Thoughts on Ayala’s trip to the Sports Arena

Ayala’s girls basketball team lost in triple overtime 72-64 on Saturday, one step away from the Division II state finals. Before I mention that game, I should say something about the venue.

I really think a nice high school gym would’ve been more adequate than the L.A. Sports Arena on Saturday. It’s no secret that the Sports Arena was deteriorating while the Clippers and USC basketball teams were playing there. But now that they’re gone, it’s worse. Consider that there was no real scoreboard. There were video screens behind each basket (for a concert, perhaps?), that showed only the score, fouls and total timeouts remaining. It didn’t even include information that’s on the most basic of scoreboards: the quarter and who the latest foul was on (and how many they have). Although it was there other times during the day, the buzzer wasn’t used during Ayala’s game and the scorer’s table had to use an air horn. Divisions IV and V, held at Santa Ana Mater Dei High, surely had a better facility than Divisions I, II and III at the Sports Arena.

I realize last year’s site, UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion was busy with a UCLA game, and the sparkling place right down the street, USC’s Galen Center was busy with a USC game. But some Southern California college facility had to be vacant on Saturday, and available for the regional finals.