Redondo High's boys' basketball team is in the driver's seat of the Bay League after key wins over host Lawndale Leuzinger and visiting Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula last week.
The Sea Hawks, under first year head coach Reggie Morris, Jr., took sole possession of first place in league with a key 59-48 win over Leuzinger on Jan. 22. The Olympians were head coached by Morris from 2002-10.
Last Friday, Redondo struggled through the first half and trailed but exploded for a 24-1 run in the third quarter and it was the difference in a 57-44 victory over the Panthers.
With an outstanding game plan under head coach Jim Quick, Peninsula, which fell to 2-4 in the very balanced league and 10-12 overall, surged out to leads of 14-8 after the first quarter and 26-25 at halftime.
The Panthers were ahead 28-25 before Chris Hernandez started Redondo's big rally with a 12-foot jump shot.
From there, the Sea Hawks (14-8, 6-0) poured it on Peninsula. Redondo went on to lead, 49-29, after the third period after a buzzer-beating three-point basket by Ian Fox. Fox, a junior guard, led Redondo with a game-high 21 points and eight steals.
The Panthers closed the gap some in the fourth quarter but the Sea Hawks stayed safely ahead.
Also helping out the Sea Hawks were Darien Touchstone with nine points and four steals, and freshman guard Leland Green with nine points and five rebounds.
Peninsula, though, did an outstanding job in containing Redondo senior guard Derek Biale, holding him scoreless until scoring midway in the final period. Biale, who scored 28 points in the Sea Hawks' victory over Leuzinger, had just four against the Panthers.
Peninsula was led by junior forward Stanley Roberts, Jr. with 10 points and three blocked shots.
In the league showdown, Biale had a huge night that included seven three-point baskets, two of those that helped Redondo pull away from the Olympians, who entered the contest ranked No. 1 in the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIAA. The Sea Hawks were sixth in IIA.
Leuzinger held a 48-46 edge with about four minutes left before Redondo finsihed the game with a 13-0 run.
"The kids came out and played hard," Morris, who guided the Olympians to the CIF-Southern Section Division IA title three years ago before being dismissed by Leuzinger's administration, said. "We scraped, kicked and clawed. Our defense played outstanding."
Prior to Redondo, Morris head coached at St. Bernard in Playa del Rey, keying the Vikings to the CIF-Southern Section Division VAA title and the Southern California regional semifinals last season and the California State Division V championship game where they lost a narrow 47-44 decision to St. Joseph-St. Mary's High from Alameda in the 2010-11 season.
He also coached now Oklahoma City Thunder standout Russell Westbrook, who led Leuzinger to the Bay League title and the Southern Section Division IA semifinals in the 2005-06 season.
The Sea Hawks, behind 6-foot-7 center-forward Sebastian Lindner, were strong at the boards. Lindner pulled down 11 rebounds, including nine in the fourth quarter.
Fox also helped out Redondo with 14 points, 11 of those in the second half.
Justin Delgado led Leuzinger (17-5 overall and 5-1 in league after a 65-53 win at Palos Verdes last Friday) with 20 points. Eric Childress added 11 points.
The Sea Hawks will have critical home game against Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, which is third in league at 4-2 after a 54-52 win over West Torrance last Friday, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Redondo, then, visits West in another league game Friday at the same time.
Leuzinger visits always tough Peninsula Tuesday before hosting Mira Costa Friday in 7:30 p.m. Bay games.
Peninsula will host hill rival Palos Verdes Friday at 7:30 p.m.
In Del Rey League boys' basketball action, Bishop Montgomery and Serra set their stage for their second showdown on Wednesday at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance after easy league victories last Friday.
The frontrunning Knights, ranked No. 1 in the Southern Section Division IVAA and 10th in the United States, had little trouble in disposing La Puente Bishop Amat, 65-25, last Friday.
Bishop Montgomery (22-0, 7-0) was led by Lamond Murray, Jr. with 20 points and seven rebounds.
The host Cavaliers routed Pasadena La Salle, 68-45, on Friday.
Tavrion Dawson led Serra (17-5, 4-1) with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ajon Jefferson chipped in 11 p oints and Ronald Freeman contributed 10 points.
In the last meeting on Jan. 11 at Serra, the Knights pulled away from the Cavaliers, 58-34.
The two teams square off on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Bishop Montgomery has overwhelmed a majority of teams it played. Also in league, the Knights crushed another key rival in St. Bernard, 87-29, on Jan. 23 at Bishop Montgomery. In the Fairfax State Preview Saturday in Los Angeles, the Knights humiliated San Diego Lincoln, 79-34. Lincoln was without 6-foot-9 center Daniel Melifonwu.
On Friday at 7 p.m., Bishop Montgomery will play at La Salle and Serra will host St. Bernard Friday at 5 p.m.
West, Redondo girls get key wins: West Torrance High's girls' basketball team remained atop the Bay League with a 68-55 win over host Mira Costa last Friday in Manhattan Beach.
The Warriors held a 40-24 halftime lead but the Mustangs made a game of it before West held on.
Kylie Fujioka led the Warriors (17-7, 5-1) with 16 points. Sydney Chase had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Camille Mills and Haley Tojo shared Mira Costa's high scoring honors with 12 points apiece.
Redondo, which handed West its only league loss on Jan. 15, stayed one game behind the Warriors by avenging an earlier loss to Peninsula with a 49-43 home victory last Friday.
The Lady Sea Hawks, who improved to 13-9 overall and 4-2 in Bay action, continued to be led by senior forward Inara Nyingifa with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Erin Sato and Megan Schafenacker shared the Panthers' high scoring honors with nine points each.
West and Redondo will square off Friday at 6 p.m. at West.
The Sea Hawks, though, will have a critical home game against Mira Costa, another team that defeated them on Jan. 11, Tuesday at 6 p.m.
West hosts Palos Verdes at the same time.
The Mustangs, who are also 4-2 in Bay action, visit Leuzinger (0-6 in league) Friday at 6 p.m.
In a Del Rey League showdown on Jan. 22 at St. Bernard, the Lady Vikings remained unbeaten at 5-0 by rallying for a 78-76 win over rival Gardena Serra.
The Lady Vikings were led by Chenelle Pelle with 16 points and 21 rebounds. She had a key blocked shot on Serra's Nautica Morrow with 41 seconds left in the game that helped St. Bernard preserve the victory.
Chyanne Butler tallied 17 points, four assists and five steals. Michelle Curry added 13 points, 13 rebounds and four assists.
The Cavaliers, who led 43-28 at halftime but were plagued with controversial scoring in the third quarter where they claimed that an official gave the Vikings two extra points, were led by Siera Thompson with a game-high 23 points. Deandrea Toler contributed 21 points, eight rebounds, five steals and five assists, and Caily Hailey totaled 18 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Thompson had four three-point baskets.
St. Bernard remained unbeaten with a 63-59 victory at Bishop Amat last Friday.
Butler sparked the Vikings with 17 points and five assists, while Michelle Curry had 17 pointgs and seven rebounds. Pelle tallied 16 points and 14 rebounds, 10 of those on offense.
Bishop Montgomery also stayed in the race in the Del Rey, who many consider as one of the premiere girls' basketball leagues in the United States, by topping host La Salle, 63-50.
The Lady Knights (19-5, 3-2) were led bgy Dani Lee with 15 points and Chelsea Lidy with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
St. Bernard closes league with two huge showdowns against South Bay rivals. The Vikings host Bishop Montgomery Thursday at 7 p.m. and visit Serra on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
The Vikings are at La Salle for a 7 p.m. league game on Tuesday.
Serra visits Bishop Amat Tuesday at 7 p.m. and hosts La Salle on Thursday at the same time. The Cavaliers and Knights square off at Bishop Montgomery on Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.
Snyder's South Bay Basketball Rankings:
Boys: 1. Bishop Montgomery (22-0), 2. Westchester (19-5), 3. Serra (17-5), 4. Redondo (14-8), 5. Leuzinger (17-5), 6. Inglewood (12-10), 7. Mira Costa (15-7), 8. Lawndale (14-8), 9. South Torrance (15-6), 10. Narbonne (10-10).
Girls: 1. St. Bernard (17-5), 2. Serra (17-5), 3. Bishop Montgomery (19-5), 4. Narbonne (14-8), 5. Westchester (20-6), 6. Culver City (19-6), 7. West Torrance (17-7), 8. Carson (16-6), 9. Mira Costa (14-9), 10. Redondo (13-9).