ETIWANDA — The Etiwanda boys basketball team took another step in its quest to reach a CIF State championship for the first time in program history. The Eagles defeated Rancho Christian, 67-61, Wednesday night in an Open Division SoCal Regional…
ETIWANDA — The Etiwanda boys basketball team took another step in its quest to reach a CIF State championship for the first time in program history.
The Eagles defeated Rancho Christian, 67-61, Wednesday night in an Open Division SoCal Regional opener, behind a balanced effort which saw four Etiwanda players score in double figures.
Junior Jahmai Mashack Jahmai Mashack 6'3" | SG Etiwanda | 2021 State #68 Nation CA-S led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds, Cal Poly SLO-bound point guard Camren Pierce Camren Pierce 6'0" | PG Etiwanda | 2020 State #251 Nation CA-S added 15, Brantly Stevenson Brantly Stevenson 6'2" | PG Etiwanda | 2020 State CA-S had 11 and DJ Jackson pitched in 10.
Rancho Christian saw another strong season come to an end. Junior guard Jaden Byers Jaden Byers 6'1" | PG Rancho Christian | 2021 State CA-S led the Eagles with 18 points, Dominick Harris Dominick Harris 6'4" | SG Rancho Christian | 2020 State #118 Nation CA-S added 15, Luke Turner Luke Turner 6'8" | SG Santa Margarita Catholic | 2021 State CA-S had 10 and Evan Mobley Evan Mobley 6'11" | PF Rancho Christian | 2020 State #1 Nation CA-S closed out his illustrious career with seven points, seven assists and five blocked shots.
Etiwanda will be on the road at Mater Dei Saturday in the Open Division SoCal Regional Semifinals.
Mashack’s defense on Mobley cannot be understated
The 6-foot-3 wing was tasked with guarding the near 7-foot Mobley and did as good of a job as anyone has this season. The junior made it difficult for Mobley to establish post position by bumping him on cuts and fighting to get around and front the low-post. Mashack also did a really nice job of blocking out and limiting Mobley’s ability to make an impact on the offensive glass.Junior wing [player_tooltip player_id="680197" first="Jahmai" last="Mashack"] had impressive all-around floor game in the Eagles’ win over Rancho Christian.
Pierce looking more confident with his perimeter jumper
The senior point guard said after the game that the Etiwanda coaching staff has been imploring him to step into and be confident with his catch-and-shoot 3-pointer and he did just that. Pierce scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, including three deep jumpers during a huge fourth quarter run that helped the Eagles close out Rancho Christian.
Mobley was Rancho Christian’s best point guard
Despite Mobley towering near 7-feet tall, the USC-bound senior was the smartest and most unselfish player on the floor all season for the Eagles. His numbers may have looked pedestrian for one of the top-ranked players in the country, and while he could have been more aggressive offensively, Mobley made all the right plays to put his team in position to win. He didn’t force the issue offensively, found open shooters when the defense collapsed on him on the block and is one of the few players on the floor who let the ball stick in his hands on the offensive end.
Byers turned in a strong scoring effort
The 6-foot-1 point guard put together a strong junior season and showed his improved scoring touch on Wednesday. The junior dropped 18 points in a variety of ways, including a couple catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, which has been his biggest offensive weakness through his first three high school seasons. Byers has electric speed and athleticism in transition and continues to add some point guard skill to his game.