Ian Fox’s return from an ankle injury has helped keep Redondo Union undefeated in Bay League competition. Photo by Ray Vidal
The Redondo Union Sea Hawks took control throughout defeating the Mira Costa Mustangs in a rivalry game 64-40 at Mira Costa Tuesday night.
The win gave Redondo (19-4, 7-0) a sweep over Mira Costa (17-6, 3-4) for the year, previously defeating them 64-44 on Jan. 17.
Terrell Carter dominated throughout, showing his offensive as well as his defensive presence. The senior finished the game with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five thunderous blocks that got the crowd on its feet.
“Whenever you have a big guy that’s capable, you definitely want to play inside out and today we were able to establish him early,” Redondo coach Reggie Morris said. “He played big and came out with a purpose and he rebounded the ball early and that really got him going.”
The Mustangs took the initial lead early with their home crowd behind them, but when the Sea Hawks tied it at seven with 5:05 to go in the first quarter, the Mustangs never led again.
After Mira Costa’s Dylan Kim tied the game at 11 a piece with 1:22 remaining in the first, Redondo finished the quarter on a 7-0 run capped by Carter’s block and Cameron High’s layup and the visitors never looked back. Redondo’s defense and the ability to get rebounds were just too much for the Mustangs.
Redondo held the Mustangs to a combined 15 points in the second and third quarter, while the Sea Hawks scored 30 in that span.
The half ended well for the Sea Hawks when Ian Fox blocked the Mustang sharpshooter Justin Strings’ half-court shot at the buzzer. Fox stared down Strings for a couple of seconds walking back to the locker room. Fox ended the game with 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Redondo held Strings in check. Strings made the Mustang’s first four points, but was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Redondo dominated the boards, grabbing 33 rebounds including nine on offensive, while the Mustangs could manage only 11 rebounds in the game.
“We really keyed in on our defense,” Morris said. “We worked on making every shot a tough shot… When we eliminate turnovers and make sure to set our defense, our defense is pretty good.”
The Sea Hawks defense forced 11 steals and 16 turnovers all together.
When High made multiple highlight plays early in the third, the Redondo crowd became more vocal while the Mustangs fans got relatively quiet. First, it was a sidestep layup to put the Sea Hawks up nine and on the Mustangs next possession, High drew a charging foul. On the following Redondo possession, the junior made a spectacular reverse layup going from his left to his right.
High finished with 13 points, shooting five for five inside the 3-point line.
In the third quarter, things got chippy in this heated rivalry game. Redondo’s Ryan Reeves and an assistant coach both received technical fouls. Later in the quarter following a timeout, Mustang Chase Crandall muttered something to the Redondo huddle that made Morris talk to the referees, but no technical was given. Crandall continued to bark towards the Redondo bench and Morris, who was composed, told him to calm down.
Carter said he believed he performed well but fell short of his goal.
“My goal was to get 15 rebounds, I was three short,” Carter said.
He acknowledged he has not played well the last couple games and wanted to play at his best in the rivalry game.
“Why not perform better than in a rivalry game?” Carter said. “[Fox] takes this rivalry very personally. This is his fourth year and I’m in my first here. He told me to do whatever it takes.”
Even after the loss, Mira Costa coach Jeff Amaral was happy with the way his team competed.
“We looked at our performance as one where we’re competitive — we competed our tails off. We were just up against a better team tonight,” Amaral said. “We are focused on the next three games of our league season starting Friday night against Leuzinger.”
Kim led Mira Costa with nine points.
Redondo remains No. 1 in CIF Division 2AA and hosts West Torrance tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Mira Costa entered the game ranked No. 7 in the division and will host Leuzinger tomorrow.