A face-plant, Joel's push-ups and Chino Hills Chino Hills'ing - Saturday at NikeX
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The 21st annual Nike Extravaganza was one of the more interesting that I’ve ever been involved with and a lot of it had little or nothing to do with the basketball that was played. First, I fell out of a chair and face-planted into the media table. Then we had “Mater Dei Jack” cheering for a team other than Mater Dei. And finally, ESPN west coast recruiting analyst Joel Francisco became part of the halftime entertainment when he went out on the court and did push-ups with the guy I so kindly coined the “unicycle doofus.” All that aside, there was a ton of basketball Saturday at Mater Dei High; some good, some bad, some very bad. The best of the best was the tilt between Chino Hills and Las Vegas Bishop Gorman - a game in which the Huskies prevailed, 98-81, over the Gaels. The crowd was very pro-Huskies thanks to the locality of Chino Hills in conjunction with Mater Dei, but probably more-so because of the fact that the Huskies starting five of Lonzo Ball, LiAngelo Ball, LaMelo Ball, Elizjah Scott and Onyeka Okongwu are extremely entertaining to watch. HoopsByUgland.com SoCal No. 1 Chino Hills (25-0) revved up Run GMZ in a hurry with Melo’s deep left wing 3-pointer to open the scoring for the Huskies. Lonzo added three 3-pointers of his own in the first quarter as Chino Hills took a 29-17 lead over Gorman after one quarter of play. It was more of the same for the Ball Bros. & Co. in the second quarter as Scott stole a long Gorman pass and dropped a dime to Lonzo for a dunk, giving Chino Hills a 42-25 lead at the 3:49 mark of the period. Melo then connected on two corner 3-pointers to make it a 48-25 Huskies lead late in the second.
Chino Hills freshman LaMelo Ball scored 25 points in the Huskies win over Bishop Gorman. Photo Credit: Devin Ugland
Lonzo Ball’s 18 points, Melo’s 16, Scott’s 12 and Gelo’s 10 paced Chino Hills to a 58-34 halftime lead. You can give Gorman a lot of credit for making things interesting in the second half. The Gaels weren’t about to pack their bags and head back to Sin City. A put-back dunk from McDonald’s All-American Zach Collins and a layup from Chuck O’Bannon off of a Chino Hills turnover made it an 11-point game, 87-76, with 2:08 to play. Lonzo closed out the 17-point win with an alley-oop dunk from Melo. Zo Ball finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Melo Ball added 25 points while Scott and LiAngelo Ball each had 22.
O’Bannon led Bishop Gorman (18-7) with 22 points. Collins, who will be playing his collegiate ball at Gonzaga next fall, had 20 points and 12 rebounds. In the other Nike Extravaganza action: Mater Dei 61, Foothills Christian 53 Monarchs forward M.J. Cage stepped up big in one of the biggest individual match-ups he’s had in his high school career. The Oregon-bound Cage scored 20 points for Mater Dei (23-3) as it rolled over Foothills Christian (17-4). T.J. Leaf, another McDonald’s All-American who is headed to UCLA, scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the Knights loss. Corona Centennial 60, Concord De La Salle 56 Long Beach State-bound shooting guard Jordan Griffin (20 points) led Corona Centennial (19-6) to a good win over one of the best teams in Northern California. UCLA-bound center Ike Anigbogu added 11 points and 11 rebounds. De La Salle shooting guard Jordan Ratinho, a San Francisco-commit, led the Spartans (20-2) with 17 points. L.A. Westchester 70, Orange Lutheran 50 The Comets took advantage of a first quarter injury to Lancers power forward KaVaughn Scott, dominating in the paint en route to a 20-point victory. San Jose State-bound forward Keith Fisher led Westchester (22-5) with 13 points and six rebounds. Dwight Murray and Darryn Everage added nine apiece. Junior shooting guard Chris Williams paced Orange Lutheran (20-5) with 13 points. Senior forward Zac Jervis was the other Lancer in double figures with 10. L.A. Fairfax 65, Los Alamitos 56 The Lions (24-3) were led by two freshmen Ethan Anderson and Robert McRae who finished with 15 points apiece.
Fairfax freshman Ethan Anderson scored 15 points off the bench in the Lions win over Los Alamitos. Photo Credit: Devin Ugland
UC Irvine-bound point guard Eyassu Worku scored 27 points for the Griffins (21-4) while senior shooting guard Pepe Garcia added 10. The Fairfax bench outscored the Los Al bench, 38-3. Santa Margarita 60, Etiwanda 45 Kaden Rasheed led all scorers with 15 points in helping lead Santa Margarita (16-8) to victory. Noah Rasheed added 12 points and four assists while sophomore power forward Jordan Guest had 10 points and seven rebounds. Junior point guard Miles Oliver led Etiwanda (17-8) with 13 points. Sophomore wing Kessler Edwards had seven points. Chino Hills Ayala 62, Anaheim Servite 33 Unsigned senior forward John Edgar led the way for Ayala (23-2) with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Cal State Fullerton-bound wing Austen Awosika added 13 points, six rebounds and five steals for the Bulldogs and Miles President chipped in 13 points. Cameron Griffin led Servite (13-13) with 11 points. The Friars shot 27.3 percent (12 of 44) from the field on the game. Palm Desert 43, Corona Santiago 32 Will Struthers led Palm Desert with 11 points and Gabe Martinez added 10 in the Aztecs (17-8) winning effort. Riley Coleman and Aaron Slack were the leading scorers for Santiago (12-12) with 7 points apiece. Talented freshman prospect Tayvon Lathon finished with six points and 11 rebounds. La Habra Sonora 73, Ontario Colony 66 Austin Carter led all scorers with 25 points to go along with six rebounds for the Raiders (17-9). Colony (20-7) was paced by senior guard Christian Sellers who scored 20 points.