Besieged by injuries throughout the season, the training room became a popular hangout for the Redondo girls basketball players.
“We’d fight over the Stim machine sometimes,” Redondo’s Anna Johnson said, laughing.
Johnson, Alyssa Munn, and Megan Ngo each missed significant time over the course of the season. Calli Stokes will likely miss the entire postseason due to injury.
Redondo has grown accustomed to adversity and had the wherewithal to keep its composure when Serra whittled a 25-point deficit to five points in the fourth quarter.
“Our girls did a great job of regaining their composure,” Redondo coach Marcelo Enriquez said. “We knew they were going to make a run, there’s too much pride at Serra to just lay down, but it was a matter of letting our kids grow up, and they did.
“It’s kind of been a merry-go-round this year with all the injuries, but one silver lining is that it forced some of our bench players to gain valuable experience.”
Enriquez credited players like Lauren Krause and Kailene Ching with elevating their game with their teammates sidelined, helping Redondo (16-12) forge a share of the Bay League title with Peninsula.
Krause in fact came up huge, hitting 6 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to help hold off Serra. Overall Redondo hit 24 of 29 free throws in the game, including 18 of 20 in the second half.
“I was just trying to knock down my free throws for my teammates and show them that I have their back,” said Krause, who had 12 points.
Munn’s 27 points were just short of her career-best 29-point performance against Santiago earlier in the season.
Her aggressiveness helped Redondo open up a 39-14 lead in the second quarter.
“We had great energy and good vibes heading into the game,” Munn said. “When they made their run, we kept telling ourselves in the huddle to stay composed. We did that.”
Johnson scored 17 points and found herself getting flustered by Serra’s full-court press.
“Our coach talks about sustained focus,” Johnson said. “I was getting frustrated, and on the sideline, I told myself I had to calm down. I knew I needed to step up for the team.”
Injuries had decimated Serra throughout its season as well, pushing the Cavaliers to third place in the Del Rey League.
Leading scorer Myanna Emery was sidelined due to injury. Jailah Donald, a returning all-league selection last year, played just 10 games. Roschandra Prince missed six games late in the season.
“We played hard, even with the injuries,” Serra’s Diara McBroom said. “We might have a little team, a young team, but we’re still going to go hard. No breaks.
“I think when we started to press tonight, our chemistry really got going.”
McBroom scored 10 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter as Serra closed within 59-54 with 2:30 left in the game with its frenzied press.
Donald scored 12 points, Prince had 10 points, Makayla Roberts had nine points and Eleni Cabrera had five points for Serra.
“There are no moral victories, but I will accept lessons learned,” Serra coach McKinsey Hadley said. “We played poorly in the first half and had too many small mistakes, but the girls never gave up and showed high character. I am tremendously proud of these young ladies and their effort all season.”
MIRA COSTA 45, RIBET ACADEMY 19 >> Skylar Herdman had 11 points and Amanda Barba had seven with 14 rebounds in the Division 3AA game. Mira Costa will visit Sage Hill on Saturday.