Sitting uncomfortably on a stool, Birmingham basketball coach Nick Halic desperately wanted to release his energy. He’s usually jumping up and down near his team’s bench, but he missed two weeks of practice while recovering from knee surgery and is still on crutches. He’s also been busy taking care of his three-month-old son, Kingston.
So when his team opened a 25-point lead on Thursday night against Palisades midway through the third quarter after consecutive dunks by the Cofield brothers, Elisha and Corey, Halic was feeling good. But then the Patriots lost interest and lost intensity. Halic had his hand over his face and was struggling to gain his players’ attention. Birmingham’s lead was down to six points with 17 seconds left before the Patriots prevailed 58-48 in their season opener. Last season, the Patriots beat the Dolphins by 29 points.
“They stopped playing, got lazy and complacent,” Halic said.
Corey Cofield for three. Birmingham 11, Palisades 7 pic.twitter.com/x1uSqN9wy4— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) November 22, 2019
In fact, Palisades was outhustling the Patriots for rebounds and forcing turnovers. Anthony Spencer led Palisades with 14 points. Corey Cofield had 17 points for Birmingham and David Elliott 14. Birmingham is supposed to be a City Section Open Division title contender, but the Patriots have lots of work ahead.
Congrats to Birmingham coach Nick Halic. He’s a new father. pic.twitter.com/GcMfUAPanl— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) November 22, 2019
In San Diego, No. 1 Sierra Canyon rolled to a 91-44 victory over Montgomery before a large crowd. BJ Boston scored 22 points, Terren Frank 20 and freshman Bronny James had 10 points.
At Harvard-Westlake, Mason Hooks scored 20 points to help the Wolverines rally for a 58-52 win over Renaissance.
JT Tan scored 30 points in Rolling Hills Prep’s 78-37 win over Burbank. Benny Gealer added 19 points.
Tyler Powell scored 24 points in Ribet’s 70-60 win over Alemany. Taft defeated Culver City 65-46. Ramel Lloyd and Khalil Haywood each had 15 points. Crossroads defeated Van Nuys 62-42.
Windward (2-0) had its second consecutive dominating performance in an 88-57 win over Washington Prep. Devin Tillis had 25 points, Kijani Wright 16 and Dylan Andrews 15.
Damien defeated Beckman 78-36. Austin Cook scored 20 points.
Sophomore Skyy Clark continued his strong play in the early season with 34 points as Heritage Christian defeated Canyon Country Canyon 101-67. Dillon Depina had 22 points.
Peninsula got a layup with three seconds left to defeat L.A. University 56-55. David Cheatom had 25 points for University.
Chino Hills is 3-0 after a 57-34 win over Corona. Ernesto Casarez scored 13 points.
Granada Hills defeated Santa Clara 64-39. Kris Cook finished with 15 points and Jon Li 14.
St. Francis defeated St. Monica 67-47. Kai Glassen scored 24 points and Andre Henry 19.
Denim Dawson scored 28 points in Colony’s 63-55 win over Los Osos. Freshman Kylan Boswell added 23 points.