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ESPN’s Recap of the Classic

December 23, 2009 2 comments

Here is  ESPN writer Joel Francisco’s write up of the Classic:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/basketball/mens/news/story?id=4767734

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Day 4 Games

December 22, 2009 2 comments

Cathedral 48 Edison 45

The Phantoms entered the 4th quarter down 3 to Edison, but outscored the Tigers 19-13 in the final period. Frankie Eteuti played with 4 fouls from the 1st quarter on, finishing with 12 points (7 coming in the 4th). Andrew Clark came up big for Cathedral leading them with 18 points. Sweet-shooting sophomore guard Jordan Batts had 22 points for Edison in the loss. Cathedral takes 7th, while Edison settles for 8th in the National Division.

SLO 44 Pioneer Valley 31

Underdog Pioneer Valley kept it close for much of this area matchup, but SLO High’s full court press was too much for the Panthers, as the SLO pulled away in the 4th quarter, and finished with a 10 point victory. Junior Center Sean Mullen had a big game for the Tigers, leading all scorers with 22 points. SLO takes 7th, while Pioneer Valley settles for 8th in the Elite Division.

Campolindo 52 Mission Prep 35

Mission looked flat from the start, and Camplindo captitalized on the Royal’s turnovers, as they pulled away in the second quarter to lead by 10 at the half, and stretched it to as many as 18 in the second half. A mix of skilled ball handling, fundamental passing, and efficient shooting from the Cougars overcame Mission, who lacked their typical tenacious defense. Kevin Laird scored 12 for the Royals, and Carl King had a game high 13 for Campolindo. The Cougars take 5th and the Royals take 6th in the Elite Division.

Sylmar 68 Washington Prep 61

Sylmar really shot well from deep in this game, and finished just strong as they started, something that haven’t really been able to do. Incredibly balanced scoring as Sylmar had four scorers in double digits, led by Bito Cruz with 20 points. The Spartans hit eleven total three-pointers (6 of them by Cruz). Washington Prep had five scorers in double digits, almost unheard of in high school ball, led once again by Michaelyn Scott who had 16 points. In the National Division, Sylmar takes 5th place and Washington takes 6th.

St. Joseph’s 62 Eldorado 46

Bebe Vargas went off tonight totaling 26 points, the tourney single game high, in the Knights’ victory. St. Joe’s got off to a great start with plenty of transition buckets, and Eldorado just couldn’t come back. Ariel Bagget led the Devils with 15 points in defeat. In the Elite Division, St. Joseph’s takes 3rd place and Eldorado takes 4th.

Campbell Hall 55 Pasadena 46

McBroom and Johnson (22 points apiece) combined for 44 of Campbell Hall’s 55 total points. The guard-forward tandem was very impressive all game for the Vikings. Tyler Barber had 17 points, while guard Chris Bridges chipped in 15 points for Pasadena High in the loss. Campbell Hall takes 3rd and Pasadena takes 4th in the National Division.

Birmingham 69 Rio Americano 40

Elite Division MVP Sahdi Odu led Birmingham in this one with a game-high 25 points. Forward  Angel Guitierrez came up huge with 21 points of his own with some strong shooting and good work inside. The Patriots did a good job limiting Abe Leibovitz (5 points) and Zach Nathanson’s (9 points) scoring impact in this one. Masson Prowse was the Raiders’ high scorer with 11 points. Birmingham wins the Elite Division, as Rio takes 2nd.

Taft 65 Ballou 62

National Division MVP DeAndre Daniels had 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 blocks. Pierson Williams had a game high 19 points, while Bryce Jones chipped in with 12 points before fouling out. Donte Thomas led Ballou with 19 points as well, and Christian Leach came up big with 18 of his own. This game was back and forth all night, with free throw shooting playing a big part, until Taft finally pulled away in the end. It was an “Instant Classic” as they say. Taft takes the National Division championship and Ballou takes 2nd. A great tournament overall.

I’ll have plenty of more analysis in the next few days. Thanks all. I went 20-7 on predictions this year (although 2-5 on the last day).

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Day 4 Predictions

December 22, 2009 4 comments

Game 1: Edison 68 Cathedral 62

I don’t think Cathedral has anyone to stop Edison’s young guns on the perimeter. But I don’t think Edison has anyone to guard Frankie Eteuati. This one should be close, but I feel that Edison outside shooting (Batts, Walker) should be the difference in the end.

Game 2: SLO 52 Pioneer Valley 35

SLO has already beaten PV once this season. Joe Agbo and Josh James should be able to get points on the perimeter, while Sean Mullen cleans the glass inside. The Tigers should be able to sufficiently shut down Jordan Jones and the Panthers’ offense.

Game 3: Mission Prep vs. Campolindo

N/A – Conflict of Interest

Game 4: Washington Prep 70 Sylmar 60

Washington’s team speed is too much for Sylmar. The Michaelyn Scott show rolls on, and Washington’s guards should run Sylmar off the floor. Sylmar has enough size, with Alex Moreno and DeAndre Roberts, inside to get buckets. JB Walker and Earnest Cooper have enough toughness to bang inside with Sylmar, and enough speed on the offense end to create mismatches.

Game 5: Eldorado 59 St. Joseph’s 56

This one should be a great game. If Eldorado can break St. Joseph’s press, then I think the SunDevils will win it. Curtis Stewart and Ariel Bagget should be able to control the tempo, and I’m not sure St. Joseph’s can run with them. Nolan Adlesh and Jacob Cano will come to play, but we’ll see which Bebe Vargas shows up.

Game 6: Pasadena 66 Campbell Hall 63

Pasadena’s guards need to use their tenacity advantage over Campbell Hall’s young perimeter players. As long as they continue to play great team defense, and Shares, Toyma, and Bridges hit their shots, Pasadena should prevail. McBroom and Johnson always show up big for Campbell Hall. Should be a fun one.

Game 7: Rio Americano 60 Birmingham 57

Abe Leibovitz and Zach Nathanson lead a ruthlessly fundamental squad of Raiders against an athletic Birmingham squad. If Rio can contain Sahdi Odu inside, then they have the advantage on the perimeter with court savvy and jumpshooting. Excellent guard matchup in this one with Renee Reyes and Nathanson.

Game 8: Taft 75 Ballou 66

Bryce Jones vs Donte Thomas on the wing. DeAndre Daniels vs Marquis Gentry inside. Landon Drew vs Zalmico Harmon at the point. Spencer Dinwiddie vs Antwan Pitman. Great matchups all around. Taft’s defensive effort and impressive depth of talent is too much in the end.

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Day 3 Analysis

Taft is the best high school team I’ve ever seen play, granted I’m not exactly a senior citizen. Key word being team. They really play as a team on both ends of the floor, and in transition. Austin McBroom has the quickness to compete with the big boys, but he needs to make sure his jumper is still working if he wants to be a scorer. Pasadena made one hell of a run to comeback from a 14 point deficit, only to fall short by one. Shoutout to the Pasadena coach and squad for not giving up, and making the National Semifinal the best game of the tourney so far. Ballou’s late game plan was thrown off a bit by the presence of a shot-clock, which they are not used to playing with. Abe Leibovitz has a very high basketball IQ and he and fellow RA guard Zach Nathanson are a very savvy backcourt duo. Michaelyn Scott continues to ball.

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The Dunk Contest

December 21, 2009 2 comments

2009’s Dunk contest had a different vibe than in previous years. There was no clear-cut best dunker , no NBA-bound DeMar Derozen. There were no between the legs dunks, and nobody jumped over their entire team on the way to the rim. There was multitude of future college basketball stars all with a legitamate chance to take the title. That’s not to say that there weren’t some stylin’ dunks. Ask anyone who saw Bryce Jones do a full windmill, or Todd Barnes leap from the free throw line. Not “about the free throw line”. The free throw line. The atmostphere had changed, letting the fans get closer and giving the dunkers a couple more chances to show the audience what they could do. This year’s dunk contest was a fun event, and while Bryce Jones emerged victorious, there was plenty of action from all the participants, specifically Todd Barnes, Darrius Thompson-West, and George Idehan.

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Day 3 Games

Washington 63 Edison 56

Junior guard Michaelyn Scott had 23 points while forward JB Walker chipped in with 11 of his own. Scott continued to work the floater and mid-range game, as he has all tournament. Sophomore guard Jordan Batts, of Edison, had 17 points in the loss. Washington moves on to the National Division consolation championship game.

Campolindo 49 SLO 39

Senior Kellen Ito once again lead the Cougars to victory with 18 points from his forward sport. Joe Agbo had 10 points for SLO high in this low-scoring affair. Campolindo moves on to the Elite Division consolation championship game.

Sylmar 61 Cathedral 41

Sylmar scored the first 14 points of the game, and was up 22-3 after one quarter. Their defense slowed a bit after that, but not much. Cathedral mounted a small comeback to bring it to within a respectable 12 point deficit, but Sylmar pulled away again late in the game, and won by a 20 point margin. Frankie Eteuti was yet again the high scorer for the losing Phantoms, while Doyle Jones and Alex Moreno paced the Spartans in the win. All three had 13 points each. Sylmar moves on to the National Division consolation championship game.

Mission Prep 54 Pioneer Valley 31

Pioneer Valley put up a quality effort, but in the end couldn’t hang with Mission Prep in this mid-day matchup. The Royals played their classic style of high pressure defense combined with up tempo offense, and Kevin Laird was the game high with 17. Mission PG Sam Cowitz had a big game on Cowitz Court, quarterbacking the fast breaks with precision on his way to 10 points.  Billy Sukoski and Arthur Lane added another 10 each, and Anthony Zepeda was the high for Pioneer Valley, with 11. Mission Prep moves on to the Elite Division consolation championship.

Birmingham 63 St. Joseph’s 51

A foul-ridden (45 total) game throughout, Birmingham finally pulled away with a couple of big tre balls. Corey Randall, 13 points, led a balanced Patriot attack. Renee Reyes controlled the game in the 4th quarter with his ball handling on the press break. Jacob Cano, with 18 points, and Nolan Adlesh, with 12 points, led the Knights in defeat. Birmingham moves on to the Elite Division Championship game.

Ballou 52 Pasadena 51

The Knights were up by as many as 15 in this National Semifinal game. Ballou’s Christian Leach, 15 points, fouled out with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter. That’s when Pasadena mounted a furious comeback. Guards Steven Shares and George Toyma each had 12 points for Pasadena. Chris Bridges, who was held scoreless in the 1st half, got white-hot from 3 point land at the tail-end of the 4th quarter. Bridges finished with 13 points, 12 of which came off of 4th quarter treys. All four of his 3-pointers were contested shots from the corner. Toyma also hit a contested three to pull Pasadena closer. In the end, some questionable calls, some questionable no-calls, some decent charity stripe shooting by Ballou sealed the Knights’ victory. Donte Thomas also had 12 points in the win. Ballou advances to the National Championship.

Rio Americano 59 Eldorado 51

Abe Leibovitz, with 8 points, and Zach Nathanson, with 19 points, once again guided the Raiders through a tough game, this time versus a very young but athletic Eldorado squad. Juniors Curtis Stewart and Ariel Bagget, each with 14 points, piloted the SunDevils in defeat, bringing them from down 12 although to within 3 before eventually losing it. Rio Americano moves on to the Elite Championship game tomorrow.

Taft 72 Campbell Hall 43

The Toreadors continue to steamroll through the opposition here at the Classic. USC signee Bryce Jones stayed hot on offense with 17 points and Texas-bound junior forward DeAndre Daniels added 14 points. Taft was up 19-2 at the end of the 1st quarter and continuously ravaged Campbell Hall in transition and on the boards. Austin McBroom and Deuce Johnson each had a hard-earned 14 points in defeat. Taft plays tomorrow in the National Championship vs. Ballou. Quite the showdown.

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Who’s Hot….so far.

December 21, 2009 1 comment

Taft has been unbelievable thus far. Bryce Jones is the Jay-Z of the Roc-A-Fella-esque roster of Toreadors. Stars all over the place, playing very well. DeAndre Daniels, Landon Drew, Spencer Dinwiddie.

Frankie Eteuti has displayed phenomenal finesse for a guy his size. He’ll be playing at CSU Northridge next year.

The scouts at the tournament have seen quite a show from Michaelyn Scott. He has truly shined.

Austin McBroom has an arsenal of quick ballhandling moves, and we’ll see how he plays against a very fast team in Taft. He now has a great step back jumper as well, making him a real offensive force.

Edison’s young guns have shown flashes of brilliance. Upshaw is very tall, and looks to be improving. Batts is a smooth player with a great looking jumper. He’s a bouncy athlete. TJ Viney is very very quick, and although undersized, is able to create his own shot very effectively. He just needs to finish. Aaron Williams is very strong and athletic for a freshman.

Donte Thomas scores at will. He gets his shots and finishes when it counts. He also has played great instinctual defense, jumping passing lanes on multiple occasions.

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