Redondo Union’s Nao Shiota drives to the basket as Mira Costa’s Keilani Ikehara looks on. Shiota’s 3-pointer with 52 seconds left lifted the Sea Hawks to a come-from-behind win. Photo by Ray Vidal
With bragging rights and league records on the line, rivalry games are meant to be thrilling contests and the Redondo Union match up with visiting Mira Costa Friday evening did not disappoint.
Trailing 32-25 with 6:25 left in regulation, Redondo pulled off an emotional 40-35 come-from-behind victory highlighted by Nao Shiota’s 3-point bank shot with 52 seconds left.
Despite being only the first week of league play, the game was vital for both teams with the loser dropping to 0-2 in the Bay League race.
Mira Costa’s defense did its part, holding Redondo to only three field goals in the second half and a mere three points in the third quarter.
But Redondo converted 11 of 14 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to put head coach Marcelo Enriquez’s team in a position to pull off the victory.
“The game was a hard fought game, which is what I anticipated to begin with,” Enriquez said. “Our defense did a great job containing them, especially Camille (Mills). Keeping her to 14 is a great job on our team’s part. I thought we controlled the boards and that was huge. Offensively, we struggled putting the ball through the basket, but we scored just enough to get the win.”
Meghan Peneueta nailed 5 of 6 free throws in the final frame finishing the game with a team-high 12 points along with five rebounds. Hunter Noa and Micaela Enriquez each recorded seven points and four rebounds and Shiota scored six points on two 3-pointers.
Camille Mills led Mira Costa with 14 points and freshman Allie Navarette added nine points.
Redondo’s win sets up a showdown between the Sea Hawks and West Torrance (19-2, 2-0), which defeated Mira Costa last Tuesday. Redondo (11-6, 1-1) is ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division 2AA while West (19-2, 2-0) is tied for the top spot in Division 2A.
“I’m expecting another tough game against West,” Enriquez said. “They have a very good team, but I feel we match up well against them, so it could be another nail biter.”
Mira Costa (11-8, 0-2) entered the week ranked No. 9 in Division 2AA and will play at Leuzinger Tuesday before hosting Peninsula (No. 11, Div. 1A) on Friday. All Bay League girls basketball games are scheduled for 6 p.m. starts.