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Sea Kings deny Kennedy

Corona del Mar advances to CIF Division III-AA quarters with strong win.

February 18, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

CORONA DEL MAR — The tempo did not favor host Corona del Mar High Friday night.

Kennedy of La Palma slowed the pace down and put a scare into the Sea Kings. The Fighting Irish got as close as five points down the stretch of the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA boys' basketball playoff game.

The fifth-seeded Sea Kings eventually put the Fighting Irish away, winning 49-43 to advance to the quarterfinals for the second straight season.

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The next game will feature a faster speed, more to the liking of CdM. The Sea Kings (19-9) travel Tuesday to La Verne to face fourth-seeded Lutheran (20-4).

The road trip will be CdM's first this postseason. Danny Cheek is looking forward to it.

"Personally, I like playing away, even though you get the crowd at home," said Cheek, who played at home in the first two rounds of the playoffs. "I get more of a chip on my shoulder when you play away. You've got to prove it."

Cheek proved his worth to CdM in the second quarter. He closed it out on fire, recording three straight baskets.

The Sea Kings went into halftime with a 28-17 lead because of a 6-0 run turned in by one player.

Coach Ryan Schachter fired up Cheek in the second quarter, telling the 6-foot-2 guard to attack. The Northern Arizona University-bound guard responded, almost scoring half of his 14 points in a two-minute stretch.

Cheek exploded from the left baseline for a reverse layup. On the team's next possession, Cheek showed off his smooth jumper. It was a catch-and-shoot situation and Cheek drained the shot.

With 16 seconds left in the first half, Cheek flew past defenders after senior forward Marcus Bradley grabbed a defensive rebound. The ball followed Cheek and he easily converted a layup.

"We ended the first half well," Schachter said.

The numbers proved that statement as CdM was 11-of-22 shooting through the first two quarters.

The second half was not as productive for the Sea Kings. After CdM made just two field goals in the third quarter, it took the Sea Kings some time to get their next successful shot.

Kennedy's zone defense gave the Sea Kings problems. Two minutes into the fourth quarter is when Bradley scored CdM's first points of the quarter.

Clayton Ragsdale made it possible for Bradley getting two of his 20 points on a layup. The senior point guard stole the ball from Kennedy guard Jimmy Yoshitake and quickly pushed the ball up court.

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