NorCal Tip-Off Classic Recaps

Here’s the results and recap from the 15th Annual NorCal Tip-Off Classic at Dublin. Preseason NorCal No. 1 and state No. 3 Modesto Christian fell for the second consecutive night in a loss to No. 5 Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (which also had fallen in its first game last week).

RELATED: To see 2022-23 preseason state rankings, CLICK HERE ; To see the list of major tournaments and showcases involving California’s best teams, CLICK HERE ; To see a list of all-time preseason No. 1 teams in our current state Top 20 format (1988-89), CLICK HERE ; To see the vast list of transfers that will impact the 2022-23 season, CLICK HERE

2022 NorCal Tip-Off Classic Results
(Teams listed by CalHiSports.com preseason state ranking)

Game 8: No. 5 Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 98, No. 3 Modesto Christian 72

In many years, the marquee game of the NorCal Tip-Off Classic involved two highly-regarded teams in season openers. But with the plethora of early season tournaments and Thanksgiving becoming a big weekend in terms of high school basketball, both Modesto Christian and Notre Dame came in with games under their belt and one loss.

Mercy Miller from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks showed at the NorCal Tip Off Classic why he will be headed to Duke to play in college. Photo: Gerry Freitas.

Both clubs came in trying to avoid a second consecutive loss. Notre Dame fell to preseason No. 9 West Ranch (Valencia), 66-64, in the title game of the Providence Tip-Off Tournament on November 19. On Friday evening, Modesto Christian opened its season with a less-than-inspiring 78-70 loss to regionally-ranked Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) at the Bishop O’Dowd Thanksgiving Showcase in Oakland. Neither team obviously wanted to lose Saturday evening’s game, but it ended up being the SoCal club that got on the right track while the NorCal club lost for the second consecutive evening.

The difference in the game was the outside shooting of Notre Dame, which is looking to battle preseason state No. 2 (and still unbeaten) Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood and No. 4 Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, which lost on Saturday evening to No. 15 Rancho Christian of Temecula in overtime, 63-60, in the CIF Southern Section’s Mission League. The Knights canned 17 pointers as a team and their 98 points represents the most by one team in the 15-year history of the event, breaking the team record of 97 by Deer Valley (Antioch) in a double overtime win over Sacramento back in 2012.

The standout for head coach Matt Sargeant’s club was junior guard and Houston commit Mercy Miller. He finished with 23 points and six rebounds, but it was his presence, scoring punch and the threat of his outside offense that proved to be the difference. Notre Dame led 50-26 at halftime and had a 21-point lead when Miller picked up his fourth personal foul. Modesto Christian cuts its deficit to five points with Miller on the bench, but when he checked back in the game, the pendulum swung back towards the boys from SoCal. Notre Dame (0-2) led 61-52 entering the fourth period, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Miller and Caleb Foster all of a sudden made the score 67-52. Notre Dame opened up a 30-point lead at one point in the final period before both clubs substituted liberally in the final minutes.

Foster, a quick and powerful guard headed for Duke, finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Notre Dame (4-1). Jamari Phillips, a junior scoring guard and last season’s state sophomore of the year, led Modesto Christian with 20 points on 7-of-19 field goals. Senior guard Darius Smith added 14 points for the Crusaders. San Diego St.-bound B.J. Davis, one of the best point guards in the West Region who had a monster game at this event a year ago for Modesto Christian, scored his first points of the game on two technical foul shots with 6:17 to go. He scored one field goal and finished with four points.

Modesto Christian obviously has to right the ship and show it is still the favorite to represent NorCal in the CIF Open tile game. It will look to do that in next Saturday’s game with state No. 1 Centennial of Corona at Sheldon of Sacramento. The Crusaders have shown flashes of being the team expected of them in the preseason, but are taking poor shots at times and allowing too many guards to blow by their highly-regarded perimeter players.

For Notre Dame, it will play a tough Valencia club on Thursday, then face national power DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) in Santa Monica on Saturday.  

Game 7: No. 17 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 59, Clovis North (Fresno) 48

Without leading player Connor Amundsen, the Broncos battled with their young team but came up short against a team that will battle No. 26 Riordan once again for WCAL and CIF Central Coast Section supremacy. Mitty coach Tim Kennedy will have plenty to go over with his club after this performance (22 turnovers), but he’s glad to get out of Dublin High School with a victory.

Mitty’s Tyler Jones, a 6-foot-3 senior, was named player of the game with 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists. Princeton-bound Derek Sangster of Mitty added a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds.

Clovis North (1-1) was led by Christian Calvillo, a 6-foot-1 senior, with nine points.

Game 6: No. 14 Inderkum (Sacramento) 68, No. 19 Dublin 65

The second and fourth ranked preseason teams from NorCal battled valiantly, as the Tip-Off Classic host club took NorCal No. 2 Inderkum down to the wire. Dublin’s Courtney Anderson got a good look for a 3-pointer on the left wing off an out-of-bounds timeout play with 3.5 seconds remaining, but his attempt rimmed off. Inderkum, a major contender to represent NorCal in the CIF Open final, was able to survive despite some major foul trouble and a bang-bang play in the fourth quarter.  

Inderkum (2-0) was leading 23-18 with 5:09 in the second quarter when the Tigers’ Jalen Glenn picked up his fourth personal foul on a technical foul. At the 7:10 mark in the fourth quarter and the Tigers leading 52-46, forward Logan Steuben fouled out on a technical foul which was called for an illegal substitution that the Inderkum coaching staff vehemently argued was the incorrect call.

With 47.4 seconds remaining in the game and Inkerdum leading 66-65, Anderson was called for traveling. With 16.3 seconds to go, Glenn made one of two free throws to give Inderkum a 67-65 lead. Dublin (0-1) had a chance to tie the game or potentially take the lead when Inderkum’s Taylor Goodman, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, came up with a clutch blocked shot in traffic with eight seconds remaining. Glenn then again made one of two free throws before Anderson got one last look to tie the game.

Inderkum got terrific play from senior Jermaine Haliburton, one of the state’s top unsigned prospects, and 6-foot-4 senior Savion Daniels in Glenn’s extended absence. One of the best defensive guards in the state, Haliburton finished with 25 points while Daniels added 16 points for coach Fred Wilson’s club.

Anderson, bound for Colorado, finished with 25 points. Mehki Thomas, a 6-foot-5 senior, added 16 points for Dublin.

Campolindo was hit hard by graduation from last season, but Logan Robson and others showed on Saturday that the Cougars can still shoot the three. Photo: Gerry Freitas.

Game 5: No. 26 Riordan (San Francisco) 74, Weston Ranch (Stockton) 67

Weston Ranch (0-1), which trailed by as much as 14 points in the second quarter, scrapped and clawed, but the talent-laden Crusaders were just too much to overcome for the Cougars after their slow start.

The defending Central Coast Section open champs led Weston Ranch, 42-39, at halftime at seemed in control until senior forward Christian Wise picked up his fourth personal foul midway through the third period. The Cougars chipped away behind the tough play of twin brothers Elijah and Elliot Mobley, but missed too many free throws and couldn’t get enough stops in the fourth period.

Wise, uncommitted for college and the nephew of former San Francisco Balboa all-stater Francois Wise (1976) , dominated the interior through the first three periods and finished the game with 17 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks. Riordan had more than enough pieces to pick up the slack in his absence and the state was introduced to freshman Andrew Hillman. The 6-foot-3 wing from Cameroon displayed good feet, quality athleticism and good passing ability and finished with 17 points in his first varsity game for the Crusaders.

Riordan also got a big lift in the fourth quarter from 6-foot senior King-Jhsanni Wilhite, a returning all-state guard. He hit a 3-pointer with 3:25 to give his team a 64-59 lead, then he hit another moments later to give Riordan (1-0) a 67-59 advantage after Weston Ranch (0-2) had tied the game at 59-59 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Khristian Holmes (15 points), who had 12 points in the fourth quarter.

Wilhite finished with a game-high 22 points. Elliot Mobley finished with 18 points and Elijah Mobley with 17. Weston Ranch lost in its season-opener to preseason state No. 14 Inderkum.

Game 4: No. 30 Oakland 65, No. 27 Monterey Trail (Elk Grove) 52

The Wildcats opened the season with a strong effort, playing hard each possession and moving the ball around. The big beneficiary of the team play was 5-foot-5 senior Jimon Campbell, who received a round of applause after being named player of the game. Campbell finished with 12 points, five assists and five steals. Montana-bound Money Williams had 16 points and did a good job of distributing to open teammates.

Monterey Trail (0-1) was led in the scoring department by Long Beach St.-bound Verick Lewis with 22 points. At least five players sat out for the Mustangs and head coach Robert Fields was not on the bench.

Game 3: Campolindo (Moraga) 52, Grant (Sacramento) 28

Senior Logan Robeson, who helped the Cougars advance to the NorCal Open title game last year, led the way in the Cougars’ season opener. Campo shot well from the outside, as Robeson netted 20 points. As a team, Campolindo nailed 10 3-pointers.

Senior Jordan Bobo led Grant (0-3) with 12 points.

Game 2: Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 74, Oakland Tech 62

After opening up a 18-7 lead, Oakland Tech (1-2) couldn’t slow down San Francisco-bound guard Ryan Beasley, who had a big afternoon in the season opener for Dougherty Valley (1-0). After scoring 44 points in a game at this event last year, the 5-foot-11 senior guard netted 28 points, 14 in the first half and 14 in the second.  He also had six rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Oakland Tech, which fell the previous night to Beverly Hills at the O’Dowd Thanksgiving Showcase, was led by 6-foot junior Dylan Lucks and 6-foot-2 junior Asher Kramer with 16 points each.

Game 1: No. 24 Granada (Livermore) 69, No. 38 Vanden (Fairfield) 61

When St. Mary’s-bound center Andrew McKeever picked up his fourth foul halfway through the third quarter, Vanden was looking to take advantage, but that’s when talented 6-foot-7 senior Tyler Harris took over. The transfer from Salesian of Richmond came up with key steals and big finishes for Granada (2-0). He finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists and five steals.

Granada also got a big lift from Kevin Grant. With 1:54 to go , he nailed a 3-pointer to give his team a 62-55 lead, then hit another with 1:10 to go to give the Matadors a 65-58 lead. Grant, a 6-foot-2 senior, scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter.

Vanden falls to 1-2 on the season after losing to Bishop O’Dowd the previous evening at the O’Dowd Thanksgiving Showcase. Junior forward Tyler Thompson scored 21 points for Vanden, which had double-digit turnovers for the second consecutive game.

RELATED: To see 2022-23 preseason state rankings, CLICK HERE ; To see the list of major tournaments and showcases involving California’s best teams, CLICK HERE ; To see a list of all-time preseason No. 1 teams in our current state Top 20 format (1988-89), CLICK HERE ; To see the vast list of transfers that will impact the 2022-23 season, CLICK HERE

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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