Redondo falls to Bishop Montgomery in own boys basketball tournament
By Paul Teetor
Ryse Williams, who was always all about optimism, hitting clutch shots and making the next winning play, must have been smiling from above at what was happening at the tournament named after him.
His Sea Hawks were all tied up with the big boys from the neighborhood with just one quarter to go. It was an opportunity for the Hawks to thrill their home crowd and send a shock wave through the local hoops scene – for the second time in three days.
The Redondo boys basketball team had already pulled off one major upset when it knocked off City Section powerhouse Birmingham in the first round of the Ryse Williams Pacific Shores Tournament last week. Now it was poised to complete an even bigger upset over top-seeded Bishop Montgomery, widely considered the second-best team in Southern California behind perennial heavyweight Mater Dei of Santa Ana.
After taking a four-point lead at halftime the scrappy and much smaller Sea Hawks were tied with the Knights 45-45 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Hawks’ heart and soul, 6-foot-1 guard Jayden Winfrey, drilled a deep trifecta to cut the lead in half with two minutes left, but that was the last gasp for Redondo as the Knights went on a 10-0 run on its way to a 63-53 victory.
“Jayden is our leader, so it was good to see him step up like that,” said Redondo Head Coach Ali Parvez. “He runs the show for us and plays with a lot of heart.
“Our guys fought and fought and fought. Not one of them played particularly well, but they all played hard and fought to the end.”
And there was another bright spot for the second-year coach who usually doesn’t believe in moral victories.
“We proved that we can play and stay with anybody in the state of California,” he said. “Hats off to Bishop Montgomery and their coach Doug Mitchell. Everyone knows they have a great program over there, but I think we proved we have a pretty good program too.”
Redondo was led by Winfrey with 13 points and junior forward Xan Wesley with 12. Bishop Montgomery senior Nick Schrader topped all scorers with 22 points.
Schrader, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound forward, showed great potential on the Mira Costa junior varsity three years ago, but he transferred to Bishop before his sophomore year and worked his way up through its nationally ranked program.
“Nothing against Costa, but I just knew that Bishop Montgomery ran a much better program where I could become a better player,” Schrader explained. “I wanted to do everything I could to reach my potential.”
Many Mustang fans pointed to Schrader’s departure as yet another sign that the program led by Coach Jeff Amaral, could not retain the best players. When Amaral “resigned” last spring he said he wanted to spend more time with his family, and Costa Principal Ben Dale backed up that story. But several program insiders insisted it was a forced resignation and Amaral had no desire to leave coaching. Sure enough, Amaral recently became an assistant coach at Hawthorne.
After defeating Lynwood 70-56 on Friday, Redondo lost Saturday’s consolation game against Santa Margarita 68-56. Fairfax beat a depleted Bishop Montgomery team in the finals after Schrader joined Hunt on the injury list.
Costa in tourney action
Mira Costa defeated Valley Christian 56-52 in a non-league contest on Friday taking a 2-0 record as it entered the Take the Turkey Tournament at West Covina High School on Monday.
The Mustangs had little trouble beating Pomona 68-38 then defeated Bishop Amat 56-34 on Tuesday..
The Mustangs will compete in the El Monte Tournament Friday and Saturday before hosting its own version of the Pacific Shores Tournament Monday through Saturday.
Mira Costa opens with Golden Valley on Monday followed by Carson on Wednesday and Rolling Hills Prep on Thursday, Nov. 29.