Notre Dame boys basketball beats Redondo to reach Division 1 championship game

SHERMAN OAKS — The Notre Dame boys basketball team was visibly excited after its Friday night win over Redondo Union in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals. The celebrations weren’t over the top, however, almost as though the Knights foresaw the outcome.

“Humbly, we were expecting to be in it,” Angelino Mark said. “We compete with the best of the best in Open Division teams, so I feel like we deserve to be here.”

Notre Dame earned a spot in the Division 1 championship game by beating Redondo Union 67-60 for its first appearance in a CIF-SS championship game since 2016. The Knights were in Division 4AA that year and lost to Serra 53-50.

Mercy Miller scored 26 points for Notre Dame (28-3), while Zach White added 18 points and Mark had 12 points. Hudson Mayes logged 26 points for Redondo Union (24-6) and Devin Ringer added 18 points.

Notre Dame didn’t trail for the entirety of the game, fighting its way through a relentless Redondo Union half-court press early on.

Miller made three 3-pointers — one from near the half-court line — in the first quarter as the Knights took a 14-9 lead with 1:45 left in the frame. Redondo Union was able to score on a pair of layups before time expired to keep things close at 16-15.

Miller appeared comfortable amidst the pressure from the Sea Hawks and made shots from an array of locations. His teammates fed off his steadfastness.

“It’s a crazy mental,” Zach White said of Miller. “He shoots every shot like he’s going to make it. He has crazy confidence and he’s always trying to push us, trying to make us better.”

The Knights were tough on the boards in the second quarter and were able to thread passes around the perimeter and through the paint.

“We challenged them to rebound and take care of the ball,” Notre Dame coach Matt Sergeant said. “We only had six turnovers, we gave up one offensive rebound in the first half. I’m just really, really proud of our entire team.”

Mark, who orchestrated many of these plays, came up with a big block with 2:40 to go until the break and made two free throws after getting fouled on the other side of the court to bring the score to 31-26.

Miller dished a no-look pass to Micah Tannenbaum, who passed it to Mark for a layup, showing the potential fluidity of the Knights. Devin Ringer made a basket with .3 seconds on the clock for a 37-28 score at halftime.

“It’s just about trust,” Mark said. “We work on it during practice and we were having fun with it.”

Redondo Union began to creep back with a quick five-point scoring run in the third quarter, but Mark Lewis halted the Sea Hawks with a corner three for a 47-39 advantage.

The Sea Hawks outscored Notre Dame 16-13 in the fourth quarter, but the Knights’ early work and attitude sealed the game.

“We knew that it was a 32-minute game,” White said. “No game is going to be just 16 minutes. You’ve gotta play the whole game and win it.”

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