NORWALK, Calif. — The namesake tournament of the late Ron Massey - the legendary basketball coach at Long Beach Jordan high school - more than lived up to the expectations brought on by the loaded Southern California talent pool that accompanied the “Public vs. Private Showcase” Saturday at Cerritos College.
There were some blowouts, of course, as there always are when 12 high school squads play six games spread across about 10 hours of gym time.
But there were also some games that came down to the wire, an overtime battle and a silky 3-point buzzer beater that sent one five-star-rated prospect packing.
Game of the Night: Redondo Union 58, El Cajon Foothills Christian 57
Consensus five-star prospect and University of Arizona-bound T.J. Leaf did all that he could to lead his Foothills Christian team to a victory with 21 points and 16 rebounds, but it was Redondo sophomore Ryse Williams who had the final say in the 7 o’clock matchup.
The Sea Hawks, who were down as much 10 points in the fourth quarter, rallied back behind the strong guard play of Morgan Means (20 points), Leland Green (13 points and 10 rebounds) and a handful of Foothills miscues late in the contest.
After Means hit a corner 3-pointer, The Knights stepped on the end-line on the ensuing inbounds play, giving Redondo the ball back with 32 seconds to play, trailing by two, 57-55.
The Sea Hawks looked for a quick 3-pointer, but couldn’t find a decent look at the rim until Green took a long 2-point jumper with just over 10 seconds to play.
That shot fell short and Foothills retrieved the rebound, but fumbled it away to Means who then shoveled a pass to a wide open Williams at the top of the key. Williams sank the 3-pointer in rhythm as time expired to give Redondo the one-point win.
Corona Centennial 103, Pasadena Maranatha 68
This one was all about the guard play.
The Twitter-verse was all atwitter for the matchup of SMU-commit Sedrick Barefied (Centennial) dueling it out with five-star senior Tyler Dorsey (Maranatha) in the 5:30 p.m slot.
While those two definitely filled it up, Centennial junior sharpshooter Jordan Griffin was the difference.
Griffin, a 6-foot-2 guard with a quick release, rifled in six 3-pointers and finished with 25 points as the Huskies absolutely throttled Maranatha - which was playing without its highly-recruited 6-foot-10 post Trevor Stanback.
Barefield, who has been on fire during his senior campaign, poured in 23 points with five deep-balls and Kahlil Ahmad, a Cal State Fullerton pledge, added 17 points for Centennial.
Dorsey was a handful for the Huskies, but didn’t have much help. He scored 26 points in a variety of ways, but did most of his damage from the free throw line, going 12 of 14 from the charity stripe.
While the Centennial bigs were overshadowed by guards’ the 3-point barrage, 6-foot-8 junior Ike Anigbogu and 6-foot-9 sophomore Jalen Hill provided all the rim-protecting, interior defense the Huskies needed. Anigbogu had a next-level drop-step move on the block that resulted in a two-handed, rim-rocking jam. And Hill had a few buckets off some tough interior catches.
Gardena Serra 60, Oak Park 48
Oak Park brought in a young team with a couple of talented freshmen in 6-foot-8 forward Riley Battin and 6-foot-3 point guard Wesley Slajchert, but the toughness and experience of the Serra side was too much for the Eagles to handle.
Serra jumped out to a 16-2 lead and really never looked back en route to the 12-point win.
Cavaliers’ senior guard Jason Richardson led all scorers with 23 points and was complimented by 12 points from Leonard Murray, 10 from Ian Carter and nine from Caleb Wilson.
Battin led Oak Park with 21 points and showed flashes of why he’s so highly-regarded in prep hoops circles. Battin can play both inside and out with good footwork in the post, touch around the rim and good-looking perimeter set-shot. Slajchert was the only other Eagles’ player to reach double-figures in scoring, finishing with 10 points.
Mission Hills Alemany 62, Lakewood Mayfair 50
The 4 p.m. tip was another instance of a perimeter-oriented affair, and one player not having a whole lot of help.
Rangy 6-foot-8 junior wing Daron Henson led Alemany with 14 points, while his partner in crime, the lightning-quick junior Shacquille Dawkins, added 13 points to lead Warriors to the 12-point victory.
Mayfair battled shooting woes all afternoon long. The Monsoons were missing point-blank layups, wide open 3-pointers, and it it weren’t for the 20 points scored by Oregon-bound senior point guard Kendall Small, Mayfair would’ve gotten 30-pieced, or worse.
Westlake Village Oaks Christian 70, Long Beach Millikan 59
Millikan served as the host of the showcase, but its free-flowing, pressure-filled style couldn't sway the Oaks Christian discipline in the 8:30 p.m. tilt.
Lions’ senior Tyler Harris (21 points and 10 rebounds) led the way for Oaks Christian. Ryan Heipler added 11 points and Austen Moye pitched in nine.
Millikan junior Chris Barnes opened the contest with a flurry, scoring the Rams first 10 points, and had 14 of Millikan’s 22 first half points.