St. John Bosco's Isaac Hamilton led the way for their 67-64 victory over Loyola. Both teams are highly ranked in the State. Photo by Jason Lewis
Bishop Montgomery is one of the best teams in the nation, and they did not have any issues in routing San Diego Lincoln. Lamond Murray Jr. and his teammates built a huge first half lead and coasted to the victory. Photo by Jason Lewis
So Cal basketball depth revealedat Fairfax State Preview Classic
There is one clear-cut reason why there are more players in the NBA from this region than any other state, and it was openly revealed last Saturday at the 16 team Fairfax State Preview Classic at Fairfax High School.
While many of the top teams and players in the state were on display, so too were some of the Black coaching stars in whose responsibility it is to make sure their bevy of talent is nurtured and flourishes.
Beginning with Brentwood, which improved to 19-2 while playing under the radar of the titans such as Bishop Montgomery, St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly.
Led by former UCLA Bruin captain Ryan Bailey, the younger brother of former UCLA star Toby Bailey, he has quickly established himself as one of the premier coaches in the region coaching ranks.
In just two seasons at a school that is not known for having superior basketball talent, Bailey led his team to a 51-50 victory over Rolling Hills Prep without his best player Leland King, who was on a recruiting trip.
Bailey coaches a team which has 12 underclassmen including one true freshman and five sophomores. It will be most difficult for Brentwood to keep their star coach for the long haul.
Another standout Black coach, but obviously no stranger to success, is Price High School’s Michael Lynch, who has won multiple CIF-Southern Section championships and is 197-39 during his career and 20-3 this season.
Led by Arizona State bound Chance Murray, the Knights rolled past Francis Parker of San Diego 56-32 behind Murray’s 14 points and junior Chris Carson’s 11 points.
Among the event’s most anticipated games was Harvard-Westlake against Gardena Serra.
For veteran Black coach Dwan Hurt it was another opportunity to measure his talented Serra team against a divisional foe they will probably see during the post season, and Serra did not miss the opportunity.
Led by junior standout Tavrion Dawson’s dominant 18-point performance, transfer Ron Freeman’s 11 points and 19 from guard Ajon Efferson, Serra left no doubt that they are ready for the big week in front of them that includes a date against nationally ranked Bishop Montgomery, with a resounding 70-55 victory over the Harvard-Westlake.
The Alemany/Windward game probably revealed as much young talent as any single game, but it was the 5’9 senior guard Jordan Wilson who poured in 33 points while powering Windward to a 86-72 win over Black coach Tray Meeks' outfit.
Meeks should not be deterred with the likes of 6’7 sophomore Bennie Boatwight, 6’5 junior Bear Henderson and 5’8 freshman Shacquille Dawkins all returning from a team that will play deep into the post season. Windward will return seven players that will probably win a CIF title.
Compton coach Tony Thomas does not receive nearly the exposure or credit that he rightfully deserves. Mind you he was the only prep coach DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors in the NBA) ever had and put his team on the floor against Santa Monica looking every bit of a champion.
Thomas has a team that only has two senior and starts all underclassmen. Led by Kyron Cartwright’s 20 points, Compton defeated the talented Santa Monica team 57-54.
Another of the marquee match-ups featured El Camino Real and Orange Lutheran, a rare City Section versus Southern Section confrontation, but El Camino Real is without peer in the City Section after rolling Orange Lutheran 65-57 behind senior Michael Thomas' 17 points and a brilliant game from junior Julian Richardson, who is the son of former UCLA star Pooh Richardson. Richardson finished with 17 points, but many came during critical situation and under duress.
The most impressive team of the event was without a doubt the Bishop Montgomery Knights that improved to 23-0 with a 79-34 shellacking of San Diego Lincoln, which only brought seven players on their team.
It’s doubtful that it would have matter against the Montgomery Machine which is clicking on all cylinders with Lamond Murray Jr. leading the way, sophomore Stephen Thompson Jr. coming off the bench and junior point guard Justin Bibbins orchestrating the show which will soon be playing for all the marbles at a gym near you.
The finale saw two of the elite programs both guided by Black coaches with Derrick Taylor leading St. John Bosco and Jamal Adams piloted the Loyola Cubs.
St. John Bosco is led by the Hamilton brothers, Isaac and junior guard Daniel and neither disappointed on this night. Both scored in double figures, but the highlight was Daniel throwing a laser pass to senior Isaac for a power dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. Oh, by the way sophomore Tyler Dorsey pumped in 23 points in the 67-64 win for good measure. Senior Trey Mason, who scorched the Braves for 28 points, led Loyola.
Peak Sports steps-up for LeuzingerHigh School to finally get uniforms
Leuzinger High School basketball coach Ali Parvaz was at a loss for words when representatives from Peak Sports USA in Culver City offered to provide his top ranked Southern Section team uniforms for its boy’s team.
The Olympians (17-5), who are ranked No.1 in the CIF-SS Division AAA, had ordered uniforms from a company back in October, but with the season reaching its final weeks, the uniforms had not arrived.
Leuzinger had been playing in their reversible jerseys that were made for the junior varsity, but then a representative from Peak Sports approached the coach before a key match-up against Redondo Union.
“They just asked me if we needed some uniforms and I just couldn’t believe it. Of course I said yes,” said Parvaz.
The following day, a week ago, Parvaz got a call from Peak Sports to come to their store located in the Westfield mall in Culver City to pick out two sets of team uniforms, home and away.
In addition to the uniforms, Parvaz also was provided with some team shoes for each of his players.
“I am just grateful to Peak Sports for coming through. The fact they did this at just such a short notice is all the more overwhelming,” added Parvaz.
“We feel that part of our responsibility is service to the basketball community, not just as a business, but also a member of the community,” said a statement from Peak Sports USA.
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