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Ocean View starts strong

High School Basketball

Seahawks boys' basketball team opens newly named Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions with resounding victory.

December 07, 2011|By Mike Sciacca
  • Ocean View's Kendall Small (11) scores on a layup against Manual Arts of L.A. on Tuesday at Ocean View High.
Ocean View's Kendall Small (11) scores on a layup… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

The first full week in December traditionally has been the week that the Ocean View High boys' basketball tournament gets underway. Such was the case again this year, but on Tuesday, the annual event, that has drawn some of the top prep teams to the Ocean View gymnasium had a new look and feel to it.

For starters, the tournament — formerly known as the Tournament of Champions — has been christened the Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions, in honor of late-Ocean View Coach Jim Harris, who in October after a battle with cancer. His presence was surely missed Tuesday, but he'd likely be proud of what the Seahawks accomplished on the court.

Ocean View routed Manual Arts of Los Angeles, 90-48, in the first game of the tournament. The Seahawks ran out to a quick lead and never let up on the Toilers.

Jimmy Harris, who served as co-head coach with his father and now shares the same role with Tim Walsh, was pleased with his team's effort. Harris and Walsh were able to insert their entire lineup into the action and the game used a running clock in the fourth quarter.

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"It was a good start," Harris he said of opening night win. "We expected to serve up a gameplan to prepare for an athletic team (Manual Arts), and they were athletic, but our guys played well right from the beginning. Conor (Clifford) really kick-started us. He played pretty well."

Ocean View bolted to a 16-6 lead midway through the opening quarter. The Seahawks went on to score the final seven points of the quarter, starting with a steal and layup by freshman guard Kendall Small. Senior guard Cristian Rivera hit a thee-point shot and senior guard Eric Belgen scored on a soft hook from inside the key to take the score to 29-12. Clifford, the Seahawks' 7-foot center, scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the quarter.

The lead grew to 20 points (32-12) on two free throws by senior guard Matt Aldanese in the first minute of the second quarter. The biggest lead of the half was 22 points.

Although the Seahawks were in complete control by halftime, Harris saw room for improvement.

"We did get a little sloppy in the first half," he said. "We weren't [identifying] man-in-transition situations. We talked at halftime and made some adjustments, and I thought our guys did a nice job of correcting things in the second half. They never let up."

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