SACRAMENTO — With 39.3 seconds left in the CIF state championship Division II final, 6-foot-6 sophomore Jeremiah Headley of Redondo unleashed a thunderous dunk over a Pleasant Hill College Park defender that not only signaled his arrival as a top player but made the stunned crowd at Sleep Train Arena begin to realize the special accomplishment the Sea Hawks were about to pull off.
"That play is a play for the ages," Coach Reggie Morris Jr. said.
It will be the signature moment in Redondo's 54-47 victory over College Park, the first state basketball title in school history. But so much more was accomplished for a team that was 10-17 last season and ended Saturday night with players celebrating with a dogpile on the court.
"It's amazing what young men can do when they get a goal and work toward that goal," said Morris, whose father, Reggie Sr., guided Manual Arts to a Division I state title 25 years ago.
Headley finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. He played junior varsity last season at Leuzinger.
"Hopefully it will be a play that kick-starts a great career for him," Morris said.
Ian Fox scored 11 points and Derek Biale scored 10 for Redondo (28-8).
The Pacific Hills guard trio of Marcus Jackson, Namon Wright and Jahmel Taylor ended their year-long collaboration with a vintage performance, combining to score all but four points in the Bruins' 58-52 Division IV championship victory over Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman.
The Rice-bound Jackson scored 23 points. The Washington-bound Taylor scored 14 points. And Wright, a junior, had 17 points. They took charge with four minutes left and the Bruins (29-4) down by one point, helping apply defensive pressure that resulted in turnovers and points.
"We were very talented at the guard position, but they couldn't have done it by themselves," Coach Ivan Barahona said. "It had to be a group effort."