Homeless Mustangs lose to Loyola in battle on the hardwood
By Paul Teetor
It’s tough being a homeless basketball team – even when your next-door neighbor lets you use the spare bedroom.
The Mira Costa boys basketball team, fresh off two consecutive losses in its own Pacific Shores tournament, took to the road Friday for what is expected to be 18-24 months of playing its “home” games at various other gyms while Costa’s new $38 million athletic complex is under construction.
The first stop was Redondo’s small gym, which was the site for Friday night’s 58-40 “home” loss to Loyola of Los Angeles. The gym was packed with Mustang fans who cheered wildly as the game got off to a great start for Costa.
The Mustangs raced out to a 9-4 lead that forced Loyola to call a timeout. Up to that point Costa had been able to control Loyola’s star, 6-foot-9 center James Keefe, son of former Stanford star Adam Keefe, who played nine years in the NBA.
But the tide turned after the timeout, and Loyola responded with a 13-0 run with Keefe doing most of the damage inside. The Mustang’s center, 6-foot-3 Henry Householter, played hard – as did his entire team – but could hold back Loyola’s attack only so long before the taller and deeper team established control.
By halftime Loyola had run up a 31-18 lead and it only got worse in the second half. By the end of the game, however, one thing was clear: Head Coach Neal Perlmutter’s team may be undersized, but they will always play hard. Led by Householter and deadeye shooting guard Lucas Hobbs, they drew five offensive charge calls, contested every Loyola pass, and scrapped and clawed for every loose ball and every rebound.
But in the end Loyola simply had too much of a size advantage and a much deeper bench. Perlmutter had only positive things to say about his team, which fell to 7-4 on the season as they get ready to begin Bay League play this week.
“We competed really hard, and we made it a game as long as we could,” he said. “I’m proud of our kids.”
Hobbs led the team with 14 points and Householter chipped in with 9 points. Carson Carey came off the bench to nail a couple of three-pointers and finish with 8 points.
Mira Costa plays at Peninsula on Tuesday then takes on Palos Verdes on Friday.
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