The Bay League boys basketball title had already been clinched by Mira Costa, but that didn’t stop the Mustangs and Redondo from putting on another intense rivalry meeting Thursday.
Thanks to a strong defensive effort and some timely baskets from seniors Xan Wesley and Caike Godoy, Redondo spoiled Mira Costa’s bid to go undefeated in league, winning 54-43 at Manhattan Beach Middle School.
“It’s been a tough year,” Redondo coach Nick Welch said. “To win this game is extra special for the seniors, especially coming off losing to Peninsula.
“We come off Tuesday losing to Peninsula, Mira Costa clinches the title the same night and I could have had guys that packed it in, but we didn’t. We came out here to fight. They had one goal in their mind tonight and that was to beat Costa and they achieved that and I’m proud of my seniors.”
Thursday’s matchup was setting up to be a low-scoring, hard-fought affair from the tip. Redondo (17-10, 6-4) led 22-20 at halftime and 37-32 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, the Mustangs offense continued to struggle. After a basket from Tyler Antrobius that cut Redondo’s lead to 37-36, Mira Costa made only one field goal for the remainder of the game.
With a 42-40 lead, Redondo went on a 9-0 run to put the game away.
“I’m guessing we were 0 for 18 (from the 3-point line), and you’re not going to beat anybody like that,” Mira Costa coach Neal Perlmutter said. “I tip my hat to Redondo. … They gave a great defensive effort and they made their free throws down the stretch, which they didn’t do last time and they deserve to win tonight.”
Godoy led Redondo with 16 points and Wesley had 13. Trent Smith had six and the Sea Hawks also got key contributions from Chidera Oti, Peter Davis and Jack Dickinson.
Will Householter led Mira Costa with 16 points and Antrobius finished with nine.
The Mustangs came up just short of a perfect league title, which would have been the first in the Bay League since Redondo did it during the 2016-17 season.
“I think as a team, we wanted it,” Perlmutter said of going 10-0. “But winning the Bay League championship was our goal. Going 10-0 was never our goal, but you always want to beat your rival when you have a chance.
“Our guys competed really hard, but the shots didn’t fall tonight.”
Both teams will now wait for the CIF-Southern Section playoff announcements on Sunday afternoon. Redondo will be in Division 1 and Mira Costa in 2A.
REDONDO 54, MIRA COSTA 38 >> Alyssa Munn had 19 points and Anna Johnson finished with 14 to lead the Sea Hawks to the win and a share of the Bay League title.