Serra rolls over St. Paul; to host big tournament

By Joe Snyder

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Photo by Joe Snyder SCORE—Serra High ball carrier Troy Crozier gets past defenders during a recent prep football game. Crozier scored the winning touchdown for the Cavaliers as they captured the Southern California Division IA championship by topping Long Beach Poly 21-17 last Saturday. The Cavaliers face Bakersfield Liberty for the CIF-State Division IA crown at Saddleback College Saturday at 4 p.m.

Serra High’s boys’ basketball team improved to 4-2 after downing host St. Paul High 75-54 in a non-league game last Friday in Santa Fe Springs. Keying the Cavaliers was La Quan Cole with 25 points. Returning all-CIF Southern Section guard Jeremy Dent-Smith added 18 points, followed closely by Tomi Adesji with 17. Serra, meanwhile, will host its own Dwan Hurt Memorial Classic that will include 28 teams on Dec. 18 to Dec. 23. The Cavaliers begin their classic on Dec. 18 against Long Beach Jordan in the Kerry Boagni Division. The divisions are named after two former Serra High all-Americans in Boagni and Ricky Price. Other first round games include Harbor City Narbonne against Inglewood, South Los Angeles Washington versus Lakewood Mayfair, Beverly Hills vs. Southeast L.A. Verbum Dei, Willowbrook King-Drew Medical Magnet vs. Downey St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy, St. Paul vs. Lawndale and Lawndale Leuzinger vs. Long Beach Poly. Top seed is L.A. Fairfax which has a first round bye. Teams in the Price Division are Hawthorne, L.A. University Pathways, Lynwood, Carson, Downey Warren, El Segundo, Inglewood Morningside, L.A. Dorsey, Wiseburn- DaVinci, L.A. View Park Prep, North Torrance and Long Beach Rancho Dominguez Prep. The finals are on Dec. 23. The tournament is in its fourth season. It was named after the late Serra head coach Dwan Hurt, who died in his sleep following Thanksgiving in 2016. Hurt guided the Cavaliers to CIF-State championships in 1993 and 2010, along with several CIF-Southern Section crowns. Price was the key player Serra’s 1993 State Division IV championship squad. Gardena placed fifth in the Mira Costa-Pacific Shores Tournament with a 50-45 win over West Torrance High last Saturday in Manhattan Beach. The Panthers lost their first two games before winning the final two. Gardena lost a pair of lopsided games to Venice 59-39 on Nov. 29 and eventual champion San Pedro Rolling Hills Prep 77-39 on Dec. 1 before stifling San Pedro Mary Star of the Sea High 53-19 in their final game of round-robin play last Thursday. Rolling Hills Prep, the top ranked team in the South Bay by the Daily Breeze, defeated Mira Costa 60-48 for the championship last Saturday. The Mustangs, who lost their first game after winning their first nine, are fifth in the South Bay. The Panthers begin the Marine League at San Pedro High Friday at 4 p.m. The Pirates are expected to be one of the top contenders for the league title, along with Gardena and Narbonne, this season. San Pedro came off a third place finish in the Artesia Tournament last week in Lakewood.

In girls’ basketball action, Serra finished 10th out of 12 teams in the rigorous Platinum Division of the Redondo Battle at the Beach Tournament two weeks ago. After losing their first two games, the Cavaliers defeated host Redondo 56-51 on Nov. 26. Returning all-CIF Southern Section guard Jailah Donald led Serra with 27 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Myanna Emery contributed 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. A day later, the Lady Cavaliers fell short of Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula 73-69 in the ninth place game. Serra is currently playing in the Troy Tournament in Fullerton where it began last Monday against powerful Santa Ana Mater Dei. The Cavaliers also played round robin play against San Clemente on Tuesday and face Troy tonight at 7:30. The finals are Saturday. North Torrance captured the Gold Division by defeating Santa Monica 57-47 on Nov. 27.

Serra rolls over St. Paul; to host big tournament