State No. 3 Rancho Christian of Temecula scores a big national win over Washington (D.C.) power Gonzaga, while Nike Extravaganza host Mater Dei of Santa Ana loses to Chicago power Whitney Young of Chicago. State No. 9 Harvard-Westlake lost to FAB 50 ranked Gorman of Las Vegas, as state powers went 1-2 vs. out-of-state foes, but the higher state-ranked club won in each of the games involving California teams.
(Cal-Hi Sports state rankings are referenced where it applies; Saturday games written up first. New State Top 20 rankings will be released Monday night. It will be a Gold Club post so to get it you will need to be a member. If not and interested, CLICK HERE.)
No. 3 Rancho Christian (Temecula) 58, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 55
Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian) 18 pts, 12 rbs, 5 asts, Dom Harris (Rancho Christian) 13 pts; Terrence Williams (Gonzaga) 15 pts, 8 rbs, Chuck Harris (Gonzaga) 10 pts.
The Eagles from Southern California played a murderous regular season schedule as an independent, and that continued against the Purple Eagles from the powerful Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC). Against another WCAC club at the Hoophall Classic on January 20, Rancho Christian fell to DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.). Rancho Christian got its revenge of sorts against the powerful basketball league by pulling out a close game with a surge late in the fourth period. The game was tied 46-46 after Chuck Harris of Gonzaga made a runner. But Rancho Christian fed off back-to-back 3-pointers by Dom Harris and Jaden Byers to give the Eagles a 52-46 lead with 1:14 remaining in the game, as the Purple Eagles could not match those field goals. Rancho Christian led by nine points with 41 seconds to go, but a couple of untimely fouls on Gonzaga shot attempts made the game interesting until the final buzzer. Gonzaga’s last chance came with 1.2 seconds remaining, as it ran an out of bounds play underneath its own basket trailing by three points. The ball, however, was inbounded five feet from the basket, and the Gonzaga offensive player had no choice but to chuck a meaningless shot. Rancho Christian has one more regular season game left next Saturday at Cerritos College against current No. 6 Ribet Academy, which lost this week and will drop in Monday’s state rankings. That game could have huge implications in the upcoming CIF Southern Section open division playoffs, particularly if St. John Bosco defeats Mater Dei in Trinity League play on Tuesday night.
Note: Gonzaga is ranked No. 24 in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com; Rancho Christian is ranked No. 37.
Whitney Young (Chicago) 67, No. 10 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 57
Tyler Beard (Whitney Young) 22 pts, 6 asts, D.J. Steward (Whitney Young) 21 pts; Devin Askew (Mater Dei) 16 pts, 6 asts, Ryan Evans (Mater Dei) 14 pts.
It was a close game for three quarters, with Whitney Young leading Mater Dei 46-45, but the Dolphins outscored the host club, 21-12, in the final period to pull away and record the road victory. Beard had 10 points in the final period and Whitney Young had a few possessions where it successfully ran clock and scored a field goal as the shot clock ticked down. Mater Dei’s loss ended a 20-game winning streak at the event it often plays two games in each year. The last time Mater Dei lost in this event was in 2007, when future NBA star Kevin Love put on a big-time performance a few months before matriculating to UCLA from Lake Oswego (Ore.).
Bishop Gorman 74, No. 9 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 70
Mwani Wilkinson (Bishop Gorman) 20 pts, 7 rbs, Will McClendon (Bishop Gorman) 17 pts; Mason Hooks (Harvard-Westlake) 28 pts, Adam Hinton (Harvard-Westlake) 18 pts.
After being down by 15 (27-12) midway through the second quarter and trailing 42-30 at halftime, Gorman outscored Harvard-Westlake, 28-7, in the third period to wrestle control of the game. After Harvard-Westlake took control early using its size and quality shot-taking inside, the Gaels took control of the game using their foot speed and athleticism. Gorman led 58-49 entering the fourth period and sealed the game on a made free throw with 12 seconds remaining by Zaon Collins. Harvard-Westlake had 18 turnovers to Gorman’s nine, and particularly had ball-handling trouble in the third period.
Note: Bishop Gorman is ranked No. 43 in the FAB 50.
No. 4 Etiwanda 63, No. 23 Westchester (Los Angeles) 33
Brantly Stevenson (Etiwanda) 20 pts, 6 rbs; Marland Harris (Westchester) 10 pts, 13 rbs.
This game was never really close, as back-to-back 3-pointers by Jahmai Mashack (10 pts) and Stevenson gave Etiwanda a 28-10 lead halfway through the second period. For two and a half quarters, Stevenson had more points by himself than the entire Comets team (20-19), then came the liberal substitutions. L.A. City Section ball is just down right now, because the Comets could still end up in the section’s open division finals.
Note: Etiwanda is ranked No. 44 in the FAB 50.
No. 2 Centennial (Corona) 59, No. 21 Salesian (Richmond) 51
Paris Dawson (Centennial) 16 pts, Jared McCain (Centennial) 14 pts; Shane Bell (Salesian) 15 pts.
The Huskies move to 24-2 on the season, as this was a terrific game with fairly evenly matched teams. The big difference was Centennial got to much more 50/50 balls and did a number on the offensive boards. Centennial had 13 offensive rebounds and Salesian five. The Huskies also haven’t run into a team so far this season that can shoot better than themselves. Centennial made 10 3-pointers and The Pride made 1-of-16 from behind the arch. Salesian had a chance to really make it interesting, but missed a 3-pointer with 58 seconds to go and trailing 55-49.
Note: Centennial is ranked No. 23 in the FAB 50.
De La Salle (Concord) 64, Poly (Long Beach) 38
Chris Bunch (De La Salle) 17 pts, Alonzo Washington (De La Salle) 15 pts; Payton Watson (Poly) 13 pts.
It’s been a lineup this year at DLS often with three sophomores and one junior starting and its been a season of ups and downs. On this day, the Spartans jumped out to a 17-2 lead. The teams combined for 12 points in the fourth quarter as the outcome was well decided.
No. 19 St. Augustine (San Diego) 48,
No. 20 Capistrano Valley (San Juan Capistrano) 36
Chibuzo Agbo (St. Augustine) 22 pts, 7 rbs, Luke Haupt (St. Augustine) 17 pts, 6 rbs, 3 stls; Conner Gleason (Capo Valley) 11 pts.
St. Augustine jumped out to a 9-1 lead and never looked back. Once the lead hit double-digits, Saints’ lead never got back under double-digits again. Capo Valley never scored more than 11 points in a quarter. Capo Valley came into the game riding a 17-game winning streak.
Los Alamitos 63, Sonora (La Habra) 57
David Olcomendy (Los Al) 19 pts, 13 rbs; Garrett Bell (Sonora) 22 pts, 12 rbs.
Mission Viejo 48, Palms Springs 39
Presley Eldridge (Mission Viejo) 16 pts, 6 rbs, 3 asts; Parker Hunt (Palms Springs) 12 pts, 9 rbs, 6 blks.