Narbonne head coach Victoria Sanders instructs junior guard Kayla Brady during the City Section championship game. Photo by Jason Lewis
Sophomore Chance Comanche dunks the ball as View Park head coach Harold Jones led his team to the Small School’s title in the City Section. Photo by Ken Brooks
The high school basketball season will turn the page this week from sectional champions to state challengers, but odd are good that Black coaches will continue to have their teams in the mix of it.
Last week’s African American coaches in girls and boys basketball in the CIF-Southern Section and the CIF Los Angeles City Section dominated sectional champions.
In Lynwood, the Lady Knights have won back-to back championships three times in the school’s history and from 2001-2003 they had a three-peat. Head coach Ellis Barfield is at it again as the Lynwood captured their ninth CIF title and second consecutive by winning yet another crown last week over J.W. North of Riverside 61-51 in the CIF-SS D-2AA title game.
Narbonne’s Victoria Sanders led the Lady Gauchos to the City D-I title with a hard fought victory over Fairfax 65-60 at Cal State Dominguez Hills and earned a No. 4 seed for the Southern California Regionals which began this week. It was the third title for Sanders at Narbonne.
While Sanders won her third title at Narbonne, a new shooter to the title room, Harold Jones of View Park Prep, led the Knights to a 73-62 win over LACES to win the City Small School championship.
The Big winners among Black coaches were in the Southern Section where Gardena Serra’s Dwan Hurt led the Cavaliers to its fifth CIF-SS title by capturing the D-4AA championship at the Anaheim Convention Center with a 70-52 shellacking of Lutheran (Laverne). It was the second straight for Serra and a fist full of titles have all been won by Hurt.
Hurt and his Cavs unsettled the entire division and perhaps impacted the state regionals as well with their surprising run to the title game. They finished behind dominant Bishop Montgomery in league play and were seeded fourth in their division going into the post season.
But now Serra is the top seed in the So. Cal. regionals and have a bye until Saturday.
Many considered Serra as a logical entrant in the open division of the regionals because of their back-to-back title status, but instead both the City D-I finalist Westchester and El Camino Real were elevated.
Westchester won the City and would have preferred to be in D-I, but instead got a low seed in the regional and will have to travel to Fresno for their first round game.
Another team that will be in the Open division will be St. John Bosco, which won the CIF-SS D-3A title over Chaminade 80-56.
Led by coach Derrick Taylor, who won three City championships at Taft before arriving on St. John Bosco’s campus last year, he has already made his presence felt.
With a combination of star power in both McDonalds All American Isaac Hamilton and his younger brother Daniel Hamilton, St. John Bosco was elevated to the open division and had a first round date with Long Beach Poly. St. John Bosco certainly would not have preferred that.
Finally, but certainly not least is the young man deemed at a local newspaper to be the Wizard of the South Bay.
Reggie Morris Jr.’s father was responsible for winning two City championships at Manual Arts, igniting their hey day.
Morris has now out done his father by winning his third CIF-SS title, and even more impressive he has accomplished it at three different schools.
Morris led Redondo Union to the D-2AA championship with a victory over Westlake in the title game 68-63. Last year Redondo Union missed the playoffs, only winning two league games.
Morris won a CIF title at Leuzinger, and last year he won at St. Bernard.
Morris was even surprised that his team won it, with the guiding and protective hands of his father right there for every moment.
Morris Sr. coached at two colleges before retiring form Southwest recently.
Morris Jr. has two players playing in the NBA in Russell Westbrook and Dorrell Wright in Oklahoma and Philadelphia, respectively.
There is no reason in the name of basketball why this young brilliant basketball coach should not be either leading or is an assistant at a major college. It is rather insulting to say the least that he is not on a D-I staff in major college basketball.
Right now, Redondo Union is happy that he is not.