LAGUNA NIGUEL – Unfortunately, the 2019-21 basketball season will forever have an * attached to it when it comes to California high school competition: Because of reasons we’re already painfully aware of – and are living 24/7 – no…
LAGUNA NIGUEL – Unfortunately, the 2019-21 basketball season will forever have an * attached to it when it comes to California high school competition:
Because of reasons we’re already painfully aware of – and are living 24/7 – no state championship games were played in Sacramento on March 13&14.
During the week of State Regional play, though, I was able to attend five games:
*Damien at St. Anthony, D-1 (March 3);
*Rancho Christian at Etiwanda, Open (March 4);
*Ribet Academy at St. John Bosco, D-1 (March 5);
*Etiwanda at Mater Dei, Open (March 7);
*Etiwanda vs. Sierra Canyon at Cal State Northridge (March 10).
Here are the seniors I saw in those games that most impressed me, beginning with . . .
Ziaire Williams Ziaire Williams 6'8" | SF Sierra Canyon | 2020 State #9 Nation CA-S . He and his McDonald’s All-American teammate, Brandon Boston Jr. Brandon Boston Jr. 6'6" | SG Sierra Canyon | 2020 State #8 Nation CA-S , are the two biggest reasons that Sierra Canyon would have knocked off either Sacramento Sheldon or Oakland Bishop O’Dowd on March 14 for a third consecutive Open title.
The best of the unsigned/non-committed players in the national class of 2020, Williams’ buzzer-beating jumper that capped a 13-run and gave the Trailblazers the 63-61 victory over Etiwanda in the regional final gets the nod as the “biggest shot” among California high school teams during the 2019-20 season.
Boston. The 6-foot-7, University of Kentucky-bound “wing” was one of the two-best scorers (with Josh Christopher Josh Christopher 6'4" | SG Mayfair | 2020 State #11 Nation CA-S of Mayfair) in this western senior class.
He showed that during his team’s three wins (including Dec. 28/Classic at Damien Platinum semifinal and Feb. 21 Southern Section Open pool game) over Etiwanda, during which he averaged 26 points.
Brantly Stevenson Brantly Stevenson 6'2" | PG Etiwanda | 2020 State CA-S (pictured). He used Etiwanda’s three State Open games to demonstrate why he’s one of the upper-tier among “still un-signed and non-committed” among 2020 “shooting guard-types”, averaging 14.3 points against Rancho Christian, Mater Dei and Sierra Canyon while hitting three 3s in each contest.
Tyree Campbell Tyree Campbell 6'5" | CG Etiwanda | 2020 State CA-S . The 6-5 “wing” – like teammates and Darryl Jackson, among the best of the “still-available” set in 2020 – hit 19 points in the third clash with Etiwanda before leaving the game with four fouls and six minutes to go. He scored 30 points in the State Open games while hitting 13 of 20 shots from the floor (including four 3s).
Evan Mobley Evan Mobley 6'11" | PF Rancho Christian | 2020 State #1 Nation CA-S . The 7-foot, McDonald’s All-American’s prep career came to a close with Rancho Christian’s 67-61 loss at Etiwanda on March 4.
He was limited to seven points (with only five shots from the floor) while mostly defended by junior Jahmai Mashack Jahmai Mashack 6'3" | SG Etiwanda | 2021 State #68 Nation CA-S but did grab 11 rebounds with seven assists and five blocked shots.
Jadon Jones Jadon Jones 6'4" | SF St. Anthony | 2020 State CA-S . The 6-5, Long Beach State-bound left hander – and that’s a coup of sorts for Dan Monson’s program – scored 24 points (nine of 18 from the floor, including three 3s) in St. Anthony’s 74-63 loss to Damien.
Devin Askew Devin Askew 6'3" | PG Mater Dei | 2020 State #18 Nation CA-S . The University of Kentucky-bound point guard scored 20 points but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter of Mater Dei’s 65-61 loss to Etiwanda, which kept the Monarchs from having a fifth post-season meeting with Sierra Canyon during his three years with the program.