Ian Fox and the Redondo Union Sea Hawks will be shooting for a second straight state championship when they host La Costa Canyon Friday in the first round of the Southern California Regional tournament. Photo by Ray Vidal
Despite a loss in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Open Division, Redondo Union’s record and strength of schedule earned the Sea Hawks a third seed and a first-round home game in the State Southern California Regional Championships.
Redondo (24-5) will host No. 6 La Costa Canyon (27-5) Friday at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the eight-team Open Division tournament.
The winner will advance to Tuesday’s semifinal round and play the winner between No. 2 J.W. North and No. 7 Westchester.
“I was very honored that our program was seen in such high esteem by the selection committee, said Redondo head coach Reggie Morris Jr. “We hope to live up to their expectations and perform up to par the rest of the way. We understand that losing in the semi finals could have made us a much lower seed, but we do have some very quality wins and our losses have all been to exceptional programs on the national level.
I know La Costa Canyon is a traditional power down in San Diego. Once you get to this part of the season, it is truly a tournament of champions. They are the Open Division Champion in the SD section, which means they know how to win and are very good. We have the utmost respect for them.”
Mater Dei (31-0) is the top seed in the division and the nation’s top ranked team in the MaxPreps poll. The Monarchs defeated Chino Hills 48-44 Saturday for the CIF Southern Section Open Division crown.
Chino Hills (26-4), a 70-61 winner over Redondo in the semifinals, is the top seeded team in the Division 1 Southern California Regionals.
“Only time will tell if we rebound from our loss to Chino Hills,” Morris said. “We still have a very young team and all experiences are welcomed. Some hurt far more than others, but experience is the mother of all teachers and it will be up to us to use our loss as motivation and fight through adversity. Anything that does not kill you, most definitely will make you stronger. We have one more chance to play as champions and we will be up for the challenge.”
Loyola (25-3), led by Redondo Beach resident and UCLA-center Thomas Welsh, is the second seeded team in Division 1 and hosts No. 15 Palisades (17-12) in the first round.
The Southern California championship game will be played Saturday, Mar. 22 at 8 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The State Championship pitting the Southern and Northern champions will take place on Saturday, Mar. 29 at 8 p.m. at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.