February 25, 2024

In the middle of the high school basketball season, 6-foot-4 junior Emmanuel Duru of LACES left for a long-planned three-week trip to Nigeria to see his extended family.

He wanted to pack a basketball in a suitcase, but his family luggage was “full of other things.” He had a good time seeing “hundreds” of his relatives, though he could have done without the “mosquito bites,” he said.

He lost his starting spot, but in his second game back Monday, he began to get back in shape. He scored eight points as LACES (12-8) defeated Manual Arts 70-51 at Huntington Park. Ian Hunter finished with 21 points, Donovan Cornelius had 12 points and Joshua Sangster added 10 points. Devin Moody contributed 18 points for Manual Arts (16-2).

LACES is 2-3 in the Western League but is finally back at full strength after injuries and Duru’s absence. Watch for LACES to try to make up for the early losses this month and be a dangerous Open Division team if it qualifies.

During his three-week stay in Nigeria, Duru said he did some pushups and situps but never found a basketball. He’s the youngest of four siblings and they all got to see their many cousins, aunts and uncles for the first time. It was a trip of a lifetime, but he wants to regain his focus to help one of the best teams in LACES history perform well in the City Section playoffs next month.

Harvard-Westlake 60, McEachern (Ga.) 59: The Wolverines (20-1) won at the Hoophall Classic in overtime after losing an 18-point lead in the third quarter. Nikolas Khamenia scored 21 points, Christian Horry 14 and Trent Perry 13. Next up is a home game Wednesday against unbeaten Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Brentwood 81, Schurr 44: The Eagles won at South Pasadena. Bobby White scored 18 points and Jordan Houegban had 17 points, giving him 1,000 points for his career.

Birmingham 65, Moorpark 63: The Patriots won it on a tip-in by Alex Dupre, who finished with 33 points.

Heritage Christian 76, West Ranch 75: Dillan Shaw scored 28 points to help Heritage Christian pulll off the upset at South Pasadena.

St. Pius X-St. Matthias 80, Linfield Christian 43: Tylon Williams scored 14 points in the victory.

Culver City 64, Wiseburn Da Vinci 47: Miles Singleton scored 18 points for Culver City.

Diamond Bar 66, Orange Lutheran 62: Max Gao finished with 20 points for Diamond Bar.

Crossroads 66, St. Bonaventure 58: Dylan Benner had 19 points for Crossraods.

Paraclete 62, Shalhevet 59: Aiden Bitran had 31 points fro Shalhevet.

Damien 80, Marina 44: Xavier Clinton scored 22 points for Damien.

Girls basketball

Sierra Canyon 87, Birmingham 47: Jerzy Robinson scored 24 points and Mackenly Randolph had 15 points and 14 rebounds for Sierra Canyon.

Long Island (N.Y.) Lutheran 82, Etiwanda 62: The Eagles (16-3) were beaten at the Hoophall Classic. USC-bound Kayleigh Heckel scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds and 11 assists for Lutheran.

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