Randy Angel

Redondo’s boys basketball team avoids Morningside upset

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Redondo’s Jayden Winfrey passes to a teammate during the Sea Hawk’s loss to St. Bernard in the Take Flight Challenge. Photo by Ray Vidal

by Paul Teetor

With 45 seconds left in Redondo’s Bay League opener Tuesday night against Morningside High, a fire alarm went off and the game came to a standstill while lights flashed and all kinds of noise effects filled the gym.

You could say the same thing happened a few minutes earlier when the heavily favored Redondo boys basketball team found itself tied 65-65 and coach Ali Parvaz was forced to call a timeout to deliver his own fire alarm.

His message: “You lose a game like this in a tough league like the Bay League and it can ruin your season,” he said after the Sea Hawks pulled out a 77-69 victory thanks to late heroics by their two stars, 6-foot-8 center Quinn Collins and 6-foot-3 wing Zekiah LoVett. Collins finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds while LoVett totaled 13 points, three rebounds and two assists after a mostly silent first half.

They had plenty of help from teammates like senior guard Kyle Carter, who hit two free throws to break the 65-65 tie, and sophomore wing Xan Wesley, who added two more free throws to pump the Hawks lead up to 69-66.

And when Morningside pulled within 71-69, it was Collins and LoVett again who rode to the rescue, LoVett hitting a couple of short jumpers in the lane and Collins rolling to the hoop for a couple of scoops and stick-backs.

It was a win that brought the Sea Hawks record to 10-7 but left the coach dissatisfied.

“I wasn’t happy with their effort or their execution, especially in the first half,” he said.

As a result, he played 12 of the 13 players on his roster, even getting a critical three-pointer from seldom-used junior guard Joshua Jasmer.

“I was just looking for a combination of players that would play hard and play together,” he said. “I never really found it, but still I’d rather have a bad win than a good loss, so I’ll take it.”

After an up-and-down season, the first year coach knows all about close games. Before the Bay League opener the Hawks lost a 62-61 heartbreaker to St. Bernard in the Take Flight Challenge and then eked out a 49-45 win over a highly regarded Rolling Hills Prep team in the Westchester Classic.

Collins and LoVett admitted they had taken Morningside too lightly and almost allowed an upset loss that would have knocked them off their pedestal as five-time defending Bay League champs and pre-season favorites, along with Inglewood and Peninsula.

“We felt like Morningside was not as good as some other teams we’re going to play in the league,” LoVett said.

Indeed, the Hawks will travel to Inglewood Friday night for a clash of the Bay League titans.

“We’re going to have to play a lot better to beat Inglewood,” Collins said.

Contact: teetor.paul@gmail.com. Follow: @paulteetor.

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