Leuzinger High's boys' basketball team geared for what should be a very highly competitive Bay League by downing host Hawthorne, 72-51, in a non-league rivalry on Monday night.
The Olympians easily defeated the improved Cougars, despite playing without three starters who were benched in the first quarter for missing a practice.
The first period was dominated by the only two regular starters in, Eric Childress and Justin Delgado. Childress scored nine first period points enroute to keying Leuzinger (10-4) to a 21-17 lead.
When the other three starters came in, the Olympians began to pull away. They led by 11 (37-26) at halftime, then by 20 midway in the third quarter. Hawthorne rarely theatened.
Defensively, Leuzinger held the Cougars to just nine points apiece in the second and third periods after the closer first quarter.
Hawthorne, which won the Huntington Park Tournament by outlasting Carson 81-73 in overtime last Saturday, came into the game averaging almost 80 points per contest.
Childress sparked the Olympians with a game-high 23 points, followed by Delgado with 16. Davion Abner and Treyvion Anderson chipped in 12 and nine points, in order.
Hawthorne, which fell to 11-5, was led by Hakeem Hackard with 12 points. Dominique McClendon added 10 points; Davion Lee contributed nine points and Jamal Hackard had seven, all in the first period.
Leuzinger begins the Bay League today at home against Palos Verdes, before hosting Rolling Hills Estates Penisnsula in what should be a key contest on Friday. Both league games begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Cougars will have it tough in the Ocean League, beginning on Wednesday at Beverly Hills at 7:30 p.m. Hawthorne, then, comes home to face an outstanding Inglewood team, expected to be one of the favorites in the Ocean, Friday at the same time.
Bishop Montgomery, Serra get key wins: Throughout most of preseason play, Serra High's boys' basketball team did well, that included winning the San Pedro Pirate Classic with a 74-63 win over South Torrance on Dec. 29, along with third place finishes in the Redondo Pacific Shores and Westchester Trevor Ariza Tip-off Classics early last month, but had to wait out some more key players to join the squad.
Last Saturday, the Cavaliers finally completed their team as a pair of transfers, Chris Sandifer from Los Angeles Price and Ronald Freeman from Inglewood Morningside, became eligible after the 30-day sit out period, and Adorre Jackson from Serra's California State Division II football championship squad joined the squad for their Real Run Winter Classic Extravaganza showdown against Inglewood in a battle of 2012 CIF-Southern Section championship teams at Long Beach City College.
Sandifer was a big lift for Serra as he scored a game-high 26 points to key the Cavaliers to a 64-57 victory over the Sentinels.
Among those were seven critical points that led Serra, which trailed Inglewood 50-49 after three quarters, on a four-point play (a three-point basket and a free throw) and another three-pointer to ignite the Cavaliers (11-3) on an 13-2 run that gave them a 62-52 lead and never trailed from there.
Tavion Dawson tallied 13 points and seven rebounds, and Freeman totaled seven points.
Leading the Sents (7-5) was Brandon Randolph with 22 points. Kris Randolph put in 10.
After several consecutive blowout victories, including crushing Price Christian High 75-39 in the Redondo Sea Hawk Classic final on Dec. 29 along with easy wins over Palos Verdes (87-24) and Harbor City Narbonne (87-51), host Bishop Montgomery received a scare from Redondo before escaping with a 60-58 win in non-league play last Saturday in Torrance.
The difference for the Knights, who are 16-0 and ranked 13th in the United States by Max Preps Xcellent 25, were two free throws by Justin Bibbins with 3.6 seconds left in the game.
Bishop Montgomery's Lamond Murray, Jr. continued his outstanding season by leading all scorers with 22 points. Bibbins chipped in 10 points.
The Sea Hawks, who fell to 7-8 with all eight losses to nationally and state ranked squads, were led by junior guard Ian Fox with 19 points and senior guard Derek Baile with 18. The two combined to score 23 of Redondo's 27 second half points.
The game was marred by a post-game scuffle between the teams.
Serra and the Knights will square off in their first of two Del Rey League showdowns Friday at 5 p.m. at Serra.
The Cavaliers begin league at La Salle High in Pasadena Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Bishop Montgomery begins Del Rey action at Bishop Amat High in La Puente Wednesday at 7 p.m.
In the rankings, the Knights are still No. 1 in the CIF-Southern Section Division IVAA, while the Cavaliers are third. Serra is the defending IVAA champion
Inglewood will have what should be a big Ocean League showdown at home against Santa Monica Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Vikings are currently the top ranked team in the Southern Section Division IA and the Sentinels are 13th in the highly prestigious IAA. Last season, Inglewood won the Division IIAA crown over Simi Valley Royal, but, due to the return of all five starters plus receiving three highly regarded transfers, moved up to the top division that includes two of the three top teams in the nation in No. 1 Santa Ana Mater Dei and No. 3 Long Beach Poly.
Under first year and always successful head coach Reggie Morris, Jr., Redondo is expected to be in the thick of the Bay League race, as Leuzinger (second in IIIAA), Peninsula (seventh in IIAA), Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (10th in IIAA) and West Torrance (10th in IIIAAA) also field very good teams and had good showings in preseason play. The Sea Hawks are eighth in Division IIA.
Redondo begins league with a pair of road games at Peninsula tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Mira Costa Friday at the same time.
Girls: Bishop Montgomery pulls away from Redondo: Bishop Montgomery High's girls' basketball team used its depth to pull away from Redondo, 76-53, in non-league play last Saturday at Bishop Montgomery.
Down 16-11 after the first quarter, the Lady Knights (15-3) dominated the next three periods, outscoring the Sea Hawks (8-7) 65-37.
Bishop Montgomery was led by Christine Delapina with 26 points and four rebounds. Sophia Song contributed 14 points, Dani Lee had 13. Kate Tokuhara put in nine points and Chelsea Lidy tallied five points and seven rebounds.
Redondo, still hampered by a few key players out with injuries, had Taylor Smith and Inara Nyingifa combine for 45 of its 53 points. Smith led with 23 points, followed closely by Nyingifa with 22.
Three days earlier at Gahr High in Cerritos, Nyingifa had a game-high 33 points as the Sea Hawks downed the Gladiators, 65-46.
Bishop Montgomery, which also downed host Mira Costa 56-37 on Jan. 3, begins the rigorous Del Rey League at home against La Salle High tonight at 7 p.m. The Knights host South Torrance in non-league action Saturday at 6 p.m. before a pair of showdowns against other South Bay powers in Playa del Rey St. Bernard next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home and Serra on Jan. 17 on the road at 5 p.m.
Redondo begins Bay League action at Peninsula tonight at 6 p.m. The Sea Hawks travel to Mira Costa for a 6 p.m. league contest on Friday.
Narbonne wins Fairfax Tournament: The defending CIF-Los Angeles City Section champion Narbonne High girls' basketball team captured its second straight Fairfax Tournament with a 61-52 win over the host Lions last Saturday.
The Lady Gauchos defeated Fairfax, which they topped 50-44 for last season's CIF-L.A. City Section title, in the rematch and in what could be a preview of this season's City final.
Narbonne (10-4) was led by the tournament's Most Valuable Player Latecia Smith with a game-high 23 points. Jade Everage and Kayla Brady totaled 11 and 10 points, in order.
A day earlier in the semifinals, Narbonne downed Westchester, another top City contender, 68-54.
The Comets went on to edge Sepulveda Monroe, 63-61, for third place.
Narbonne started Marine League at 0-2 with a forfeit loss to Washington and a 59-40 loss to Carson, due to playing without a pair of key players. The Gauchos originally defeated the Generals but used an ineligible player that forced them to forfeit the contest.
The Gauchos should be heavy favorites to pick up their first official Marine win as they host King-Drew Medical Magnet High from South L.A. Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Narbonne is at home against San Pedro Friday at 7 p.m.
Westchester (15-5) began the Western League with a sluggish 58-51 win over Los Angeles Center of Enriched Studies (LACES) on Monday.
The Comets were shorthanded without a few key players in Ahtenna Jones (sprained ankle), Dana Smith (broken nose) and Teddie Harris (dislocated shoulder in the contest agaisnt LACES).
Westchester was led by Destubee with 29 points and 13 steals. Harris, who was injured late in the contest, managed 11 points and eight steals. Taylor Jackson added nine points.
The Comets' next game is at Venice for a 7 p.m. contest on Friday. Westcheser hosts Palisades in which should be a key league contest next Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Snyder's South Bay Top 10:
Boys: 1. Bishop Montgomery (16-0), 2. Westchester (13-5), 3. Serra (11-3), 4. Leuzinger (10-4), 5. Inglewood (7-5), 6. Mira Costa (9-5), 7. San Pedro (11-3), 8. Peninsula (8-7), 9. Redondo (7-8), 10. West Torrance (9-6).
Girls: 1. Serra, 2. Bishop Montgomery, 3. St. Bernard, 4. Carson, 5. Narbonne, 6. Culver City, 7. West Torrance, 8. Peninsula, 9. Mira Costa, 10. Redondo. (Records unavailable).