Venice keeps finding ways to win, improves to 9-0 in Western League basketball

Venice basketball player Tyler Hunt
Tyler Hunt finished with 17 points in Venice’s 55-49 home victory over Westchester on Friday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

The Venice High boys’ basketball team is in the middle of a season so historic that no one knows the last time the Gondoliers were playing this well.

“It’s the best Venice team I’ve seen,” said Westchester coach DeWitt Cotton, who has been coaching with the Comets for 33 years.

Venice (17-6, 9-0) is just two wins away from becoming the No. 1 seed in the City Section Open Division playoffs after coming away with a rare sweep of Westchester 55-49 on Friday at Venice. The Gondoliers were without their best dribbler because of COVID-19 protocols but still found a way to win. They trailed 27-25 in the third quarter, went on a 17-0 run, then saw their lead cut to 50-49 with 1:17 left.


Venice doesn’t do anything exceptional but has terrific chemistry and players who come through in the clutch. Aidan Donald made a basket with 35 seconds left, and Tyler Hunt added two free throws with 17.8 remaining. Game over.

Coach David Galley continues to make all the right moves. Hunt didn’t even play until there was one minute left in the first quarter because it was senior night. He finished with 17 points. Angel Corona led Westchester with 15 points.

Venice closes out the regular season next week with tough games against Palisades and Fairfax.

Narbonne 56, Gardena 53 (OT): Ijeze Anopueme had 30 points and 17 rebounds in Narbonne’s Marine League overtime win, leaving the Gauchos tied with Narbonne.

San Pedro 73, Rancho Dominguez 72: Anthony Hrboka made 10 three-pointers and finished with 35 points for San Pedro.

Rolling Hills Prep 80, New Roads 33: JV Brown had 22 points, and Kenny Manzi added 21 points and 18 rebounds. Rolling Hills Prep (20-1) also received 12 assists from Benny Gealer.

Grant 88, Arleta 31: Byron Mendez had 30 points, making all eight of his threes, for Grant.

Sun Valley Poly 80, Chavez 66: Nicolas Romeo Mendoza scored 27 points for the Parrots.

Damien 72, Rancho Cucamonga 53: Jimmy Oladokun had 23 points to help Damien claim a share of Baseline League championship.

Loyola 82, Shadow Hills 64: Parker Jones made seven three-pointers and finished with 35 points.

Taft 66, El Camino Real 45: Jordan Collins had 17 points to help the Toreadors finish in a three-way tie for first place in the West Valley League with Birmingham and El Camino Real.

King/Drew 61, Crenshaw 50: Kalib LaCount scored 29 points and brother Jacob added 16 to help King/Drew clinch the Coliseum League championship.


Viewpoint 82, Campbell Hall 72: Giovanni Goree scored 34 points for Viewpoint.

Brentwood 85, Windward 74: MJ Coleman scored 28 points and Will Clark 25 points for Brentwood. Freshman Gavin Hightower scored 41 points for Windward.

Santa Monica 67, Culver City 57: AJ Economou scored 20 points as Santa Monica won the Bay League tournament championship.

Bishop Montgomery 55, St. Bernard 48: Xavier Edmonds scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds and Will Smith scored 14 points to lead Bishop Montgomery in a key Del Rey League game.

Northridge Academy 78, VAAS 29: Kenyon Alexander 29 points.

Girls’ basketball

Mater Dei 83, Camarillo 43: The Monarchs (21-4) made 13 three-pointers and produced turnover after turnover with a full-court press to hand Camarillo (25-1) its first defeat at Camarillo.

Nalani White scored 26 points. Gabriela Jaquez had 32 points for Camarillo.

Sierra Canyon 84, Crossroads 38: Celia Vaughn scored 27 points on senior night for the Trailblazers.

Granada Hills 58, El Camino Real 40: The Highlanders (21-2, 8-0) received 17 points from Karma Paez.

Chaminade 66, Marlborough 61: The Eagles earned a share of the Mission League championship.