Attractive SoCal prep hoop titles on line Saturday

LAGUNA NIGUEL – The end of the first full week of Southern California high school basketball will have some potentially sweet tournament championship games Saturday.

Among them:

*Long Beach Poly vs. defending California Open Division champion Chino Hills (the Battle Zone/Corona Centennial High/7:30 p.m.);

*Santa Ana Mater Dei vs. San Diego Saint Augustine (Diablo Inferno/Mission Viejo High/4 p.m.);

*L.A. Fairfax vs. Altadena Muir (Rose City Classic/Pasadena Maranatha High/7:30 p.m.)

*Torrance Bishop Montgomery vs. L.A. Westchester (Trevor Ariza Tournament/L.A. Westchester High/7:30 p.m.)

*Las Vegas Trinity International vs.

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O’Dowd edges Bishop Montgomery in NorCal Tip-Off

NEWARK, Ca. – In a game of three big runs, it was the “middle run” that proved decisive Saturday night in the finale of the 10th NorCal Tip-Off Classic at Newark Memorial High.

Oakland Bishop O’Dowd fell behind to Torrance Bishop Montgomery 17-1 just four minutes into the game.

The Dragons answered by outscoring the Knights by 35 points over the next 23 minutes.

Bishop Montgomery then countered by its own 20-5 run in a four-minute stretch.

But sophomore center Raymond Hawkins finally closed the deal for the North California power as the Dragons held off the Knights, 70-63, to wrap up the seven-game affair.

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Birmingham, Westchester in Pac Shores final

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – Westchester and Birmingham held off for narrow semifinal victories Friday night to set the stage for an all-L.A. City final for the championship of the 65th Dijon Thompson Pacific Shores Tournament Saturday night at 8:30 at Redondo Union High.

Devante Doutrive, an all-L.A. City selection as a junior, scored 21 including the winning points on a drive with 2.3 seconds to go in Birmingham’s 69-67 over another L.A. City club, Narbonne.

And, in the second semi, senior point guard Chris Simmons scored 20 points while hitting eight of nine free-throw attempts in the four quarter of Westchester’s 81-75 win over Eastvale Roosevelt.

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NorCal Tip-Off Classic set for Saturday

NEWARK, Ca. – The seven-game, 10th annual Nor Cal Tip-Off Classic tips off at 11 o’clock Saturday morning at the Newark Memorial High gymnasium.

Opening play will be the Vallejo St. Patrick’s vs. Danville Monte Vista clash, with the spotlighted finale between SoCal and NorCal respective powers Torrance Bishop Montgomery and Oakland Bishop O’Dowd at 8:30 p.m.

Bishop Montgomery, which lost to Chino Hills in the State Southern Regional Open final last March, returns five starters from that squad.

But the Knights will be without a key player, 6-foot-3 junior David Singleton, due to a foot injury suffered in September that he is still recovering from.

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Pacific Shores semis will have L.A. City flavor

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – The only piece missing for a figurative – if not literal – set of 2017 L.A. City championship semifinals Friday night at Redondo Union High is the Fairfax High Lions.

But the Lions – if they are so inclined – can only be spectators during the championship semifinals since they are not one of the teams in the 65th Dijon Thompson Pacific Shores Tournament.

Three of their L.A. City brethren, Westchester (77-72 in overtime over Long Beach Poly), Narbonne (64-57, also in OT, over the host Redondo Seahawks) and Birmingham (76-73 over Santa Margarita), won their quarterfinal tilts Tuesday.

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Strong Tuesday quarterfinals set at Pacific Shores

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – Championship quarterfinals pitting teams ranked in Southern California’s BurlisonOnBasketball Top 25 are on tap Tuesday in the second day of the 65th Dijon Thompson Pacific Shores Tournament.

Monday’s night’s first-round games set up some terrific matchups in Redondo Union’s main gymnasium, with No. 13 Eastvale Roosevelt facing No. 14 Oak Park at 3:30, followed by No. 9 Long Beach Poly and No. 22 L.A. Westchester at 5; No. 19 Redondo and Harbor City Narbonne (among the “Next 10” in the first set of ratings) at 6:30 and No.

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Bishop Montgomery opens season atop SoCal Top 25

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The 2016-17 Southern California high school basketball season is off and at ‘em Monday, with the first’s week’s action highlighted by the 65th Pacific Shores Tournament at Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach that tips off Monday afternoon.

Leading the way in the Top 25 are, to little surprise, are Bishop Montgomery, Sierra Canyon, Mater Dei and Chino Hills – interesting enough, the four programs that made up the semifinals of last season’s CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.

Chino Hills, of course, rolled the field – heck, it rolled all but a few of its foes en route to a 35-0 record that also brought State Open Division championship hardware to campus along with a “mythical” (labeled the national champions by various Internet sites, notably Ball Is Life and USA Today).

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Niven Glover gets top Pangos SE Frosh/Soph honor

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL – The freshmen and sophomores who looked like the best players during their three camp games didn’t disappoint when it came to all-star game time Sunday afternoon during the second and final day of the first-ever Pangos All-Southeast Frosh/Camp at the Lake Brantley Complex in this Orlando suburb.

Orlando Oak Ridge 6-foot-4 sophomore Niven Glover had pretty much dunked anything that was nailed to the floor during his three camp games for “Florida”.

It was much of the same in the Top 20 All-Star – as well as a couple of 3s for a fellow who jump shots had done a lot of clacking off iron during the first three games – as Glover scored 25 points and grabbed four rebounds to help the white jersey-clad squad to a 103-74 to its black-wearing counterparts.

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Oak Ridge duo among Pangos Southeast standouts

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL – The 56 players in camp Saturday were roughly one-third of the number that attended each of the first four Pangos All-Frosh/Soph Camps this fall.

But what was lacking in terms of quantity was overshadowed by the quality of many of those players that were spread over the rosters of eight teams during the final of the All-Frosh/Soph camps – the first-ever Southeast version – at the Lake Brantley Athletic Complex.

Six-foot-six Kaleb Coleman and 6-4 Niven Glover, sophomores at near-by Oak Ridge High in Orlando, wasted little time is setting the tone for “Florida” in one of the four first-round games played Saturday evening.

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Anthony, Abdur-Rahim bag Pangos All-East honors

WEST DEPTFORD, NJ – The Pangos All-East Frosh/Soph Camp wrapped up Sunday afternoon in the RiverWinds Recreation Center in the fashion in which many high school hoops followers in these neck of the woods figured it would:

Six-foot-two guard Cole Anthony of Archbishop Molloy High in Queens was selected the event’s Most Outstanding Sophomore by camp founder and CEO Dinos Trigonis and co-director Gary Charles.

Anthony’s well-rounded skills and aggressive nature (at both ends of the floor) were in full bloom, upfront and center, over the event’s two days during which more than 200 other players from the high school classes of 2019 and ’20 were on display.

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Frank Burlison

Frank Burlison is a well-regarded basketball writer who was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2005. His opinions on the potential of high school and college players are widely respected and sought by college coaches and NBA scouts, personnel directors and general managers from coast to coast. Oh, yes – he can offer plenty of thoughts on movies, television and pop music. Yes, he can rank those, too. Hint: He’s a big The Godfather, Larry Sanders, The Wire and The Beatles loyalist.

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“I’ve known Frank since he was a student at Long Beach State and no writer ever worked harder at studying and understanding basketball. When I was coaching I always put more stock into what he said about (high school) players than anyone I knew. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best there is at evaluating the potential of basketball players.”
Lute Olson, Hall of Fame and NCAA Championship Winning Coach

"I have known Frank for 15 years and there is no one outside of those in the Trail Blazers' organization that I trust more than Frank when it comes to player evaluations."
Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers' General Manager

“Frank Burlison has always been a proponent of my talent and, even more so, of my potential – far before it was evident to most. Even as a smaller and determined player who was being overlooked by most high-major colleges and national scouting services, Frank always served as a friendly voice who got me into the door to most events to help me prove my talents.”
Russell Westbrook, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA and an all-star guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder

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