Redondo Union’s home basketball court has been pretty tough place for opponents to pick up a win for a number of years now, especially for rival Mira Costa. This year Mira Costa did their due diligence and it paid off with a 52-48 victory Tuesday.

Mira Costa’s Tyler Antrobius scored the winning basket on a 3-pointer with 1:41 left in the game to give the Mustangs a 49-44 lead that proved to be the difference.

“It felt great,” said Mira Costa senior Max McCalla who scored nine points. “It’s the first time in like six years (we won here) I think so it was awesome. It was an exciting game too.”

It was the last chance for the seniors to get a road win at Redondo Union.

“It’s awesome,” Antrobius said. “We didn’t do it our first three years, so it is great to come over here and get it in our last year.”

Antrobius finished the game with a game-high 23 points, many from long range. He was on his mark for most of the night.

“Shooter’s got to shoot,” Antrobius said.

He scored 30 points against Peninsula so doing it again was nothing new.

“We weren’t surprised tonight when he hit big shots in clutch moments,” said Mira Costa second-year head coach Neal Perlmutter.

Mira Costa had a game plan coming in.

“Our number one emphasis was stopping their three-point shooting,” said Mira Costa second-year head coach Neal Perlmutter.

The goal, said the coach, was to cover them outside first and worry about anything else second.

“We were confident,” Antrobius said. “We knew that we had a good game plan coming into it and we were just going to execute it and our shots were going to fall.”

Redondo Union did not help their cause with nine missed free throws in the game.

“Same thing against Palos Verdes, we were like nine for 18 from the free throw line and lose by four points,” said Redondo Union first-year head coach Mike Welch. “We’ve got to come together in the tight moments, and I just don’t feel like we have done well with that up to this point. That is how teams win close games, they stay together and we have to do a better job of that.”

Redondo Union had its chances even up until the end to still get the win, but the shots would not drop.

“We didn’t come out in the end, but we had a chance the whole game and we had a chance to tie it with a layup at the end so a tough loss,” said Redondo Union senior guard/forward Xan Wesley.

It was not for a lack of effort.

“We gave it our full effort right up until the end,” said Redondo Union senior forward Caike Godoy. “Obviously missed free throws were big. It ended up being a four-point game, two possession game.”

Mira Costa sits atop the Bay League standings at the halfway point. They are now 15-7 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the Bay League.

“(This team is) definitely special, no one felt we were going to do any of this and we’re in first place in league so that’s great,” McCalla said. “Always great to be the underdog.”

Getting past Redondo Union is a big deal.

“There were not a lot of close games over the years and last year’s we started to close the gap, but we couldn’t get over the hump,” Perlmutter said. “This year it was our time. We played with confidence and I think we believed the whole time we were going to win the game.”

The reason they won is they have players who can play the game.

“I think you need to have playmakers and we have a group of guys that have no problem making plays in big moments,” Perlmutter said. “Last year we had trouble.”

While getting by Redondo Union is one step, they are looking at the bigger picture, a league title.

“This is a great win, but this is just one step in our overall goal,” Antrobius said. “We want to win Bay League.”

Perlmutter credits the turnaround to a recent tournament.

“We started off slowly. We were 2-3 (overall) and then we had our Pac Shores Tournament and we played okay. Then we went down to San Diego and for us I think that was the turning point in our season. We developed a physicality down there that we brought back to league and we’re much tougher and grittier team than we were a month ago.”

Now they have to finish what they started. Meanwhile, Redondo Union still has a shot. They are 13-9 overall and tied for second in league at 3-2.

“We knew coming into league that every game is going to be important,” Welch said. “It’s going to continue to be that way. I would like to continue to grow together as a team. I feel like we haven’t done that enough to this point. Lot of that comes from graduating 10 seniors-we’ve done it at times. That’s what we’re working on.”

“They are a great team, but we will see what happens,” Wesley said. “Still a lot of games to play. We definitely will give them a good game next time though.”

“We will go get them on their homecourt and hopefully they will lose a game,” Godoy said.

Mira Costa held a 24-23 lead at the half.

“They made a couple like deep 3’s at the half and we were playing good defense,” McCalla said. “We scouted them really well so we were ready for everything.”

Redondo Union felt good themselves.

“We were feeling pretty good (at the half),” Wesley said. “Tyler shot the heck out of the ball and we didn’t guard him correctly and it’s kind of what killed us.”

Mira Costa led 37-34 after three quarters after Redondo Union led 33-30 early in the quarter.

Redondo Union pulled to within two points with 22.9 seconds left to make it 50-48, but two more free throws by Mira Costa in the remaining seconds pushed the margin to four.

Kendal Parker led Redondo Union with 15 points and Trent Smith added nine.

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