Hoophall West: Monarchs impress

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame created a spinoff of its annual Massachussetts-based event in Phoenix — the Spalding Hoophall West. The state’s top-ranked boys basketball team, Mater Dei of Santa Ana, and Orange Lutheran participate in two-day event.

The Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., is traditionally held on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and is one of the top showcases in the country. For the first time a West Coast version of the event was played at Grand Canyon University over the weekend.

Trinity League members Mater Dei of Santa Ana and Orange Lutheran both played one game — with the Monarchs defeating Yates of Houston, 100-57, and the Lancers falling to nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, 63-42.

Mr. Basketball front-runner Stanley Johnson is headed to Arizona and had tons of local reporters asking him about his future at the event. Johnson had a great all-around game, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and three steals as Mater Dei upped its record to 5-0.

Mater Dei also got a huge performance from sophomore center M.J. Cage. He scored a team-high 22 points and had 14 rebounds. His development and production will be key this season as Mater Dei has lost two starters to transfer since the beginning of the school year.

CLICK HERE for more on Mater Dei-Yates and for quotes from Johnson about gunning for a fourth consecutive state title.

Orange Lutheran was led in defeat by rapidly-improving junior C.J. Hankins, who made 7-of-14 shots and finished with 15 points. The Lancers were outrebounded by Gorman, 37-23, and committed six more turnovers (17-11).

CLICK HERE for more on Orange Lutheran-Bishop Gorman.

CLICK HERE for Top 25 player rankings from the two-day event.

For more national basketball coverage, please visit StudentSportsBasketball.com.

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