Banning and San Pedro played give-and-take basketball Wednesday.
Banning kept giving (23 turnovers) while San Pedro kept taking (and mostly missing) free throws (12 of 29).
In the end, Banning's giveaways proved the lesser of evils as the Pilots posted their first Marine League win and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 52-46 upset at San Pedro.
Gary Cain, Banning's first-year coach, at first was at a loss for words for the Pilots' sudden turnaround. They improved to 7-10 overall and 1-5 in league, while San Pedro fell to 7-8 and 4-2.
"I don't know," Cain said. "The kids just wanted to play today. They wanted to win for a change.
"Is it a relief? Yes, indeed."
There was no relief for San Pedro Coach Jack Kordich, whose team dropped into a second-place tie with Carson. The teams will meet Friday at San Pedro.
"Offensively, it has to be one of the worst games we've ever played," he said. "Free throws just killed us. I can kick them in better than that.
"I don't want to think about it. If I think about this game, it's nightmare time."
It was an especially tough afternoon for San Pedro forward Kevin Thompson, who leads the team with a 20-point average. He finished with 6 and was 4 of 12 from the foul line.
Of course, Banning could counter that it was without its leading scorer, guard Keith Tieuel, for most of the game. The transfer from Serra was ejected in the first quarter for fighting and finished with 2 points.
Forward Troy Leonard led a balanced attack for the Pilots with 13 points, all in the first half. Forwards Terry Newman and Gaylan Jackson each added 11. Forward Mike Bush came off the bench to contribute 10.
Cain felt Banning was ready to turn things around after losing its previous two games by a total of four points to Carson and Locke. He said a changeover to a more patient offense has helped.
"We don't have the talent to run," he said. "When we play a more deliberate style of offense, we have a good chance of winning.
"We have four games left. We just want to get to the playoffs. With this kind of momentum, who knows?"
Banning had plenty of momentum to open the second half. Newman, Jackson and Bush hit the Pilots' first three shots of the third quarter to build a 32-22 lead.
San Pedro pulled within 1, 45-44, with 4:29 left, but that proved the extent of the Pirates' comeback. They hit only one basket the rest of the way and were scoreless for the last 2:09.
Chris Charles came off the bench to score Banning's last three points on a jump shot with 56 seconds left and a free throw with 17 seconds left to ice the game.
Point guard Joey Hay was the only San Pedro player who scored in double figures, finishing with 12.
Carson 72, Locke 57--Forward Damon Estell scored 18 points to lead the Colts to a Marine League win at Locke.
Forward Stephen Smith added 13 points for Carson, which improved to 14-4 in all games and 4-2 in league play. Vincent Smith added 10 for the Colts.
Locke, which fell to 3-3 in league, was led by Leo Toliver with 16 points.
Manual Arts 113, Gardena 65--The Mohicans proved no match for one of the L .A. City top teams as Manual Arts romped to a Marine League win at Gardena.
Forward Chris Small led all scorers with 26 points, and Thurman Watson and Sandy Brown each had 20 each for Manual Arts. The Toilers, yet to be tested in league, have a two-game lead at 6-0.
Gardena (4-12, 1-5) was led by Kevin Sanders and Jeff Robinson with 14 points apiece.
Westchester 52, Palisades 50--Sam Crawford, benched for the entire second quarter because Coach Ed Azzam didn't like his play, hit an 11-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Comets a Central League win. The junior guard finished with 19 points including 5 of 6 from three-point range. Westchester led, 31-27, at the half but Palisades took a 39-37 lead after three quarters. Jamie Dudley scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for Palisades. Westchester improved to 16-3 overall and 4-2 in the league. Palisades is 6-11 and 0-6.
St. Bernard 100, Bishop Montgomery 58--Forward Eric Nelson scored 23 points and center Ed Stokes added 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Vikings romped in an Angelus League game at St. Bernard. The Vikings improved to 14-6 overall and are 2-3 in the league going into Friday's showdown with league leader Bishop Amat at home.