Running into a college coach at Monday's opening day of the Redondo tournament was easy. Coaches from UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, UC Irvine and many other schools were making the rounds going back and forth between the main gym and Redondo's second gym watching games and greeting coaches.
As far as players, helping himself greatly was relatively unknown Narbonne senior guard Uchenna Okeneme, who scored 33 points against Compton in a loss. He was repeatedly attacking the basket. It was a good performance by the Gauchos, who were within four points early in the fourth quarter before losing, 74-66, in the debut of former Gardena Coach Anthony Hilliard.
"He's a super athlete," Hilliard said of Okeneme, who has a 3.4 grade-point average and is a returning starter.
"I've tried to go to every camp," Okeneme said. "But I haven't been recognized. I play hard. I do my best."
Compton's Iziahiah Sweeney is going to entertain fans all season with his dunks. He finished with 24 points.
Long Beach Millikan 6-foot-6 senior Malik Marquetti came through with 30 points, including two free throws with 1.8 seconds left, to give his team a 71-69 win over Calabasas.
Westchester is ready to make another run at the City Section Division I championship with lots of returning players. The Comets get an early season showdown game on Tuesday at 5 p.m. against Long Beach Poly.
Redondo won big even though center Jeremiah Headley won't be available until January because of a stress fracture.
Tuesday's quarterfinal matchups: Compton vs. Mayfair, 3:30 p.m.; Westchester vs. LB Poly, 5 p.m.; St. John Bosco vs. Long Beach Millikan, 6:30 p.m.; Redondo vs. Campbell Hall, 8 p.m.