Edison High’s Kaden Headington dominated the last time he faced Corona del Mar.
The senior guard finished with 33 points in a Jan. 11 road victory, so the Sea Kings deployed several resources to contain him.
The extra attention allowed other Chargers to shine. Edison topped visiting CdM 57-41 on Wednesday night to take sole possession of first place in the Surf League.
Old and young led the way on senior night. Senior guard Aiden Garnett and sophomore forward Connor Collins had 11 points and three three-pointers each for the Chargers (18-8, 3-1 in league).
Headington led the way with 18, but many of his points came in the final minutes on free throws.
Jack Garza, a 6-foot-7 forward, made five threes for 15 points for the Sea Kings (17-8, 2-2), who are tied for second place in the league with Los Alamitos (9-14, 2-2).
CdM coach Ryan Schachter refused to let Headington get loose. He placed his best athlete in 6-foot-5 John Humphreys, a football star with offers from Notre Dame, Stanford and USC, on Headington early and often.
After falling behind 8-2 in the opening minutes, Edison coach Rich Boyce got Collins open for two pick-and-pop three-pointers to tie the game at 11-11.
“Kaden gets the defense sucked in on him, and he always makes the right pass,” Collins said. “I just do what I can on the court.”
The Sea Kings pushed ahead again in the second quarter, using threes by Garza and Jake Hamilton to lead 21-14. The offense stalled for the rest of the half as point guard Connor Schimmelpfennig aggravated an ankle injury.
“We had every opportunity in the first half to have a lead,” Schachter said. “We weren’t firing on all cylinders. It was a sluggish start. It was definitely a game where we could have easily got a good lead at halftime.”
A trio of Edison seniors hit a three-pointer, seizing the lead into the break. Jack Horton and Headington made their looks off screens at the top of the key, setting up a 21-20 deficit in the final seconds.
Headington drove into the lane and dished to Garnett in the corner, who drained his three at the buzzer for a 23-21 advantage.
“I thought Aiden Garnett was outstanding for us,” Boyce said. “He made some big shots.”
The Chargers pulled away with defense, allowing just 20 points the rest of the way. In three league victories, they have allowed just 47.3 points per contest.
Boyce particularly praised the lockdown defense of Horton, who ceded few comfortable looks to CdM three-point specialist Jack Stone.
“He was with him the whole time,” Boyce said. “I just thought our defense in the third quarter was what we expected of it … We spend the majority of our time [working] on it.”
Garnett and Collins added threes from the wings to boost the lead to 49-37 with under two minutes remaining. They also blocked shots from behind to take away easy buckets.
The Sea Kings tried to extend the game with fouls. Headington converted six free throws in a row to stretch the advantage to 55-39, prompting both coaches to empty their benches.
Edison, which split the Sunset League title the past two seasons, can clinch at least a share of the Surf League title with a win at Newport Harbor on Friday. The Sailors dropped to 1-3 and last place in the four-team league with a 50-47 loss at home to Los Alamitos on Wednesday.
“In this league, anybody can beat anybody at any time,” said Boyce, whose team has two more league contests left. “Every team could get you.”
Edison 57, Corona del Mar 41
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Corona del Mar 13 – 8 – 11 – 9 — 41
Edison 13 – 10 – 16 – 18 — 57
CdM – J. Garza 15, Humphreys 8, Hamilton 7, Stone 4, A. Garza 3, Olson 2, Lawson 1, Overfelt 1.
3-pt. goals – J. Garza 5, Hamilton 1, A. Garza 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
E – Headington 18, Collins 11, Garnett 11, Horton 10, Strauss 5, Conaway 2.
3-pt. goals – Garnett 3, Collins 3, Horton 2, Headington 1.
Fouled out – None.