Windward Coach Miguel Villegas talks to his team during timeout Friday… (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles…)
Los Angeles Windward students were quoting Shakespeare in the third quarter of Friday's Southern Section Division 4AA boys' basketball playoff game against visiting Westlake Village Oaks Christian.
"That's 'The Tempest,'" sophomore forward Mason Shepherd said. "We're reading it right now."
"That's the Windward kids," Coach Miguel Villegas said. "They try to be creative."
Windward's fans are going to be busy if the basketball team keeps playing as well as it did in a 77-51 second-round victory against the Lions.
Shepherd and Charles Dawson scored 16 points apiece to help Windward (20-8) advance to a quarterfinal game Tuesday against La Verne Lutheran.
Torrance Bishop Montgomery (28-0) is the No. 1 team in Southern California and seeded No. 1 in 4AA, but Windward is a team on the rise and could present the toughest challenge to the Knights.
Ranked No. 7 in The Times' preseason top 25, Windward quickly disappeared after a series of unexpected defeats.
"At the beginning of the season, we were a lot of individuals with a lot of talent, but we knew we had to buy in if we wanted to succeed," Dawson said.
Said Shepherd: "We've shown how strong we can really be. We knew we had it in us all season."
The guard duo of Dawson and Jordan Wilson, combined with the imposing sophomore inside tandem of the 6-6 Shepherd and 6-6, 250-pound Roy Hemsley, have the Wildcats back in high gear.
Villegas, who has some City Section toughness in him from his days as a player at South Gate High, liked the hustle and intensity of his team in the third quarter Friday when the Wildcats turned an 11-point halftime lead into a 23-point margin over Oaks Christian (16-12).
"We got the ball inside and finished," Villegas said. "We locked them down."
The Wildcats shared the Alpha League championship with Brentwood and Pacific Hills and seem to have finally found their way.
"We had no identity in the beginning," Villegas said.
They do now.
Big game for Hamilton
Isaac Hamilton of Bellflower St. John Bosco, selected this week to play in the McDonald's All American game, made eight three-pointers and finished with 35 points in the Braves' 91-46 win over Ridgecrest Burroughs in 3A.