Lawndale’s Metu’s aerial assault too much for Santa Monica

Chimezie Metu and (34 blue) Santa Monica C Jayce Johnson battle head to head. 

Basketball is a big man’s game.

That was evident in Lawndale Friday night when the Cardinals hosted Santa Monica. 

There was size everywhere: Santa Monica entered with 6-10 Jayce Johnson, who recently transferred in from Findaly Prep. Lawndale answered with the 6-10 tandem of Chimezie Metu and Brodricks Jones. 

Ultimately Lawndale’s bigs were too much to handle for the Vikings in an 89-65 win for the Cardinals. Metu in particular.

The USC signee had 11 points in the first quarter, a few of those baskets were the result of his three dunks as Lawndale (11-6, 2-0 Ocean League) led 22-8 after the first. 

It was Metu’s above the rim exploits that were a thorn in the side of the Vikings (5-11, 1-1 Ocean League). 

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"In the first couple of minutes I got a lot of easy buckets," said Metu who finished with a game-high 30 points. "I just kept rolling from there."

Whenever Santa Monica would make a run a Metu slam would stunt their momentum. 

In the third quarter the Vikings got within eight after a Jonah Mathews stepback three pointer. Metu came right back with a tip jam. 

Santa Monica appeared to create some momentum after their own high flying act. New Williams soared for a tip jam. 

However, once again, there was Metu. Again. 

The senior answered with a baseline jumper. On the ensuing possession he finished with a dunk in transition. 

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Lawndale closed the third quarter with an 11-2 run and led by 15. The Cardinals blew it open in the fourth with Metu mainly a spectator. 

"We just kept playing hard defense and getting easy buckets," Metu said. 

Added Williams, who finished with 16 for Santa Monica: "It was pretty fun seeing (the bigs) go at it. Lawndale’s guy got the best of our’s tonight."

The loss is the 11th of the season for the Vikings in 16 games. By no means is the record indicative of how good they are as a team. Santa Monica played a brutal non-league schedule that featured appearances in the Pacific Shores Tournament and the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. 

As for the Cardinals, another big league test looms at Beverly Hills next Friday.