First, the season got going with nine consecutive victories and a Belmont Zone Of Choice Tournament title.
Then came the six-game losing streak during the middle part of the Marine League slate.
There were poster dunks, a barrage of three-pointers, blowout victories and heartbreaking defeats.
It all came to an end with a 55-49 victory over visiting Gardena that pushed the Pirates into a three-way tie for third place with both Gardena and Carson. Strong efforts from senior guard Elijah Gaines, junior forward Quincy Thomas and senior guard Austin Freitas was more than enough to carry the load for San Pedro (15-11 overall, 5-7 league), who was battling for their playoff lives in Division I of the CIF-Los Angeles City Section.
Gardena (13-13, 5-7) will receive a playoff spot in Division II.
The game didn't start off so well for San Pedro, as the Panthers bolted to a 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but a 20-9 run in the second quarter would push the Pirates ahead to a 30-28 advantage at the half. The third quarter was basically even, but after Gardena cut their deficit to 47-46 early in the fourth on a layup by Dushone Brown, that's when the Pirates would seize control.
Thomas would find senior guard Michael Garcia, who drilled a three-pointer from the left wing, then Garcia would find Gaines who would beat two defenders on a silky-smooth reverse layup for a 52-46 San Pedro edge with 2:49 left in the game.
That small spurt would be enough for San Pedro to hold off the Panthers at the end.
San Pedro also got a big boost from junior guard Zach Foster, who missed nine games with a groin injury.
Thomas would lead San Pedro with 18 points, while Gaines added 17 points and four steals. Freitas, also a standout volleyball player, would score 8 points for the Pirates, who avenged a 59-58 loss to Gardena back in mid-January and coach John Bobich played all 16 of his players on the court today, considering it was senior day.
Brown led Gardena with 17 points.