Ocean View High School Coach Jim Harris gathered his players at midcourt at the conclusion of a recent practice and asked them if they thought they had improved since finishing second in the San Dimas Tournament of Champions two months ago.
Only four players said the Seahawks had become a better team in the past two months.
"I told all the guys who didn't raise their hands that they were dead wrong," Harris said. "Our power game has improved tremendously. We're passing the ball quicker and displaying more patience."
Harris forgot to mention one big improvement: free throw shooting. The one-handed free throw shooting technique wasn't productive earlier in the season.
But two weeks ago against Edison, Ocean View made 23 of 30 attempts in a 57-50 victory. The Seahawks have been on mark ever since, rolling to a 6-0 record in quest of their first Sunset League title.
Edison (5-1) faces Ocean View in a Sunset League showdown tonight starting at 7:30.
In other league play, Marina plays host to Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach travels to Westminster.
In other action:
Servite (3-3, 7-11) at St. Paul (2-4, 6-11): Though neither team has a strong league record, this is a battle for third place and a playoff berth. Center Matt Honikel was impressive last week for the Friars, scoring 62 points as Servite split two games.
Foothill (7-3, 16-6) at El Modena (6-4, 12-7): The traditional football rivals are competing for third place and a playoff berth. Foothill was the preseason pick to win the eight-team league, but the Knights trail Orange and Santa Ana with four games remaining. Also: Orange at Villa Park, Tustin at Santa Ana and Canyon at Santa Ana Valley.
Kennedy (9-1, 16-4) at Los Alamitos (7-3, 10-9): The last time the teams met, Kennedy limited Los Alamitos to its lowest offensive output of the season in a 51-44 win. The Griffins have won five straight games after opening league play with a 2-3 mark. Also: Cypress at Pacifica, Loara at Katella and El Dorado at Esperanza.
Buena Park (5-1, 11-7) at Sunny Hills (3-3, 9-11): The Coyotes are seeking their first league title in 25 years and their first playoff appearance since 1978. Sunny Hills held a 47-43 lead going into the last quarter when the teams met in the first round, but Buena Park rallied for 62-53 win. Also: Fullerton at Troy and La Habra at Sonora.
GARDEN GROVE LEAGUE
Rancho Alamitos (5-1, 10-9) at La Quinta (4-2, 8-9): The Vaqueros' 7-foot center, Lee Velasquez, had his best game of the year in his team's 71-60 win over La Quinta in the first round, scoring 11 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and blocking 7 shots. Also: Bolsa Grande at Los Amigos and Santiago at Garden Grove.
Savanna (5-1, 16-6) at Valencia (4-2, 12-7): Tiger center Geoff Adams (6-6) figures to tower over the smaller Rebels in the battle for second place. Adams averages 9.1 rebounds per game and is shooting 54% from the field. Also: Brea at Anaheim and Western at Magnolia.
SEA VIEW LEAGUE
Newport Harbor (9-1, 18-3) at Saddleback (7-3, 14-7): Time is running out for Saddleback. The Roadrunners are in fourth place in the eight-team league and need an upset win against the league-leading Sailors to get back into the playoff picture. Also: Corona del Mar at Woodbridge, University at Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach at Estancia.
SOUTH COAST LEAGUE
Dana Hills (6-3, 14-5) at Irvine (0-9, 6-15): The Dolphins are coming off a big week with victories over Capistrano Valley and El Toro that moved them into third place. Stanford-bound Bryan McSweeney scored 58 points in the two wins and added 16 points in a loss to Mission Viejo.