, food stands doing brisk business, children roaming on a day of family entertainment.
The culmination is the varsity boys’ basketball game, with the gym rockin’, the rooting sections shouting insults at each other.
“We can’t hear you,” shout the Crossroads students although sitting courtside I can hear them just fine.
“We have football,” counter the Brentwood students, knowing Crossroads doesn’t have football.
It’s all in fun, but make no mistake, victory was cherished in the Extravaganza’s marquee match up Friday night, January 11.
And the winner was Crossroads, 62-48, in the Olympic League contest.
With Kevin Williamson unable to play, versatile Merrick Ross took over point guard duties and directed an attack that allowed the Roadrunners to eventually pull away.
At 6-foot-5 Ross has considerable skills and sees open teammates. He’s a young player getting better and Coach Kevin Jackson says “by the time he leaves here he’ll be a true point guard.”
Sharing starring roles were 6-foot-8 center Conrad Liebowitz and sophomore Daniel Susman.
Liebowitz has the ability to put the ball on the floor and make moves and was a little bigger than Peter McMillian, his pivot opponent last year too in the Extravaganza.
Susman has worked his way in the coach’s plans.
“He was on the junior varsity last season and he’s been asking ‘what can I do to contribute?’ ” said Jackson.
The answer is that Susman has become the one who applies defensive pressure on the opponent’s point guard.
When he did that, particularly in the second half, Brentwood’s offensive flow was disrupted.
Crossroads has a 12-4 record in Jackson’s first season, with two of the losses coming to highly-ranked Campbell Hall and Palisades.
Peter Marshall’s sharpshooting Brentwood team also seems equipped to have a successful season.