Mamadou Ndiaye sat out game action last week due to illness. On Tuesday, with his health returned, he returned to the Brethren Christian lineup in a big way.
The 7-foot-5 senior center scored a career-high 45 points and secured 15 rebounds, and sophomore guard Brandon Bryson turned in a strong, all-around performance, to help guide the Warriors' boys' basketball team to a 76-55 Academy League victory over host Oxford Academy of Cypress.
Ndiaye didn't suit up Friday when BC took on league foe Sage Hill. Bryson also had been ill early last week, but did see action against the Lightning. Bryson scored six points Tuesday to go along with 11 assists, five steals and four rebounds.
The win kept the Warriors, ranked fourth in CIF Southern Section Division 5-AA, are atop the league standings at 6-0. They hold a one-game lead over second-place St. Margaret's (5-1). The teams square off Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Margaret's.
"We played well," BC Coach Jon Bahnsen said. "It was a fun game where everyone got involved with different aspects of the game. We're striving to peak at the right time with playoffs only two weeks away. This game will continue us peaking."
Brethren Christian was coming off a 64-53 league win Friday over Sage Hill. The Warriors led by as many as 23 points and were led in scoring by freshman forward Cameron Griffin, who had a game-high 16 points. Senior forward Dakota Warren and junior guard Caleb Keller both scored 11 points and junior guard Nick Dang had 10 points.
"It was a good game to show how strong our team is," Bahnsen said. "Playing without Ndiaye allowed other guys to step up and show our depth as a team."
The Warriors, 17-3 overall, play three games over three days starting with an 8 p.m. game Thursday against Crean Lutheran of Irvine at Ocean View High. They take on Servite at 6:15 p.m. Friday as part of the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei High. On Saturday, they return to league play at home against Whitney of Cerritos at 8 p.m. at Liberty Christian School in Huntington Beach.
The Huntington Beach Oilers made the Sunset League race a wide-open affair after handing leader Fountain Valley its first league loss, 67-52, on Jan. 25 at Huntington. The outcome left the Barons with a one-game lead over the Oilers, Edison and Los Alamitos heading into the week.
Scores from Wednesday's league games weren't available at press time.
Senior forward Harley Ruder, who was injured and didn't play when the teams met on Jan. 4, a 72-60 Fountain Valley win, turned in a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Oilers (15-7, 4-2 in league). Senior guard Andrew TenBrink also posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Mason Luna had 10 points and five rebounds.
"I was really pleased with our defensive effort and we just have to continue to get better every day," Huntington Coach Fabian Luna said.
Senior center Jackson Gatlin had a double-double for Fountain Valley with 18 points and 14 rebounds to go along with five blocks. Senior guard Josh Armstrong also scored 18 points.
"It was a game where we didn't play a very complete game and it cost us," said Fountain Valley Coach Roger Holmes, whose team dropped to 5-1 in league and 17-5 overall. "We didn't score in the fourth quarter until very late and by then, the game was in [Huntington's] control."
Huntington, ranked ninth in CIF-SS Division 1-A, travels for a 7 p.m. tip Friday at Newport Harbor. The Oilers play at 7 p.m. at Los Alamitos on Tuesday.
Fountain Valley plays a pair of key league contests that will again shuffle the Sunset standings. The Barons travel for a 7 p.m. game Friday at Los Alamitos and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, against visiting rival Edison.
"The league is a tough battle from start to finish. You can't look at the standings really, it just is one big game after another," Holmes said. "We have four big games in a row and so does everyone else. Then, we will see where everyone settles."
Edison: The Chargers, once again, edged out Newport Harbor in Sunset League play, this time by defeating the Sailors, 60-58, in overtime. When the teams opened league play on Jan. 4, Edison used a last-second basket to come away with a 67-65 win at Newport.