Serra on collision course with rival Knights; all sports stories for March 20

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Serra High’s boys’ basketball team did not go that far in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division but got its second shot at being put back to Division IV in the Southern California Regionals and the Cavaliers are taking advantage of it.

Serra High’s boys’ basketball team did not go that far in the CIF-Southern Section Open Division but got its second shot at being put back to Division IV in the Southern California Regionals and the Cavaliers are taking advantage of it.

Playing a little lesser competition in the first two rounds, the Cavaliers began the playoffs with very little trouble in a 76-43 blowout of a weaker CIF-Central Section Division IV champion Granite Hills of  Porterville on March 12, then downed Windward School from Mar Vista, 67-52, in the quarterfinals last Saturday. Both games were at Serra.

Against Windward, the Cavaliers, who improved to 24-9, led by just one point (30-29) at halftime, but pulled away with an 11-1 run to start the second half.

Leading by 10 after three quarters, the closest the Wildcats could get was nine (56-47) as Serra closed the game with an 11-5 run, sparked by an alley-oop dunk by Ron Freeman.

Six-foot-8 senior center-forward Tavrion Dawson led the Cavaliers, who are the region’s No. 3 seed, with a game-high 19 points, followed by Freeman with 15. Jason Richardson added nine points.

At Serra on March 12, the Cavaliers had little trouble with a Granite Hills squad that had no player over 6-feet-3. Not playing in nearly two weeks, the Cavaliers were a little rusty leading only 7-6 early, but over the rest of the first half, Serra players virtually had a party with a number of uncontested dunks and layups that ignited the Cavaliers to a 55-18 halftime bulge.

Serra already started to clear the bench by midway in the third quarter as it built a 44-point lead (75-31) by the end of the period.

With a 40-point-plus mercy rule leading to a running clock and the entire bench cleared, the Cavaliers had just one point on a free throw by Austin Hudson in the fourth quarter, but it did not matter.

Serra had four players score in double figures, led by Dawson with 19 points. Freeman and Richardson each chipped in 14 points and Ian Moore contributed 12.

The Cavaliers traveled to a very familiar Del Rey League rival in Bishop Montgomery in Torrance in the semifinals last Tuesday night. The winner moves on to face the winner of last Tuesday’s other semifinal between Chatsworth Sierra Canyon and Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart at Colony High in Ontario Saturday at 4 p.m.

After a first round bye, the second seeded Knights had an impressive second half for a 78-59 win over always tough Oaks Christian from Westlake Village last Saturday at Bishop Montgomery.

The Lions used their rebounding edge to keep the game at a 33-33 halftime tie, then Bishop Montgomery went on a surge to outscore them, 45-26, in the second half.

Stephen Thompson, Jr. sparked the Knights with a career-high 32 points, including five three-point baskets.

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Cavs enjoy routs of L.A. Dorsey, Crenshaw

By Joe Snyder

GVN Correspondent

After losing its season opener to Warren High of Downey, Serra High’s baseball team faced two CIF-Los Angeles City Section teams from the Crenshaw district in Dorsey on March 12 and Crenshaw last Friday, both games at Serra.

Against Crenshaw, Serra was led by Denz’l Chapman who hit a three-run home run and Morgan Lomax who added two doubles and a run scored.

Winning pitcher Tommy Bothwell pitched four innings and struck out seven batters. He allowed only two hits.

Chapman also had three hits and drove in two runs in Serra’s 10-3 home win over Dorsey on March 12.

The Cavaliers will host Los Angeles Center of Enriched Studies (LACES) today at 3:15 p.m. before visiting Los Alamitos in a challenging non-league contest Saturday at 11 a.m.

Panthers fall to 0-2: Gardena High’s baseball team fell to 0-2 after losing to Rancho Dominguez Prep, 9-8, in a non-league contest on March 12 in Long Beach.

The Panthers held an 8-7 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning before the Lobos rallied for two runs to pull the game out.

Gardena hosted Belmont on Wednesday.

Serra has some strong showings at Redondo: Serra High’s track and field teams had most of their athletes in the New Balance Indoor Invitational at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but managed to have a few good showings with a few present at last Friday and Saturday’s Redondo Nike Invitational.

Jordan Lasley, who will be playing football at UCLA this fall, keyed the Cavalier boys by winning his heats in the 100-meter dash at 10.86 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles clocking 39.88.

Perhaps the best showing by the Lady Cavaliers was their 4×100-meter relay squad that placed second, behind Long Beach Poly, in 47.6 on Saturday.

South Torrance’s Kimberly Coscia won the 3,200-meter run timing 10:46.75 and placed second in the 1,600 in 5:01.73.

Lady Knights get edged out: Bishop Montgomery High’s girls’ basketball team saw its season come to an end with a 46-45 loss to Mater Dei Catholic High from Chula Vista in the Southern California Regional Division IV quarterfinals last Saturday at Bishop Montgomery.

The loss ended the Lady Knights’ 10-game winning streak that included the CIF-Southern Section Division IVAA crown over Junipero Serra from San Juan Capistrano (46-43 on March 8 at Azusa-Pacific University), a Del Rey League ending win at Serra a few weeks ago and a 61-27 regional first round win over Exeter from the Central Section on March 12.

Chula Vista Mater Dei was the San Diego Section Division IV champion.

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Lady Cavaliers start fast with easy win over Fairmont Prep

By Joe Snyder

GVN Correspondent

After losing in the quarterfinals of the prestigious CIF-Southern Section Open Division playoffs to Etiwanda, Serra High’s girls began the Southern California Regional Division IV playoffs as the top seed and it proved it by coasting to a 70-55 quarterfinal victory over Fairmont Prep from Anaheim last Saturday at Serra.

The Lady Cavaliers wasted no time on Fairmont by jumping out to an early 17-0 lead and were in command throughout the entire contest.

Serra, which improved to 24-4 and is seeking its second consecutive California State Division IV crown, used an effective half-court trap that forced Fairmont into 29 turnovers.

The Cavaliers already had a 22-5 first quarter lead and extended it to 36-10 with about two minutes left before halftime.

Serra led 55-30 after three periods before clearing the bench and seeing Fairmont outscore the Cavaliers, 25-15, in the final quarter.

Next for the Cavaliers was Junipero Serra High from San Juan Capistrano in the semifinals last Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Serra. J. Serra edged Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 34-31, in their quarterfinal.

If Serra defeats J. Serra, it will take on the winner of the other semifinal between Chula Vista Mater Dei Catholic, the San Diego Section Division IV champion, and Sierra Canyon on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Colony High in Ontario.

Serra on collision course with rival Knights; all sports stories for March 20