Nike Extravaganza tips at Mater Dei Friday afternoon

SANTA ANA, Ca. – The 14-game, two-day 23rd Nike Extravaganza tips off Friday afternoon in Mater Dei High’s Meruelo Athletic Center with a clash of Orange County-based programs.

Getting things underway at 3 o’clock will be the squads from Anaheim’s Servite High and San Juan Capistrano Valley’s Saddleback Valley Christian.

Five games will be played on Friday, including the lone girl’s clash (Mater Dei vs. Esperanza at 6 o’clock) of the event.

Games are divided into Friday, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon/evening sessions with separate admissions charged for each.

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Santa Margarita with key Trinity win over visiting SJB

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Ca. – Even a piece of the Trinity League champion is well out of its reach with two league games left to play.

But the Santa Margarita High boys’ basketball team delivered a succinct message Wednesday night that it’s going to be quite a handful to deal with for any CIF Southern Section playoff opponent – including the Open Division.

Coach Jeff Reinert’s program took an important step toward a third consecutive spot in the SS Open Division playoff bracket with their 81-63 Trinity League victory over visiting St.

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Jackrabbits take a big hop to another Moore title

LAKEWOOD, Ca. – “Order”, if you will, was restored in the Moore Leagues boys’ basketball race Tuesday night at Lakewood High.

The Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits, stunned at home (90-87, OT) when the teams met on Jan. 8, took resounding control of the league-lead Monday night with a 73-54 victory over the host Lancers.

Coach Shelton Diggs’ club improved to 15-6 and 7-1 in league, with Moore games yet to play this week with Wilson (Wednesday) and Millikan (Friday).

The Jackrabbits go outside of league for the final time in the regular season on Saturday afternoon at Mater Dei High, when they face Sierra Canyon at 4:15 in the two-day, 23rd Nike Extravaganza.

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Bishop Montgomery 22-0 after State Preview test

NORWALK – The tenth State Preview Saturday – now under the guidance of Rolling Hills Prep since Coach Harvey Kitani moved there from Fairfax High – gave a decent not-so-sneaky preview of some of the programs likely to make deep runs into the 2018 California State Championship Tournament.

The most notable those among the 16 teams on display at Cerritos College was, of course, defending State and Southern Section Open Division Champion Bishop Montgomery.

And nothing occurred during the Knights’ 60-43 takedown of L.A. City power Fairfax to even mildly begin to offer any doubt that Coach Doug Mitchell’s club is an iron-clad favorite to successful defend both of those crowns in March.

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St. Pius-St. Mathias hosts six hoops matchups today

DOWNEY – PMA Matchup Day II is set for Saturday at St. Pius-St. Mathias High in Downey.

Six boys’ basketball games will be played, beginning with the noon clash between the host school and Monroe and ending with the 7 o’clock contest pitting Serra and Fairmont Prep.

In a coupling of intriguing games, St. John Bosco faces Blair (coached by SJM alum Jelani Gardner) at 3 and JSerra takes on Cantwell-Sacred Heart at 6.

 

Complete schedule:

Noon, Monroe vs. St. Pius X-St. Matthias; 1:30 p.m., Lakewood vs.

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Lewis “held” to 38 points in Lynwood’s key SGVL win

LYNWOOD – The host Lynwood High Knights knocked off the Warren Bears, 68-62, in a Friday night showdown for a piece of first place in the San Gabriel Valley.

And Coach Jason Crowe’s Knights were able to avenge a Jan. 10 loss to Warren (70-63) although the Bears held Lynwood’s best players to seven points below the SGVL scoring average he took into Friday’s game.

Of course, 6-foot-9, 250-pound (give or take) junior Carl Lewis took a 45.0 ppg average over the team’s first five league games prior to the rematch with the Bears.

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Bishop Montgomery vs. Fairfax at Cerritos Saturday

NORWALK, Ca. – The defending CIF Southern Section and State Open championship program is among the 16 squads set to play in the Rolling Hills High State Preview, presented by ScorebookLive.com, Saturday at Cerritos College.

Bishop Montgomery (21-0 going into its Del Rey League game at Serra Friday evening) faces Fairfax (14-6 before its Western League game with University Friday night) at 7 o’clock in a game pitting the Southern Section’s top-ranked program and the L.A. City’s No. 2 squad.

The Knights – who needed a buzzer-beating 3-point to beat Cantwell Sacred-Heart Wednesday night – haven’t lost since dropping a 73-67 decision to Montverde (FL) Academy on Jan.

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Mater Dei flexes its Trinity League basketball muscles

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Ca. – The Mater Dei High Ivy League basketball duo aced its Trinity League test Wednesday night.

Point guard Spencer Freedman (bound for Harvard) scored a game-high 20 points, on seven of nine shooting from the field, to go with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals as the Monarchs turned in a near-impeccable performance at both ends of the floor while knocking off the host Santa Margarita Eagles, 67-49.

And teammate Michael Wang (a future University of Pennsylvania Quaker) chipped in with 17 points and four rebounds, 12 of those points coming by way of 3-pointers set up by Freedman dishes.

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Etiwanda edges Damien in Baseline battle Tuesday

LA VERNE, Ca. – The Etiwanda High boys’ basketball team extended its winning streak to 18 Tuesday night with its Baseline League victory over host Damien Spartans.

But none of those first 17 wins came nearly as hard-fought as did the 69-67 overtime decision over the Spartans.

In improving to 22-1 overall (and 5-0 in league), Coach David Kleckner’s crew had to overcome:

*A sterling performance by Damien’s Northern Arizona-bound Cameron Shelton, who scored 24 points with five rebounds, seven assists and two seals;

*A tremendous effort by Spartans’ freshman Malik Thomas, who scored all 13 of his points after intermission, including four free throws in the four-minute extra stanza;

*An uncharacteristic display of careless passing and ball-handling after intermission.

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Foothills Christian uses OT to edge host Mission Bay

SAN DIEGO – The fifth and final game of Saturday’s Battle at the Bay could have easily been deemed a sneak preview of the CIF San Diego Section’s Open Division championship game in March.

El Cajon Foothills Christian and the host Mission Bay team are as good as there is in San Diego this season and they looked the part Saturday night, going into a four-minute overtime before the visitors prevailed, 61-58, in front of an elbow-to-elbow and hip-to-hip packed building.

The Foothills Christian Knights (17-5) took the lead for good (at 54-53) on junior Dorian Blue’s sixth 3-pointer of the contest with 3:17 to go in overtime.

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Meet Frank
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.

To learn more about Frank's scouting services, click here.

Endorsements

“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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