Southern California — The Memorial Day weekend hoops festivities consisted of roughly 35 hours of gym time spread across four gyms in four days.
From Garden Grove to Thousand Oaks and back to Garden Grove and then to Orange Lutheran, it took a good amount of gas, hardly any food or sleep and about 20 cups of coffee.
All bitching aside, the quality of basketball seen was so good it was more than worth it.
Here’s a day-by-day, event-by-event breakdown of what I watched over the weekend, which will be released in a three-part series.
Monday: adidas Uprising - Compton Magic Memorial Day Festival
The absolute best basketball is win or go home basketball and that’s exactly what the good people of the Compton Magic club organization provided at the Magic Memorial Day tournament Monday.
The 17U, 16U and 15U quarterfinals, semifinals and championship games all took place on site at Orange Lutheran and the host program swept all three top division titles.
The most entertaining game of the day was the 17U BattleZone championship game between Compton Magic, led by 2019 center Onyeka Okongwu, and Inland Empire-based Team Eleate, led by one of the most underrated 2018 guards in the country, Matt Bradley.
It was a physical and confrontational contest from the outset as Bradley, who never backs down from a challenge, came out with something to prove after out-dueling five-star guard Quentin Grimes of Basketball University in the semifinals.
Bradley scored 18 of Team Eleate’s 32 first half points, while Santa Ana Mater Dei forward Harrison Butler paced Compton Magic with 11 as the two sides were tied at the break.
Bradley continued his scoring onslaught in the second half, but was matched bucket-for-bucket by Compton Magic’s Okongwu and 2019 forward Isaiah Mobley, both of whom dominated inside the paint against the comparably undersized Team Eleate squad.
With Compton Magic down two and under a minute to play, Mobley hit a right-handed jump hook to tie the game at 62. Mobley then blocked a baseline layup attempt and corralled the rebound which led to a difficult game-winning floater from Phoenix Shadow Mountain point guard Jovan Blacksher.
Team Eleate had 12 seconds after Blacksher’s back-breaking shot to respond, and got a clean look at a 3-pointer from class of 2020 shooting guard DJ Davis, but it came up short and Compton Magic sealed the game at the free throw line, taking the 66-62 championship victory.
Okongwu finished with a team-high 20 points, while Mobley scored nine of his 13 points in the second half. Bradley had 34 points and eight rebounds for Eleate.
The Compton Magic 16U team defeated San Diego-based Cali Boost, 56-50, in the BattleZone Division title game behind strong performances from the Bakersfield-area guard duo of Isaiah Hill and Kadar Waller, as well as Corona Centennial wing Jaylen Clark and Rancho Christian forward Evan Mobley.
Clark is easily one of the top rising sophomores in the state and dominated the second half with his speed, athleticism and shot-making ability.
Cali Boost was paced by strong performances from rising ninth grader Thomas Notarainni, Corona Centennal win Allen McBride and class of 2021 point guard Alex Wade.
The final level of the sweep came by way of the Compton Magic 15U team in a 42-22 victory over a talented Dream Vision side playing without talented 2020 point guard Dominick Harris.
Class of 2021 forward/center Wilhelm Dorsz had an all-around impressive morning and afternoon. The 6-foot-8 rising freshman put his advanced post footwork and finishing abilities on display with a number of right and left handed hook shots.
2020 Rancho Christian point guard Jordan Montgomery brought improved pace, decision-making and burst to the table.
Tyler Johnson Elite point guard Logan Johnson continued to produce at a high level, but his team fell to Team Eleate in the quarterfinals in a fun matchup against Bradley.
Dream Vision’s 16U team fell to Cali Boost in the semifinals in the absence of talented 2019 Santa Margarita forward Jake Kyman. Villa Park’s Julien Franklin played some hard-nosed perimeter defense and more explosive attack off the bounce, but it wasn’t enough for Dream Vision to prevail.
Grimes, who was mentioned earlier in this post, was definitely one of the most impressive prospects I saw Monday. At 6-feet-4 and around 200 pounds, he has an impressive combination of size, strength, court vision and ability to create offense for himself or his teammates.
Phoenix Shadow Mountain combo guard Jaelen House of Team Harden brought an intriguing offensive package to the floor in a loss to Basketball University. House is the son of former NBA player Eddie House and he shoots it a bit like his father, but has more game off the bounce. He’s super slick in high ball-screen action and a crafty scorer around the basket, as well.
More from the series
Part I: EYBL Los Angeles
Part II: Under Armor Association Los Angeles