The season is still early, but the Redondo Union girls’ basketball team picked up a key road victory at Palos Verdes, 48-37, last Tuesday to remain unbeaten in the Bay League.
Alyssa Munn of Redondo Union scored 21 points to lead all players. The senior guard scored nine points in the second quarter and five in the fourth quarter, which were key to the victory.
“This being our third game in league it showed us how to stay focused in league,” Munn said. “We run it in practice to stay focused when things get tight. We pulled it out.”
Anna Johnson, senior, added 10 points, scoring nine in second quarter. Lauren Krause chipped in with 10 points also, scoring six in the fourth quarter.
“This is a great win for us,” Johnson said. “Palos Verdes is always a great challenge for us.”
Six players in all scored for the Sea Hawks, who were without junior Calli Stokes.
Palos Verdes cut the lead to 44-37 with just over a minute remaining, but Redondo Union closed it out with four points to secure the victory.
“We made a good comeback in the third and fourth quarter,” said Palos Verdes first-year head coach Rick Gwinn. “We inched back into their lead. I’m real proud of the way the kids played tonight.”
Shayli Atashi, sophomore, scored 11 points to lead Palos Verdes. Mari Shigekawa, senior point guard, scored nine and Erika Yiu, sophomore, added five points.
“We did come back at the end,” Shigekawa said. “With Redondo, they are our best competitor. It is nice to get that exposure.”
The win was the fifth in a row for Redondo Union and gave them a winning record at 9-8 overall. They are 3-0 in the Bay League.
While their overall record is not that impressive, it is a bit deceiving.
“With the losses, we keep moving forward as a team,” Munn said. “We are better than our record currently. We’ve had a lot of adversity.”
Munn led her team to Redondo Union’s first state championship as a sophomore and several players remain from that team.
“Earlier in the season we had some of our starters out,” Johnson said. “We also had some great competition.”
As for Palos Verdes, they have had a great start.
“We’ve won two tournaments and played good competition,” Gwinn said.
They won the Corona del Mar and San Dimas tournaments. Their best win is against Bonita, according to Gwinn. Bonita is a Division 1 team-they beat them in the championship in San Dimas.
Palos Verdes is 12-9 overall, 1-2 in league.
They have played a few teams from the San Diego area in the preseason giving them plenty of good opponents before Bay League play.
Redondo led 10-5 after first quarter, but jumped out to a 28-13 lead at the half. The second quarter was key.
“We started to relax and they made a 10-0 run on us,” Gwinn said. “That is what really killed us.”
Munn and Johnson scored all 18 of Redondo Union’s points in the quarter.
“I just really focused on my defense and that led to some steals that resulted in some easy baskets,” said Johnson, who committed to Santa Clara during the signing period. “I credit my teammates.”
Munn committed to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she will play with Drew Sharp of St. Anthony’s of Long Beach.
Her high game is 29 points against Santiago this season. She had eight three-pointers in the Burroughs tournament game.
She had another big game against the Sea Kings and her team needed her.
“Whenever we come here the rims are really tight up here,” Munn said. “It makes us adjust to utilize the paint more.”
Palos Verdes had a game plan, it just did not come to fruition.
“Our philosophy was to try to slow them down,” Gwinn said. “We know they were aggressive. We wanted to go up tempo so they could not get their defense set on us.”
“They just had good pressure,” said Shigekawa, who is one of three captains and a three-year starter. “They picked off a lot of our passes. Turnovers were a difference.”
Redondo Union continued to lead with a 35-21 advantage after three quarters.
“I think we let it get to our heads,” said Palos Verdes’ Kelli Takahashi, who is a senior and a two-year starter. “They just started scoring a lot. I think it was all mental.”
Late in the game, Redondo Union head coach Marcelo Enriquez called a few timeouts. Asked what he discussed, Munn said, “We should focus more on defense. Since our shots weren’t falling to focus on the paint.”
What can Redondo Union do to get better as the season winds down?
“Just better communication overall, rebounding,” Johnson said.
It was the second loss in a row for the Sea Kings, who lost to Mira Costa last week.
“It was really physical,” said Takahashi of what stood out about playing Redondo Union. “It was a little stressful.”