The Inglewood Sentinels’ basketball team is currently ranked 30th in the state and 181st in the nation.
Last season, they reached the second round of the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs. In previous seasons, Inglewood players were unfamiliar with each other, according to Senior Terrell Gomez.
“We had got a lot of transfers,” said Gomez. “We had to gel really quickly.”
Gomez has played Varsity since his sophomore year and Junior Miles James has been on the Varsity squad since his freshmen year. Both players noticed the development of the team after the new players arrived.
“Now that I have more help, I can be more of a[n] assist guy and help my team get open,” said Gomez.
In the Bay League, Inglewood is second to the Redondo Union Sea Hawks, a team ranked 7th in the nation and 3rd in California, according to Max Preps. The Sentinels faced the Sea Hawks in their first league game and lost 53-58. On Friday, they had their rematch at Redondo Union High School and the Sentinels beat the Sea Hawks 59-55.
The Sentinels pride themselves on a stellar offense. Inglewood debuted this season with a 73-point win over the Hart Indians of Newhall, Calif.; they are ranked 89th in the state, according to Max Preps.
“Offensively, we all have threats,” James said. “Everybody on the team can put the ball on the floor, handle,[and] dribble the ball.”
The team was 2-2 in the Pacific Shores tournament when they returned home to go on a three game winning streak before heading to Hawaii for the Lahainaluna Maui Classic.
“We went 3-1 out there, it was a great experience, amazing. It was nice to be on the island of Hawaii,” said James. “For a number of people, it was their first time getting on an airplane.”
The Sentinels only lost to the Lee High School Generals of Huntsville, Ala. in the Maui Classic. The Generals are ranked 9th in Alabama, according to Max Preps.
Inglewood also participated in the D1 Bound Tournament and defeated all three teams they faced. The Sentinels also beat their rivals, the Morningside Monarchs, in a devastating 72-48 victory.
Inglewood receives support from alumni and Clippers small forward Paul Pierce; Pierce played under the tutelage of current head coach Patrick Roy.
“He gives us all a lot of confidence, no matter what he says,” said Gomez.
Both Roy and Pierce teach the players that basketball is only secondary to the importance of knowledge, according to James.
“Outside of basketball, your time is going to come, the shot clock is going to end for you, your time is gonna be over. But it can never take away your knowledge,” said James. “So always take what you can out of basketball to the next level.”