Randy Onwuasor was clutch in Inglewood’s victory over Santa Monica. Photo by Ken Brooks
Inglewood basketball head coach Patrick Roy mentioned during the preseason that Santa Monica (14-8), (5-1) was the favorite to win the Ocean League and for good reason. They are in a higher division (Southern Section 1AA), were ranked No. 5, and had scheduled and played top teams such as Long Beach Poly, Fairfax, Windward, Alemany, Etiwanda, and Serra.
With that in mind, Roy went on to add, “It’s between them and us, but we should win it“.
Inglewood point guard Randy Onwuasor shared that confidence, but on the Sentinel’s first round visit to Santa Monica, they came up short. Despite the loss, however, Onwuasor was still confident before round two, “I thought we should have beat them (in the first match up), but we made mistakes and I had a horrible game”.
Roy stuck to his guns as well, “We were missing a key player, I was out for medical reasons, but we were still in the game with 58 seconds left. So with everything in place, I felt we would beat them this time.”
This time they were right. In the intense overtime rematch, Onwuasor had three clutch drives where he was fouled while scoring. Inglewood (14-8), (5-1) opened a six-point lead and never trailed again. It was their second consecutive overtime win including a victory over Morningside, whose 2-4 league record misrepresents its recent competitiveness. Santa Monica can also attest to that.
Now tied at 5-1, if the league leaders were to win out, they would be named co-champions. But Roy is not complacent with having a share of first place. He noted that the Sentinels cannot afford to take competitive teams like Beverly Hills and Culver City lightly, as they represent two of their next three opponents. Likewise there is Hawthorne, which beat Morningside much easier than the two frontrunners. And as usual, that rematch at archrival Morningside is the last game on the schedule.
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