Redondo Union stays in hunt for girls basketball title
by Andrew Spencer
Redondo Union’s defensive pressure took control of a game they never trailed, defeating the Palos Verdes Sea Kings in a low scoring game 49-36 at Palos Verdes Friday night.
Meghan Peneueta led the way for the Sea Hawks (13-6, 3-1) with 16 points, scoring 11 in the first half, as the press controlled the tempo of the game. The junior guard also grabbed nine rebounds.
Offensively, Redondo moved the ball well throughout the game, getting the ball inside but could not finish with points.
It was a competitive first quarter with the Sea Hawks leading 15-9 entering the second quarter. Then the pressure affected Palos Verdes (6-11, 1-2) as Redondo forced turnover after turnover and went to the foul line thirteen times, making seven of the attempts. The Sea Kings had thirteen team fouls in the first half and finished the quarter with only six points trailing Redondo 26-15 at the half.
Palos Verdes began the second half like they did the second quarter; with a turnover off the inbounds pass. After Redondo increased its lead to 28-15 with 4:40 remaining in the third, Palos Verdes was able to cut the lead to single digits with a 3-pointer by Rachel Compton to make the score 32-23.
Peneueta answered with a lay-up and quickly extended their lead to 12, but the Sea Kings were not finished. They made it a game with two quick buckets in the last minute of the third quarter and trailed 36-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Palos Verdes’ run continued and cut Redondo’s lead to six after Whitney Pieper’s free throw with 4:40 left, but that was as close as the Sea Kings got all night. Redondo’s defensive pressure was too much for the Sea Kings as Micaela Enriquez got a steal and a break away bucket to increase Redondo’s lead to 40-32 with four minutes left that largely put the game away.
Peneueta finished her night with a basket that gave the Sea Hawks their biggest lead of the game at15 with a minute left.
“They did a good job of pressuring us,” Sea Kings coach Daniel Rho said. “We needed to set up our offense quicker and get into it right away, but they did a good job of not allowing us to do that.”
Sea Hawks coach Marcelo Enriquez went into the press because of the slow tempo at the beginning of the game.
“The tempo was lackadaisical,” Enriquez said. “The press forced a lot of turnovers and easy shots. It changed the tempo and the game for us.”
Enriquez also talked about Peneueta’s big game.
“She’s one of our all-stars,” he said. “She needed to make shots to get us going and she did.”
Kyra Hamlin posted 11 points for Redondo and Kourtney Noa added eight points and eight rebounds.
Redondo is ranked No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA poll and will host Leuzinger Tuesday at 6 p.m.