Redondo Union held off Narbonne 69-67 in the third-place game of the 66th Annual Ryse Williams Pac Shores Tournament last Saturday in Redondo Beach, which featured 16 of the area’s top teams.
This year’s tournament was renamed in honor of Ryse Williams, who played on the team in the tournament last year for Redondo Union. Williams, who received a scholarship to play basketball at Loyola Marymount University, passed away suddenly the week he was to graduate from Redondo Union in June.
His family was in attendance during the opening day of the tournament and some of the players who he practiced and played with a year ago were on the court for this year’s team.
Quinn Collins, senior center, played with Williams for two years. He is the lone starter remaining from last season.
“It’s definitely an honor to name the tournament in his honor,” Collins said. “I feel like we could have went and got to the championship but sometimes stuff happens. I felt like getting third place was huge, especially after a tough loss against Santa Margarita.”
Collins led Redondo Union with 16 points in the game. He also had seven rebounds and two blocks.
“I’m mad that we didn’t get to play in the championship, but I’m still kind of happy that we get to end our week on a win,” said Redondo Union junior forward Alex Kowal.
Zekiah LoVett added 14 points and Jayden Winfrey had 12 for the Sea Hawks.
Quinn and LoVett were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Redondo Union improved to 3-1 overall. Narbonne finished the tournament with a 2-2 record.
Kendal Frey led Narbonne with 22 points and also had eight rebounds, four assists.
Redondo led 28-22 at the half and 43-36 after three quarters.
Narbonne put the pressure on Redondo Union right up until the end in the third-place game.
“It was a tough team,” said Redondo Union’s Chimezie Maduno of Narbonne. “At the end of the day, we executed the gameplan well.”
“We basically showed that we can compete with the top-level teams,” said Winfrey, who comes off the bench to help his team to the win.
New head coach Ali Parvaz agreed.
“Ryse Williams dad talked to our team today,” Parvaz said. “His whole message was: How do you handle adversity? That’s all he talked about. Do you fold? Or are you going to be determined?”
Narbonne tested their adversity and the Sea Hawks came through.
“They were really determined,” Parvaz said. “We built our nice lead where we had a little bit of wiggle room there (at the end).”
Westchester dominated 64-49 over Santa Margarita winning the tournament for the first time according to their longtime head coach Ed Azzam.
Jordan Brinson, junior, of Westchester was named MVP of the tournament and his teammate Kaelen Allen, senior, was named All-Tournament.
Santa Margarita’s Jordan Guest, senior, was also named to All-Tournament Team.
Redondo Union opened the tournament with an 85-55 win over Lynwood in Parvaz’s first game as head coach.
“It was a night we dedicated this tournament to the memory of Ryse Williams,” Parvaz said. “It was very emotional. Our players were out there at half-court during the ceremony. There was not a dry eye in the house.”
Maduno had a high-energy dunk on the first play of the game that lifted the crowd and the team.
“The roof on this place almost exploded,” Parvaz said. “That really carried us for the rest of the tournament, the emotion went a different way.”
In its second game, Redondo Union beat Mayfair 62-56. Mayfair brothers Josh Christopher, sophomore, and older brother Caleb, senior, were tough, with Josh Christopher scoring 31 points.
“Really good team play (by us) and we were able to pull away,” said Parvaz, who predicts Josh Christopher will play in the NBA.
Still in the winner’s bracket, Redondo Union faced Santa Margarita with the winner playing in the championship. They led 30-25 at the half, but Santa Margarita scored 21 points in the third quarter to take the lead going into the final quarter and held on for the victory.
“I think it kind of proves to us that we can play at a high level,” Parvaz said. “Our guys really wanted that game. I really wanted that game.”