Birmingham comes out of health and safety pause at full strength

Birmingham players gather to listen to coach Nick Halic.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Birmingham played its first high school basketball game since Dec. 11 on Tuesday after a health and safety pause because of COVID-19. No one looked more excited than coach Nick Halic, who was giving high-fives to players before the game against Arleta. It was the first time Birmingham was at full strength with football players and top transfer student Brooklyn Caldwell from El Camino Real finally on the court together.

The defending City Section champion Patriots (5-4) were a little ragged in the first quarter with their shots and inconsistent with their offense having had only two practices. But their athleticism took over, along with improved effort, and the Patriots went on to secure an 87-37 victory in an opening game of the San Fernando Valley tournament at Kennedy.

They will face Venice in an important City Section encounter Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Kennedy. Larry Olayinka scored 16 points, and Caldwell had 14.

Venice defeated Kennedy 68-52. Tyler Hunt had 20 points, and Percy Jackson added 10. David Alfaro had 23 points for Kennedy.


King/Drew 67, Hamilton 48: Kalib LaCount scored 30 points for King/Drew.

Rancho Cucamonga 48, Los Osos 36: Shadale Knight finished with 19 points in a Baseline League opener.

Capistrano Valley Christian 75, Pacifica Christian 69: Kaih Williams had 34 points.

Girls’ basketball

Eagle Rock 58, Narbonne 35: The Eagles (12-3) continue to be one of the surprise teams in the City Section under first-year coach Julie Wilkins. Regine Go, Gabby Diaz and Haylee Weatherspoon each scored 10 points.

Birmingham 67, Cleveland 30: In a West Valley League opener, the Patriots were led by Annette Jones’ 14 points.

Girls’ soccer

San Clemente 2, Aliso Niguel 0: Goals from Malia McMahon and Lizzie Martin led San Clemente to a win in its South Coast League opener.

Girls’ water polo

Newport Harbor 7, Laguna Beach 5: The Breakers’ 66-game league winning streak came to an end. They hadn’t lost to a league opponent since 2006. Bia Diaz had four goals.