They came out by the hundreds to Redondo Union on Saturday night for the featured basketball game of the Take Flight Challenge — No. 1 Studio City Harvard-Westlake against No. 2 Torrance Bishop Montgomery. The gym seats 2,500, and it was getting pretty cozy in the bleachers, with some in the Bishop Montgomery student section dressed in beach attire and looking for ways to make noise.
Brady Dunlap of Harvard-Westlake was having none of it. He made his first five shots and helped the Wolverines open a 15-point lead. That’s when Will Smith of Bishop Montgomery stepped forward, got physical and aggressive, leading to a Knights comeback. The game turned into an epic battle requiring three overtimes to decide a winner.
Dunlap and Harvard-Westlake finally prevailed 74-66. Dunlap finished with 38 points. Trent Perry scored only two points in the first half but finished with 15. Smith had 21 points for Bishop Montgomery.
“That was a fun game, very tiring,” Dunlap said.
In the second overtime, Kelcy Phipps of Bishop Montgomery scored the first two baskets, including a steal off point guard Perry. His third basket of the second overtime put the Knights ahead 62-58. But Dunlap got a basket off a steal, the Wolverines got a rebound and had the ball down by two with 6.6 left. They set a screen on an out of bounds play, and Dunlap scored to send it to a third overtime 62-62.
In the third overtime, Harvard-Westlake (17-1) looked refreshed. First Robert Hinton scored, then Dunlap. The shots wouldn’t fall for Bishop Montgomery (18-1). And there were so many people jammed into the gym that they had to keep fans outside waiting to get in for the final game of the night matching Redondo and Narbonne.
After the final buzzer, Perry was waving to the Bishop Montgomery fans and blowing them kisses.
“We’re competitive. We like it,” Dunlap said.
Harvard-Westlake coach David Rebibo said of the three-OT thriller: “It was an Open Division championship-caliber game. That’s a great team. Nobody lost in my opinion. Both teams are going to get so much better from this game.”
Bishop Montgomery used a 1-2-2 zone defense that bothered the Wolverines. After trailing 23-8, the Knights put together a 26-6 surge. They went ahead on a four-point play by guard La Qwon Cole with 6: 21 left in the third quarter. It was back and forth for the rest of regulation.
“They threw something different at me,” Dunlap said of the second and third quarters when he was limited to two baskets. “It took time to getting used to.”
Dunlap came back with a vengeance in the fourth quarter and overtime periods, showing much improvement over his junior season when he might have struggled when things weren’t going well.
“In the past, I’d lose confidence,” he said. “I couldn’t do that today.”
It was a day and night for the top boys’ basketball teams in Southern California to test themselves against elite opponents.
At Cerritos College, No. 3 Corona Centennial knocked off No. 8 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 69-60. Jared McCain and Mike Price each scored 16 points. Caleb Foster had 26 points for Notre Dame.
At Galen Center, Santa Ana Mater Dei received 21 points, including five threes, from freshman Luke Barnett in a 63-61 win over Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary. Sierra Canyon defeated Georgia Wheeler 66-55 behind Bronny James’ 22 points.
At Pasadena City College, West Ranch defeated Etiwanda 52-45.
In other boys’ basketball games:
Crean Lutheran 66, St. Francis 63: In a game that was tied at 27, 29, 39, 41, 52, 58 and 61 in the second half, Crean Lutheran survived after St. Francis missed on two shot attempts with 2.1 seconds left. Freshman Kaiden Bailey scored 22 points. Jackson Mosley contributed 24 points for St. Francis, with 20 coming in the second half. Luke McGrath made three consecutive threes for St. Francis in the second half.
St. Bernard 56, Leuzinger 50: The Vikings started the game by scoring the first 14 points, then hung on. Tyler Rolison scored 16 points and Tajh Ariza had 14 points.
UCLA has offered Lynwood freshman guard Jason Crowe Jr.
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) January 7, 2023
Rancho Christian 76, Lynwood 62: Freshman Jason Crowe Jr. had 39 points in Lynwood’s loss at Cerritos College.
Rolling Hills Prep 45, Washington Prep 37: JV Brown scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds for Rolling Hills Prep.
Long Beach Poly 70, Sage Hill 33: Jovani Ruff had 14 points and Ryder Maddox 13 points for the Jackrabbits.
St. Anthony 65, Long Beach Jordan 54: Tyler Small finished with 16 points for St. Anthony.
Heritage Christian 66, Crossroads 59: Sophomore Tae Simmons scored 28 points in a dominating performance for Heritage Christian.
Valencia 82, Oak Hills 73: Mikah Ballew finished with 26 points and Bryce Bedgood added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Valencia.
St. Pius X-St. Matthias 65, Oak Park 62: St. Pius prevailed in double overtime. Tyrone Riley finished with 24 points. Isaiah Sherrard scored 19 points for Oak Park.
Thousand Oaks 98, Lancaster 66: Elias Chin delivered 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Lancers.
Rancho Cucamonga 57, Fairmont Prep 55: Shadale Knight had 15 points for 16-3 Rancho Cucamonga.
Windward 77, Colony 66: Sophomore Gavin Hightower finished with 22 points and JJ Harris had 16 points for Windward.
Paraclete 60, Agoura 46: The Spirits (19-1) received 28 points and six threes from Donovan Ware.
Hillcrest 50 Maranatha 46
Nice playoff-type win at @gerryfreitas Pasadena City College event 👏
Dennis Evans 13p, 7r, 3b, 1a
McKel Shedrick 9p, 7a, 1s
Ruben Sevilla 9p, 4r, 2a, 1s, 1TO
Matt Espinoza 7p
Darius Jones 5p
Jacob Lillard 5p
Nate Bowden 2p pic.twitter.com/zVd8OG32qP
— Coach Wood (@Hillcrest_Bball) January 7, 2023
Brentwood 57, Mount Miguel 54: Amber Furch scored 17 points for 15-3 Brentwood.