Brethren Christian turned up for the start of the upcoming Academy League boys' basketball season by winning a championship during holiday tournament play.
The Warriors were in Palm Springs last week for the MaxPreps Holiday Classic. They won all four games they played and sewed up the title in their division by defeating Canyon Crest of San Diego, 77-70, in the title game Saturday.
In the final, UC Irvine-bound center Mamadou Ndiaye poured in 40 points. The senior also pulled down 17 rebounds and blocked six shots.
Ndiaye was named MVP of the tournament and teammates Brandon Bryson and junior guard Caleb Keller made the all-tourney team. Bryson, a sophomore guard, had 52 assists in the four games including a school record 17 assists in BC's 82-75 first-round win over Salesian of Los Angeles.
In addition to wins over Canyon Crest and Salesian, the Warriors defeated Desert Christian Academy (63-45) and Viewpoint of Calabasas (71-66).
"We had a poor showing in the first game from a defensive standpoint and also did not take care of the ball very well," BC Coach Jon Bahnsen said. "We learned from it and got much better as the tournament went on, much more consistent on both ends of the floor."
BC, now 10-3 overall, begins defense of its Academy League title on Tuesday, when it plays host to Oxford Academy of Cypress at 8 p.m. at Ocean View High.
"The team is continuing to get better and better at embracing the unique opportunity of playing with a 7-foot-5 player of Mamadou's skill," Bahnsen said. "The other players around him are doing a better job of playing in control while being pressured and handling the multiple ways other teams try to contain Mamadou. We are looking forward to the challenge of league."
Ocean View: The Seahawks returned from San Diego County Saturday with a fifth-place finish at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. All games were played at La Jolla Country Day.
In the fifth-place game, Ocean View turned back Temecula Valley, 57-54, in overtime, at La Jolla Country Day School. Sophomore guard Kendall Small picked up two quick fouls in the first half and sat out the final 14 minutes of the half, which ended with the Seahawks trailing, 17-12. Small returned to the court for the second half, and turned out to be Ocean View's key weapon. He netted 23 points in the second half including eight points in overtime.
Ocean View lost two starters, junior forward Dillon Reise and sophomore guard Zarek Osborne to fouls in the second half, but the Seahawks received strong play from their bench. Sophomore guard Tyler Burch scored 11 points and hit a big, three-pointer in overtime.
In addition to its win over Temecula Valley, Ocean View (9-5) scored wins against Austin-El Paso (Texas), 62-55, and Thunderbird (Arizona), 63-47. The Seahawks' lone loss was a 61-54 setback to a Mission Hills team that was led by 7-foot center Kameron Rooks, son of former NBA player Sean Rooks.
The Seahawks played the tournament without senior leader, Josh Mishler. The guard suffered a knee injury in a Dec. 21 game against Tesoro.
"Our team took a step forward this week," Ocean View Coach Tim Walsh said. "To go 3-1 in a tough tournament without our senior leader Josh [Mishler] was huge.
"We looked lethargic in our opener against Austin, but played with great energy the next three games. The guys bonded on and off the court, and seemed to take more joy in playing together. The players on the court and on the bench were excited, and it led to better team basketball. Now, we're hoping that we continue to take steps forward as we enter league play."
Defending Golden West League champion Ocean View starts its league schedule Wednesday, when it plays host to Santa Ana at 7 p.m.
"Before the season, I told anyone who would listen that we had a long way to go, and that it was going to take some time for us to come together," Walsh said. "We are definitely much better than we were in November, but we still have a lot of work to do. Again, I was happy with our overall team effort at the Torrey Pines tourney, and I'm hoping that we will use that experience as a stepping stone toward bigger and better things.
Edison: The Chargers took fifth place in their division Saturday at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic at Palm Desert.