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Ocean View takes another big step in playoffs
HUNTINGTON BEACH — Ocean View boys basketball coach Tim Walsh said before the Seahawks' game against Northwood that he was worried about how his youthful team would handle the pressure of such a big game.
The concern was all for naught, as fourth-seeded Ocean View defeated No. 5 Northwood, 68-59, Tuesday night in a CIF-SS Division 3A playoff game at Ocean View High.
Ocean View sophomore Kendall Small showed yet again why he is considered one of the best players in the county, just missing a triple-double as he finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and nine steals.
“I don’t think our guys knew they were supposed to be nervous,” Walsh said of how his team began the game. “We came out in the second half and tightened up a little bit, but we made plays when we had to.”
Ocean View will play top-seeded St. John Bosco of Bellflower in the semifinals on Friday.
The Seahawks (23-6) led by 16 points the first half, but saw their lead dwindle as the second half wore on.
Northwood (23-6) put together a solid third-quarter effort and cut the Ocean View lead to 60-57 after Zach Pierce connected on a left-wing 3-pointer with 1:43 to play.
A bucket from Dillon Reise with 40 seconds to play gave Ocean View a 64-59 lead and forced Northwood to foul with hopes that the Seahawks would miss their free throws.
Tyler Burch connected on two free throws down the stretch, and Reise iced the game with a pair of his own.
Pierce led Northwood with 27 points and Cole Murray finished with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
Timberwolves coach Tim O’Brien said the first half was where his team faltered.
“We were too quick on offense in the first half,” he said. “In the second half, we got the game back to our tempo.”
O’Brien said his team put in a lot of work this season and surprised a lot of people.
“(Our season) was probably better than a lot of people expected,” he said. “Twenty-three wins; I’m proud of the way they play basketball.”