The first full week in December traditionally has been the week that the Ocean View High boys' basketball tournament gets underway. Such was the case again this year, but on Tuesday, the annual event, that has drawn some of the top prep teams to the Ocean View gymnasium had a new look and feel to it.
For starters, the tournament — formerly known as the Tournament of Champions — has been christened the Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions, in honor of late-Ocean View Coach Jim Harris, who in October after a battle with cancer. His presence was surely missed Tuesday, but he'd likely be proud of what the Seahawks accomplished on the court.
Ocean View routed Manual Arts of Los Angeles, 90-48, in the first game of the tournament. The Seahawks ran out to a quick lead and never let up on the Toilers.
Jimmy Harris, who served as co-head coach with his father and now shares the same role with Tim Walsh, was pleased with his team's effort. Harris and Walsh were able to insert their entire lineup into the action and the game used a running clock in the fourth quarter.
"It was a good start," Harris he said of opening night win. "We expected to serve up a gameplan to prepare for an athletic team (Manual Arts), and they were athletic, but our guys played well right from the beginning. Conor (Clifford) really kick-started us. He played pretty well."
Ocean View bolted to a 16-6 lead midway through the opening quarter. The Seahawks went on to score the final seven points of the quarter, starting with a steal and layup by freshman guard Kendall Small. Senior guard Cristian Rivera hit a thee-point shot and senior guard Eric Belgen scored on a soft hook from inside the key to take the score to 29-12. Clifford, the Seahawks' 7-foot center, scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the quarter.
The lead grew to 20 points (32-12) on two free throws by senior guard Matt Aldanese in the first minute of the second quarter. The biggest lead of the half was 22 points.
Although the Seahawks were in complete control by halftime, Harris saw room for improvement.
"We did get a little sloppy in the first half," he said. "We weren't [identifying] man-in-transition situations. We talked at halftime and made some adjustments, and I thought our guys did a nice job of correcting things in the second half. They never let up."
Two free throws and a three-point shot by Aldanese in the first 33 seconds of the second half pushed the lead to 54-27. The Seahawks also went on a mini-scoring run to end the third quarter and carried a 78-32 advantage into the final eight minutes.
Rivera scored 16 points and Belgen and Small both scored 10.
After the game, Harris thought his father would echo his sentiments regarding the Seahawks' play.
"He's say the same thing I did," he said of his first-half reflections. "He honed in on all aspects of the game, even when we had big leads, like we did tonight. It was all about playing with integrity for him."
Between 12 and 16 teams have annually competed at past Tournament of Champions events. This year's tournament includes just eight teams and started a day later (Tuesday) than its usual Monday opening. In addition to Ocean View and Manual Arts, Rancho Verde, Narbonne of Los Angeles, Saddleback Valley Christian, Clovis West, King of Riverside, and Killarney of British Columbia, Canada also are competing at the five-day event.
Ocean View returns to tournament play at 3 p.m. Thursday to face Rancho Verde. Other games Thursday at Ocean View pit Narbonne against Saddleback Valley Christian at 4:30 p.m., Clovis West against King of Riverside at 6 p.m., and Manual Arts against Killarney in the 7:30 p.m. night cap.
The tournament continues Friday and concludes Saturday.
The Warriors opened their season at the Godinez Tournament, where they went 3-2. They posted victories over Bolsa Grande, Katella and Segerstrom, and lost to both El Toro and Laguna Beach.
Junior Mamadou Ndiaye was named to the all-tournament team. The center averaged 22.8 points, 13.2 rebounds and 6.8 blocks per game. He recorded a triple-double — 15 points, 13 rebounds, a school-record 15 blocked shots, in a 68-43 win Nov. 28 against Bolsa Grande. Junior Dakota Warren also had a triple- double (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) and didn't commit a turnover against Segerstrom.
The Chargers ran their record to 2-0 Monday by beating Servite, 62-57, at the La Quinta Tournament. Dreon Barlett led all scorers with 36 points. The senior guard also poured in 35 during Edison's season-opening 74-49 rout Friday of University. Senior guard Corey Foster added 24 points in Friday's win.
The Barons began play Tuesday at the Valley Christian Tournament in Cerritos and posted a 74-34 blowout of Bellflower. Ten Barons hit the scoring column, led by 17 points by junior guard Josh Armstrong. Senior guard Zack Richartz scored 12 points, senior forward Nathan Moss scored 10 points and junior forward Sean Finley had nine points and nine rebounds.
Richartz hit a buzzer-beating, three-point shot Nov. 30 to send Fountain Valley to a 60-58 victory over San Clemente at the La Quinta Tournament. The Barons trailed by seven points at halftime. Moss scored 19 points, Richartz had 11 points and five rebounds, senior guard Sean Myers 10 points and 13 assists and junior forward Tanner Trounce hit four of seven from three-point range to finish with 14 points.
The Barons dropped a tournament semifinal game Friday to Foothill (64-51) but bounced back to edge Valencia, 63-59, in Saturday's third-place game. Armstrong scored 22 points and had seven rebounds, Finley scored 18 points and grabbed 12 boards and Myers scored 13 points and had seven rebounds and three assists.
The Vikings (1-1) played their home opener Friday and battled Aliso Niguel tough for three quarters, but the visiting Wolverines went on a 25-4 tear in the fourth quarter to wipe out a six-point deficit and come away with a 57-42 victory. The Vikings had 22 turnovers in the game.
Senior guard JJ James finished with 16 points, senior guard Michael Livingston scored 10 points and junior forward Casey Hayes pulled down 12 rebounds
"If we learn and mature from this game, we are going to have a really good year," Marina Coach Nick Racklin said.
Brethren Christian went 2-2 last week at the Corona del Mar Tournament to start its season. The Warriors dropped their opener, 41-38, to Estancia but came back to defeat Bolsa Grande, 39-28. Senior guard Diannia Demaziliere led the way with 11 points and junior guard Sara Hodges had eight points.
The Warriors next took on Newport Harbor and a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer rimmed out, as the Sailors escaped with a 30-29 win. Hodges led all scorers with 16 in three quarters of play.
BC completed tourney play by defeating Santa Ana on Saturday, 40-33. Senior center Kate Jensen turned in a strong performance, scoring nine of her game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Junior forward Brooke Hernandez also reached double figures with 10 points.
"It's a nice start to our season, to come out 2-2 in a good tournament field," BC Coach Jeff Wallace said. "We had solid efforts in all four games, facing and meeting different challenges in each one. Having the two losses with a combined total of four points left the girls with the confidence that they can certainly compete. They are stepping nicely into their own identity as we complete our transition from our team of last year that went 20-8."
The defending CIF Division 1A champion Chargers launched their season Saturday and routed Dana Hills, 68-33, in the opening round of the University Tournament. Senior forward Monay Lee led all scorers with 25 points and junior guard Karlie Samuelson scored 21.
The Vikings also played Saturday at the University Tournament and lost, 57-42, to host University. Junior guard Jennifer Chau was Marina's high scorer with 11 points. Junior guard Lauren Dorame had seven points and three assists, Senior center McKenzie McCollum had six rebounds and junior center Kasey Cutchshaw added five rebounds.
"We start a very young team," first-year Marina Coach Dean Katayama said. "We play with great effort but need to execute much better to allow us to play with the better teams."
The Barons got off to a hot start Tuesday in their opening game at the Barons Hoop Challenge, rolling past Costa Mesa, 64-28. Sophomore forward Lora Bender netted a game-high 21 points and junior guard Jasmine Matar posted 10 points.
The Oilers made their season debut Monday at the Barons Hoops Challenge and overwhelmed La Quinta, 76-9. Four Oilers reached double figures, led by 18 points from senior guard Maya Kennedy. Sophomore guard Danielle Kennedy scored 14 points and sophomore guard Stephanie Louie and junior forward Jill Nakaso scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Seahawks traveled Tuesday for a nonleague game against Corona del Mar and fell, 33-21, to the host Sea Kings. Hannah Ferguson led Ocean View with 12 points.
The Seahawks are hosting their own Ocean View girls' varsity tournament starting Monday. They open the tournament at 7 p.m. against Dominguez.
Twitter: @MikeSciaccaCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun