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SoCalHoops Playoff News

CIF-SS II-A Championship:   Redondo Takes It From
King In Final Seconds--(Mar. 3, 2002)

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CIF-SS Division II-A Boy's Championship Game

Redondo Union 71, Riverside MLK 70

Like the rest of the games in the afternoon session, before that dreadful atmosphere spread over the Pond for the evening slaughter, this was a terrific game.  Not that the accomplishments of the teams that played in the evening session weren't also's just that the day time games seemed so much more competitive....and they were.

We've already provided the basic details in our updates on the message board yesterday live from the Pond.  We could go on and on about how great this game was, but why should we when there were people there yesterday who get paid to do that....and we mean the local sportswriters who covered these games, and that includes some of the best in the business, from Ben Bolch at the LA Times, to Bob Holtzman at the Daily Breeze, and Eric-Paul Johnson at the Riverside Press-Enterprise.   You can also find recaps of not only this game, but all the day's action as well from John Tawa at Student

Here's the box score, followed by the stories from all the local media's best.

Visitors:  Redondo Union

Eddie Topps* 4 6 1 1 1 2 1 2 3 4 10 1 2 1 2 27:09
Corey Siegle 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Keith Ellison* 9 16 1 4 3 5 4 2 6 4 22 2 3 0 3 30:11
Chris Meadows 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Chris Allen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Charles Walker 2 5 0 1 1 2 3 0 3 2 5 0 2 0 0 18:02
Brice Gallow 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Adam Zahn* 7 8 0 0 0 1 1 11 12 3 14 2 1 3 0 32:02
Wendell White* 8 21 1 6 3 7 0 3 3 1 20 1 1 1 2 29:35
Paul Meynen* 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 4 5 0 0 1 1 2 0 21:21
Alex Gutierrez 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1:51
Totals 30 56 3 12 8 19 10 22 32 14 71 7 10 7 7  
Total FG 1st Half 14/29 483 2nd Half 16/27 593 Game 30/56 536
2PT FG 1st Half 1/7 143 2nd Half 2/5 400 Game 3/12 250
Free Throws 1st Half 2/9 222 2nd Half 6/10 600 Game 8/19 421

Home: ML King

James Ellis 0 3 0 2 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 15:46
Marvin Lea * 10 29 0 4 2 7 7 6 13 2 22 1 3 2 4 32:02
Dwayne Harris 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Terrence Scott 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Brett Goodman* 3 9 3 8 0 1 1 0 1 1 9 1 0 0 0 23:12
Cory Harley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Matthew Thomas* 2 9 0 3 0 0 4 4 8 5 4 4 2 1 1 21:57
Leon Rosborough* 12 21 3 8 2 4 4 6 10 2 29 1 4 0 0 31:39
Rory Harley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Evan Palmer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Ryan Wells 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Keith Canzater 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DNP
Danny Doss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5:55
Garrett Hilt 2 4 0 1 2 2 5 1 6 2 6 1 2 0 0 29:40
Totals 29 75 6 26 6 14 22 18 40 14 70 9 11 3 5  
Total FG 1st Half 13/36 361 2nd Half 16/39 410 Game 29/75 387
2PT FG 1st Half 4/15 267 2nd Half 2/11 182 Game 6/26 231
Free Throws 1st Half 1/4 250 2nd Half 5/10 500 Game 6/14 429

Redondo Union    20    11     22    18--71
ML King              13     18    16    23--70  

The first look at the game from one of the professionals who gets paid to watch these guys is from Bob Holtzman, a relatively new sportswriter on the local scene, but he's been doing a great job all season long covering teams from the South Bay, and if he knows a thing or two about local basketball, it's about this year's Redondo Seahawks team.    Here's the story he wrote for the Torrance-based South Bay Daily Breeze.

Redondo's White puts title in bank
By Bob Holtzman

South Bay basketball fans like to joke that Redondo High forward Wendell White has never seen a shot he didn't like.

After Saturday's CIF Southern Section Division II-A championship game, Redondo basketball fans hope he never does.

The junior banked in a 30-foot 3-pointer with less than three seconds remaining to lift Redondo to a 71-70 victory over M.L. King/Riverside at the Pond.

White finished with 20 points and finished off King (27-4) despite just making just 8 of 23 shots. The game-winner was White's lone 3-point basket in six attempts.

“I knew I had to get the ball up,” said White, who scored the final five points in Redondo's semifinal victory over Santa Margarita. “I looked at the clock and there was three seconds left. When I threw it up, well I mean, shot it up, I heard (teammate) Keith (Ellison) say `No!' then when it went in he was jumping on me.

“I guess that was the happiest moment of my life.”

White's shot completed an exciting final 1:28 during which Redondo overcame a 68-64 deficit. White closed the gap with a baseline jump shot, then Ellison made a pair of clutch free throws to tie the game. But Marvin Lea, King's senior point guard, thought he made the game-winning shot when he connected on a floater in the lane with 12.9 seconds remaining.

“I thought I won it,” said Lea, who had 22 points, four steals and a game-high 13 rebounds. “I didn't think he would make that shot.”

Ellison pushed the ball up the left side, reaching the NBA 3-point line before passing back to White. The junior split two defenders and then delivered the shot that gave Redondo back-to-back CIF titles.

“I don't feel (anything) right now,” said King forward Leon Rosborough, who scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. “It felt like my soul left my body when he hit that shot.”

The victory lifted Redondo to consecutive section titles after not winning one for 57 years. Both teams advance to the Southern California Regionals, which begin Wednesday.

The victory also gave Tom Maier a section crown in his first year as head coach at Redondo.

“We had a wonderful year and the credit goes to (our players),” Maier said. “I don't have to do a lot.”

Maier won two section titles at Chadwick in 1980 and 1985 but he credited his predecessor at Redondo.

“I'd like to point some attention to the gentleman I replaced, Jim Nielsen,” Maier said. “He went on to bigger and better pastures (assistant at Pepperdine). It's been a real honor to take over this club for him. Part of this title is because of him.”

King used its athleticism to counter Redondo's size throughout the contest. Although Redondo had three starters as tall or taller than King's tallest, the Wolves outrebounded Redondo 47-36 and had 26 offensive boards.

“We did a tremendous job defending them all game,” King coach Tim Sweeney said. “They didn't hurt us on the boards (with their size). Our scouting report had them to a tee. We knew if we boxed them out and won the battle of the boards, we should win.

“At the end, well that's the way basketball works sometimes.”

Ellison finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Adam Zahn added 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Guard Eddie Topps scored all of his 10 of his points in the second half and said Maier's halftime speech had an impact.

“He told us, `Don't have any regrets,' ” Topps said. “I knew I wasn't playing hard in the first half and I wanted to leave it on the floor.”

For the Inland Empire view, we turned to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, to Eric-Paul Johnson, who has covered Riverside Martin Luther King the entire season, in fact, all two seasons that the school has been in existence, had to say about the game. His story, along with some other great background stories on Riverside MLK can be found in today's Riverside Press-Enterprise, along with a lot of really good high school coverage on teams from the Inland Empire.

Money in bank not King's
After Lea's late basket puts the Wolves ahead, an off-the-glass three gives Redondo the title.


ANAHEIM - Marvin Lea's relief turned to disbelief in a matter of seconds.

Moments after he made the basket he believed would give Riverside King a California Interscholastic Federation title, Lea watched helplessly as Wendell White banked in a 25-foot three-pointer to give Redondo a 71-70 victory over the Wolves in the Division 2A championship game Saturday at The Pond.

Lea, a senior guard, broke a 68-68 tie when his eight-foot running jumper dropped through the basket with 12 seconds remaining. Lea and his teammates where ecstatic, but the Wolves had to regroup and play defense because Redondo pushed the ball up the court instead of calling a timeout.

White received a pass from Keith Ellison just outside the NBA three-point line with six second remaining. He faked a shot to draw Lea and James Ellis into the air, then took a step in and hoisted up a off-balanced shot that careened into the basket with two seconds remaining.

"No, I didn't call bank," White said of his game-winner.

King (27-4) had an opportunity to win the game, though the Wolves had to travel the length of the court. But Ellis made it interesting, hoisting up a 65-footer that glanced off the side of the rim.

Lea, who scored 22 points on 10-of-29 shooting, couldn't believe the ending.

"When his (White's) shot went up, I thought that was the game, that we were going to win," Lea said. "I just . . . I don't know . . . I

didn't think it was going to go in."

King coach Tim Sweeney Jr. thought Lea's shot was going to be the difference, too.

"I thought we had the victory," Sweeney said. "Then, he (White) comes down and banks in a three-pointer. That's just the way it goes sometimes."

White's game-winner Saturday was his second in as many games. White drained a three-pointer in the waning minutes of Redondo's semifinal victory over Santa Margarita. In both games, White struggled through the first three quarters, then dominated the fourth quarter.

"Wendell just likes to play games with me," Sea Hawks coach Tom Maier said. "It's a matter of when Wendell's going to show up. In the third quarter, I looked at him and said, 'I'm waiting.' "

Redondo (23-6) had an obvious size advantage on the front line, as its three frontcourt players stood 6-foot-5, 6-8 and 6-11. King, on the other hand, averaged only 6-4 on its front line.

However, the Wolves played taller than their measurements, outrebounding Redondo 22-10 on the offensive end and 40-32 overall. Lea led the way with 13 rebounds, including seven offensive. King's work on the offensive glass led to an 18-10 advantage in second-chance points.

"I knew if we boxed them out and won the battle of the boards that we would have a legit shot to win the game," Sweeney said. "I felt we kid that. The kids did a good job all night long of keeping them off the boards and negating their size."

Redondo led by 10 points late in the third quarter, but King battled back. Leon Rosborough, who scored a game-high 29 points, led the charge, scoring 15 points in a seven-minute span over the third and fourth quarters to help King gain a three-point advantage.

Ellison scored a team-high 22 points for Redondo, and Adam Zahn added 14 points and 12 points.

Despite the loss, King advanced to the CIF regionals, which begin Wednesday. The Wolves likely will be on the road and face a section champion.

The mainstay of boys' hoops coverage this year has been the newly expanded Los Angeles Times, and Ben Bolch has been doing an amazing job all season... we know he did yesterday as well, sitting there at the press table from the start of things well before 9:00 a.m. until well after the final buzzer sounded last night, well after 10:30 p.m. as we headed out the door.  Check out the Times' Prep's section, because it promises to improve and it provides the most comprehensive coverage in the region of games and details, as well as stats, etc..... Here's Ben's story, which appears at this link:

White’s Big Shot Lifts Redondo
By BEN BOLCH, Times Staff Writer

With time running out and Redondo Union trailing Riverside King by two points, Sea Hawk swingman Wendell White spun away from two defenders and took an off-balance three-pointer that made time stand still.

"My heart dropped," Redondo forward Adam Zahn said. "I knew if he missed, we wouldn’t have another chance."

Said King guard Marvin Lea, who had just given the Wolves the lead with a jump shot in the lane: "I didn’t really feel he was going to make the shot."

Somehow, the ball banked off the backboard and dropped into the basket, giving third-seeded Redondo Union a pulsating 71-70 victory over top-seeded King in the Southern Section Division II-A championship Saturday at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

After James Ellis’ last-second heave from beyond midcourt bounced harmlessly off the backboard for King, Sea  Hawk players mobbed White in celebration of their second consecutive section title.

The crestfallen Wolves were left doubled over in grief. "It’s like my soul left my body as soon as [White] hit that shot," King forward Leon Rosborough said.

King (27-4) rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit behind the spirited play of Rosborough (29 points) and Lea (22) and held a 68-64 lead with less than two minutes to play in the game after a pull-up jumper by Matthew Thomas.

Redondo (23-6) tied the score on a baseline-jumper from White and two Keith Ellison free throws before Lea drove the lane and hit the shot that put the Wolves ahead, 70-68.

"I thought we had the win," King Coach Timothy Sweeney Jr. said, "And [White] comes down and banks in a three-pointer. That’s the way it goes sometimes."

The three-pointer was White’s second consecutive game-winning basket. He hit another three-pointer to lift Redondo past second-seeded Santa Margarita in the semifinals. White missed his first seven three-pointers before making the winner against Santa Margarita. He missed his first five before banking in the decisive shot Saturday.

"He had the presence of mind to take that shot," Redondo Coach Tom Maier said. "A lot of kids in that position wouldn’t under that duress." Ellison led the Sea Hawks with 22 points, Wendell added 20 and Zahn had 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.

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