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Mira Costa Boys Basketball Hosts State Playoff Game Tonight

Feb 27, 2023 11:42PM ● By Mb News Staff

Will Householter. | Photo by Luke Schauwecker | | Instagram: @shotbyschauwecker

On Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m., the Mira Costa boys' basketball team hosts Montgomery of San Diego in a first-round playoff game for the CIF state championships (Division 1). 

Hosting a state tournament game marks a crescendo for the basketball program and its core of senior players, particularly Will Householter, Dylan Black, Trey Pearce and Nick Lundy, who have been racking up both individual awards and team victories for the past few years. 

Coach Neal Perlmutter told MB News that this year appears to be the first time Mira Costa has qualified for the CIF state championship tournament. The berth was made possible by the team's strong showing in sectionals earlier in the month. 

"A lot of people are telling us this is the best team in the history of Manhattan Beach," Perlmutter told MB News, "and [this] may be the last chance to see them in person in our home gym."

Earning a home state tournament game "is really a celebration of all the hard work and [all] that this team has accomplished this year. Our crowds have been getting bigger. We’d love to have the support of the community for this one," Perlmutter added.

Success with MVPs

Costa has enjoyed a highly successful season, sporting a 27-3 record after a 1st place finish in the Bay League. Three years ago, this same core group won the Bay League for Costa for the first time in about 20 years. They have just kept doing more.

Lundy was recognized as first-team All-League in each of the past two years, while Householter was named MVP of the league two years in a row. This year, he shared the MVP crown with his longtime teammate Black.

Both Black and Householter have played varsity since their freshman years (with Householter starting), a phenomenon so unusual, Coach Perlmutter said, "out of the three players I've ever had to do that, they're two."

Black told MB News, with a marked noted of appreciation, "What a journey it has been, with some of my best friends that I have ever had. It has been filled with challenges, but we have triumphed again and again."

Black added, "It means so much to play my first state game at home in front of the people that have watched our games from the very beginning."

This year's team battled through the Division 1 championships for the CIF Southern Section, earning a Final Four spot before falling on Feb. 17 to Mater Dei, the eventual tournament champion. Still, Costa's success earned them their ticket to the state tourney. 

Montgomery arrives in Manhattan Beach with a 25-6 record, champions of the Mesa league. On Saturday, the Aztecs played in the final of the CIF San Diego Section championships (Open Division), where they were defeated by St. Augustine. 

The Costa team was recently described glowingly by an LA Times writer using a musical metaphor:

"The best teams weave together notes of a beautiful symphony. [Will] Householter is the composer, a high-IQ guard who snatches rebounds and finds teammates in tight windows. [Dylan] Black is the violinist, his jumper often a beautiful melody. Seniors Trey Pearce and Nick Lundy are the cellists, talented complementary scorers capable of rich performances. And 6-foot-7 sophomore Preston Ezewiro is the bassist in the middle, a defensive menace."

Tickets for the Game Online

Tickets for Tuesday night's game (at 7:00pm at Costa) are available online here, $9 for adults and $5 for students.

If Costa prevails against Montgomery, nothing will be easy. A rematch with Mater Dei would be possible in the semifinals. However, first they'd likely be matched up in Round II against top-seeded Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, which features three players already committed to Division 1 college basketball teams. Two separate brackets of top Northern California teams are vying for spots in the tournament's final rounds to meet the SoCal teams that advance.


Featured photo: Will Householter, by Luke Schauwecker | | Instagram: @shotbyschauwecker

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