Wednesday, Dec. 26th
Sheldon, Desert Pines Combine for 23 3-Pointers in Shootout
The late-night matchup lived up to the hype as the Sheldon Huskies and Desert Pines Jaguars combined to hit 23 three pointers. It was a hotly contested match in the first half as Marcus Bagley, brother of recent #2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III, hit a barrage of three pointers as he finished with 15 points in the first half. Sheldon’s interior defense stifled Desert Pines making it nearly impossible for them to score in the paint. Sheldon’s blocked shots led to several fast break points for the Huskies. Desert Pines kept it close throughout the first half with a balanced scoring offense as eight different players recorded a basket. The Jaguars went into halftime trailing 37-33.
The Huskies began to pull away in the third quarter with a 23 – 12 run that ended with an alley-oop from Justin Nguyen to Kaito Williams. In the fourth, Desert Pines fought back cutting the lead to single digits at 67 – 61. With 5.50 left in the game, Bagley tossed the ball to himself off the backboard for a dunk that erupted the crowd. Bagley poured in a game high 30 points to lead the Huskies. Despite the heroics, the Jaguars once again fought their way back to within five points with only three minutes remaining. However, it was not enough to overcome Sheldon’s offense attack as Nguyen (16 pts) kept answering Desert Pine with bucket after bucket. The Jaguars were led by Milos Uzan and Cimarron Conriquez with 17 and 15 points, respectively.
The Huskies will play Foothills Christian tomorrow at 2:15pm in the first winner’s game of the day. Desert Pines faces off against Harvard Westlake that is looking to bounce back from a tough defeat. Tip-off is at 12:40pm.
Final Score: 77 – 68 Sheldon
O’Dea Dazzles as Big 3 Combine for 65 Points
O’Dea wasted no time in this one jumping out to a 9-2 lead in the game’s opening minutes. I can say not much changed the rest of the game. Mountain Pointe gave little resistance as the Fighting Irish punished the Pride from outside with a multitude of threes from John Christofilis. Christofilis led all scorers in the first half with 16 points. Paolo Banchero, a Top 5 ESPN recruit, contributed as well with 11 first half points. Heading into halftime O’Dea led Mountain Pointe 35 – 22.
The second half was much of the same. After pulling to within 8 points early in the third quarter, Mountain Pointe relinquished the monument as O’Dea went on a 13 – 5 run mid-way through the third to go up 54 – 38. Senior Khalid Price kept the Pride competitive as he sank a 3 pointer as the buzzer expired to cut the lead to 13 entering the fourth. A definite dunk by Jalen Graham, who finished with 18 points, brought the Pride to within 9, but Mountain Pointe would not get any closer. J’Saan Strover chipped in 13 second half points for the Pride. Banchero (24pts), Christofilis (23pts), and Noah Williams (18pts) combined to score 65 of O’Dea’s 74 points.
O’Dea tips off tomorrow at 5:25pm against San Joaquin Memorial and #1 player in the nation Jalen Green. Mountain Pointe, now in the consolation bracket, has the privilege of playing J’Serra Catholic, whom are coming off a tough 57-56 nail biter to San Joaquin, at 11:05am.
Final Score: 74 - 57 O’Dea
Foothills Prevails Despite Early Struggles
Harvard-Westlake built an early lead on a barrage of three pointers and easy lay-ins as they led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter. The Wolverines ball movement was on point in the first quarter as they assisted on 8 of their 10 field goals. Despite the early deficit, Foothills Christian was not deterred from their goal. Foothills Christian was led by their two senior leaders, Yassine Gharram and DJ Carter-Hollinger who each dropped 22 points. However, it was the 5’7” Jaren Nafarrette who was the spark plug for the Knights scoring 14 points in the second half, 12 in the third quarter alone.
The game heated up in the fourth quarter as Carter-Hollinger collapsed the defense and found a wide-open Derrick Carter-Hollinger (yes, they are brothers) who sank a three pointer that tied the game at 53. The older Carter-Hollinger took a fast break coast to coast on the next possession for an And1 to give his team their first lead of the game. The Wolverines, playing without five-star recruit Johnny Juzang, quickly responded with a three pointer by Spencer Hubbard to tie the game at 56. Minutes later, Hubbard would regain the lead for the Wolverines at 61-59 with under three minutes to play.
Despite their best efforts, the Wolverines could not hang on as Nafarrette netted a floater to take the final lead 63-61. Harvard-Westlake would not get any closer as Gharram pick-pocketed the Wolverines on the last two possessions to seal the victory. Mason Hooks and Holden McRae led Harvard-Westlake with 17 and 13 points, respectively. Foothills Christian will play the winner of Desert Pines vs. Sheldon tomorrow at 2:15pm with Harvard-Westlake playing the loser at 12:40pm.
Final Score: 71-63 Foothills Christian
Cook Erupts for 21 in the 2nd Half to Lead LCC Past Roosevelt
La Costa Canyon, traveling “all the way” from the Encinitas, had their hands full in the first half against Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Junior Brandon Porter went coast to coast for the Mustangs cutting the deficit to 6 with 1:31 left in the second quarter. Teammate Luke Guzman hit a three at the buzzer as the Mavericks went into halftime clinging to a three-point lead.
However, things quickly shifted in third quarter as Senior Graham Cook exploded for 21 second half points. LCC pushed away during the third on a 10-0 run benefited by two Cook three pointers. A G Little three by the Mustangs would cut LCC’s lead to 44-41. With 35 seconds left in the third quarter, Porter, looking to get his team back in the game, went up for a lay-up only to be swatted by Maverick’s junior Charlie Schmitz. The play resulted in a four-point turnaround as the block led to a foul and two made free throws for the Mavericks. Porter led all Roosevelt players with 15 points.
The Mavericks, playing in the American Division, will play Heritage Christian tomorrow at St. Augustine High School at 5:25pm. Roosevelt High School will be back at Torrey Pines for the early morning tip-off at 9:30am against Mater Dei, Chula Vista.
Final Score: 77-62 La Costa Canyon
Falcons Cruise Past Genesis Prep 85-57
After a tough double overtime loss in the local showcase Saturday night, Torrey Pines looked to redeem themselves early in the first round of the 2018 Holiday Classic. The Falcons came out of the gates hot as they took an early 12-0 lead, capitalized on an assist from Ryan Brown to Brandon Angel on an emphatic dunk. Senior Michael Pope took over from there as he sank four threes’ in both the first and third quarter for the host team. Pope finished with a game high 32 points.
Falcons led 42-14 going into halftime. Genesis Prep started out the second half strong as Jacob Schultz scored 7 points in the first 1:50. Johnny Hillman brought in 12 points in the 3rd in a valiant effort to get his Jaguars back in the game. Hillman would finish with 19 points to lead the Jaguars. However, the Falcons continued their hot shooting from behind the arc as they went on a 30-19 run to finish the third quarter. Travis Snider, playing in his first game for the Falcons since transferring from San Dieguto Academy, contributed with 6 points and 8 rebounds.
Torrey Pines will play the winner of Mission Bay and Capital Christian tomorrow at 7:00pm. Genesis Prep, now in the consolation bracket, will play the loser of that game at 3:50pm.
Final Score: 85-57 Torrey Pines
Thursday, Dec. 27th
Bagley Drops 33, But Not Enough as Foothills’s Triple Threat Combine for 68
The first quarterfinal matchup of the day saw the local Foothills Christian Knights (8-2) facing off against NorCal powerhouse Sheldon Huskies (6-4). Sheldon’s Marcus Bagley continued his hot hand from the night before by sinking for threes in the first half for a total of 21 points. He would finish with a game high 33 points.
Despite Bagley’s best efforts, it was not enough to overcome the teammate duo of Yassine Gharram and Jaren Nafarrete. The two seniors combined to score 49 points as it seemed every time Sheldon tried to get themselves back in the game, one of the two guards would retaliate with a bucket of their own. It was a tight first quarter with Bagley sinking a trey to tie the game at 20 with 18 seconds left. However, a jumper at the buzzer by Nafarrete gave the Knights a 2-point lead. Foothills Christian would begin the second quarter on a 14 – 3 and lead 47 – 39 going into halftime.
The second half began with a vicious dunk by Xavion Brown. As Brown landed he menacingly stared down the opposing defender. Coach Leaf quickly called timeout to regroup his team. It was a tightly contested third quarter that saw Bagley and Nafarrete trade bucket for bucket for a stretch of 15 points. Nafarrete would have the last laugh as he sank a jumper to put the Knights ahead by 8 entering the fourth. A layup by Bagley with 5:20 remaining cut the lead to 3, but the Huskies would not get any closer. Montana commit DJ Carter-Hollinger also contributed with 19 points for the Knights.
Sheldon will play host to St. Augustine with a 3:50pm tip off. Foothills Christian will play perennial powerhouse Shadow Mountain, coached by former NBA player Mike Bibby, at 8:35pm tonight.
Final Score: 83 - 74 Foothills Christian
Banchero, Green Show Out in Match Up of Top Prospects
In the second quarterfinal game of the day, all eyes were on the highly anticipated matchup between Jalen Green (#1 Rivals ’20) and Paolo Banchero (#5 ESPN ’21). Green did not disappoint early on as he dropped 13 points in the first quarter alone. However, it was #4 on the other team, John Misel, that led O’Dea back into the game. After a quiet first showing against Mountain Pointe, Misel hit three treys in the second quarter as O’Dea came back from a 7-point deficit. Misel would finish with 19 points for the Fighting Irish. With 5 minutes left in the first half, Banchero demonstrated his sheer strength by wrestling for a put back lay up to tie the game at 29. O’Dea led by 9 at the break.
In the second half, Green took a step back finishing with only 9 points after a 20-point first half. Freshman Joseph Hunter picked up the scoring load for San Joaquin with 15 points after intermission. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the comeback as San Joaquin never got within 9 points during the fourth quarter. Banchero finished with a team high 26 points and will face off against Mission Bay tonight at 7:00pm for the opportunity to bring the trophy back to the Pacific Northwest. Green and the Panthers will play host to Torrey Pines at 5:25pm prior to the first semifinal game.
Final Score: 88 – 75 O’Dea
Buccaneers Break Through in Final Seconds to Top Host Falcons
Quarterfinal game #3 featured the two local teams, Torrey Pines and Mission Bay. To say that it was heated would be a drastic understatement. From opening tip, the two teams fought for separation, but neither team was able to take advantage. The Falcons were led by twin seniors Bryce (33pts) and Michael Pope (11pts) who switched off basket for basket in the first half. They combined to score 21 points by halftime, but it was not enough for the home team as they trailed the Buccaneers 31 – 28.
The most impressive feat of the first half came from Duke bound senior Boogie Ellis who was held scoreless. If you can even really say that since he took only one shot – an off balanced jumper as the buzzer expired. Ellis’s first point of the game would not come until 3:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Falcon’s defense kept him in check the entire game thanks in large part to fiery senior leader Ryan Brown.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Falcons found themselves down 48 – 46 With 2:34 remaining in the game, Michael Pope secured the 50/50 ball, drove to the basket and found Brandon Angel for the wide open lay up for a 57 – 56 advantage. At the time, it looked like this might be the monument to push the Falcons over the edge. With a 1:26 left on the clock and the game tied at 60 – 60, Bryce Pope confidently stepped to the line and sank the second free throw to put the Falcons ahead. There were nine lead changes in the final five minutes If only there could be two winners.
Less than 30 seconds remaining in the clock. Bryce Pope charged in for the go-ahead layup. He went for the basket and was met by Andre Scott. The ref blew his whistle and motioned a punch toward the Mission Bay side indicating the charging foul. With :21.9 remaining, the Mission Bay in bounder chucked the ball to a streaking Ellis. Ellis caught the ball while colliding with Brown of Torrey Pines. The ball came loose, and Bryce Pope charged the basket where he was fouled. Both shots made. Falcons up 63 – 62 for now. On the next play, Ellis drove to the basket and made the off-bounce layup, which accounted for 2 of his only 6 points. But on this night, they were biggest points of the game. With time left on the clock, the Falcons inbounded the ball from the Mission Bay basket, but were stripped at half court unable to get off a last second shot.
Mission Bay was led by Scott with 20 points and Ronnie Latting who contributed 15 points. The Falcons will play San Joaquin Memorial today at 5:25pm while Mission Bay will fight for the right to represent San Diego in the Holiday Classic Final at 7:00pm against O’Dea (WA).
Final Score: 64 – 63 Mission Bay
Friday, Dec. 28th
Mission Bay Buries O’Dea As Banchero Exits Early
After a so-so performance against the Falcons in the quarterfinals, Rejean “Boogie” Ellis showed up early and often for the Buccaneers in the semifinals. Ellis, who scored only 6 points in Thursday’s 64 – 63 win, eclipsed that point total in the first four minutes. Ellis came out firing hitting three treys in the opening frame and would finish the half with 20 points. He would end with a game high 43 points.
Scary moment in the second quarter when Paolo Banchero, the Fighting Irish’s leading scorer, hit the ground hard attempting to block an Ellis layup. Banchero did not get up for several minutes, but fortunately was able to walk off under his own power. Banchero would not return to the game. After the injury, Mission Bay immediately proceeded to go on a 16 – 4 run to close the quarter, capped by a steal and breakaway dunk from Ellis. They led 41 – 29 at the half.
Despite Banchero’s injury, O’Dea fought their way back and put together a 10 – 0 run to start the third. The Fighting Irish were led by John Christofilis (31pts) and Noah Williams (15pts). O’Dea would cut the lead to four with two minutes left, but it was not enough as Ellis hit 8 of 9 free throws down the stretch to ice the game. Big man Ronnie Latting chipped in 15 points as well for the Buccaneers.
O’Dea will play Foothills in the third-place game at 6:30pm. The Holiday Classic Final will presume immediately after with Mission Bay facing off against the reigning Arizona state champions, Shadow Mountain.