SACRAMENTO, CA - In the only girls matchup in the six games contested of teams that were seeded No. 1 in both the Southern and Northern Regionals, it was Redondo Union-Redondo Beach who had all of the answers. Every time Pleasant Valley-Chico seemed like they were mounting a run Redondo repelled them in a 57-42 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Golden 1 Center.
“Our girls did a phenomenal job defensively and sustained focus and intensity the who game,” said Redondo Union Coach Marcelo Enriquez, who has been at the school since 1995 and was back in a state final for the first time since losing in the D2 state championship to St. Mary’s-Stockton in a close game. “Its been a sacrifice and commitment for my coaching staff and family but what we accomplished with this team is for every kid that’s ever played for me and this program.
Pleasant Valley (25-5) came out strong in the third quarter with a 6-0 run that trimmed Redondo’s 24-15 halftime lead to 30-25, but the Sea Hawks came right back on a 6-0 run of their own that became a 13-4 run to end the quarter and pretty much seal the deal.
Redondo Union (31-5) talked in the press conference about being motivated all season in trying to play in the memory of former Redondo boys player Rhyse Williams. He was a 2017 graduate of the school, earned D1 all-state honors, had a scholarship to Loyola, but died last summer from a rare form of cancer that took his live in just a few weeks.
We wanted to just keep his spirit alive,” Enriquez said. “We made these shirts to honor him and we broke every huddle all season saying, Rhyse Up.”
A big factor in the game was the ball-handling of sophomore point guard Alyssa Munn. No one on Pleasant Valley could corral her and she finished with 17 points and four assists. Dylan Horton and Jasmine Davis added 11 points apiece.
“Alyssa is phenomenal,” Enriquez remarked. “The best thing about her is she keeps her composure and when the rest of the girls see her composed they’re more at ease.”
“I did feel my ball handling could control the pace of the game and we like to push it,” Munn said.
It was the final game for Colorado-bound 6-foot senior wing Serena “Peanut” Tuitele. She had 21 points and 10 rebounds with two blocks and two assists, but no other teammate had more than eight points.
“It’s been a ride,” said Tuitele. “Since my freshman year I’ve been talking about playing at Golden 1 Center. It’s sad to go out like this in my last game, but I hope I’ve left a tradition that can be carried on.”
The tradition has been re-started at Redondo and with just about everyone returning the Sea Hawks should be very good again next year.