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SoCalHoops High School News

Ocean View Tournament Of
Champions: Semifinal Results--(Dec. 12, 1998)

Well, we made it down to Ocean View High School yesterday for most of the semifinal games and we weren't disappointed. Before we get to the details, here's the quick and dirty overall results for the day:

Winners' Bracket Championship Semifinals:

Mater Dei 70, Horizon 58
Compton 58, Santa Barbara 49

Winner's Bracket 5th Place Semifinal:

Crenshaw 92, Westchester 50

Consolation Bracket Semifinals:

Long Beach Jordan 70, Ayala 46
Fontana 75, Morningside 57

Here's the story:

Mater Dei 70, Horizon 58-- This was the game that could have been, might have been, almost was, but wasn't quite for the Horizon Panthers.   With fans screaming about the refs doing Gary McKnight's bidding, and others claiming "this is why San Deigo teams don't play LA area teams in LA"   (never mind that it was in Orange County), the Horizon Panthers came back from a 12-2 first quarter deficit to tie the game at 22 with 3:14 to play in the half. But then Mater Dei went on another run, and when Imran Sufi hit a three pointer at the buzzer, Mater Dei once again led 30-38 at the half.  In the third quarter, both teams played it pretty much even and Horizon trialed 47-51 at the end of the third. 

But in the fourth, the wheels just came off for Horizon, and Mater Dei went on an 18-3 run after Wayne Bernard fouled out with 6:18 to play, and Mater Dei outscored Horizon 19-11 in the fourth quarter, and most of Horizon's points in the quarter came in the final minute or so when Gary McKnight subbed in the bench players for the starters.

Steve Scoggin (6'-0" Jr. SG) was the big story for Mater Dei as he scored 19 points, going 4 for 5 (.800) from three point range, and he's got one of the best and quickest long distance releases we've seen.  Steve hit his threes coming off screens, on pull up jumpers and with some wide open looks, and he also went 3 for 4 (.750) from two point range.  Steve has a very quick first step, gets really low on his defender and creates space very effectively.

Mike Bayer ((6'-7" Sr. PF/C) also had a big night, hitting for 18 points mostly from point blank range, which is not surprising since the Mater Dei statisticians had him grabbing 17 total rebounds, 9 offensive and 8 defensive.   Mike managed to find ways to box out and get position on Horizon's Wayne Bernard (6'-5" Sr. G/F) who did quite a bit of playing in the paint which is why he managed to pick up 5 fouls, and he was pretty effective against Trevor Jensen (6'-7" Sr. PF/C) as well, who has a great body for the game, can jump and has quick hands, but more often than not, found himself on the wrong end of the rebound stick against Bayer.   Jenseon only managed 6 total rebounds (3 offensive and 3 defensive), and Wayne Bernard only had 2 himself.

Also leading the scoring for Mater Dei was Cedric Bozeman (6'-5" So. SG/SF), who managed to get 17 quiet but effective points.  Bozeman is very capable, has great (but not sprinter's) speed and a quick first step, but is the kind of player who's not too flashy, and just goes out and gets 17 points and kills you offensively and defensively. We just love the way this guy plays and in two more years, he'll be just a huge prospect.

Derrick Mansell (6'-2" Sr. PG) had 6 points and we counted at least 8 assists.  Derrick moves the ball, pushes the break and finds the open man better than anyone on the Mater Dei team, and he does it effectively, quietly and without a lot of flash, which makes him and Bozeman a great complement to each other.   He did try a couple of back door alley-oop passes to Bozeman and Bayer, but that's not the kind of play this team really does well, and both times they fell flat.

Notwithstanding the drubbing that Mater Dei suffered last week at the hands of Casey Jacobsen and Glendora, this is a very fundamentally sound team, at least they were last night against Horizon.  They carry just a ton of players on the bench, and while they may not have the depth that carrying 18 players and 5 coaches would lead one to believe they had, Mater Dei is still going to be very tough this year against some good teams, and they should win their league and go fairly deep in the playoffs. They can go outside when they need to, and can also go inside against relatively good pressure, but seem to need to beef up the middle a bit more.  We noticed that Erik Soderberg (6'-9" So. C) tends to float a bit and, at least in our humble opinion, needs to get a better sense for which direction the ball and the play are going, as he often found himself out of position for either the offensive play or the defensive stop, and was not especially effective rebounding: He only took two shots, had one offensive rebound and 4 defensive boards, but he played 16:13,  and while it was the fewest minutes of any of the starters, it was the fifth most minutes by a lot.  Of course, Erik is still young, is still growing, and he does exhibit excellent post moves when he gets into the proper position and uses his body, and if he can get his offensive game together and start getting some point production for his minutes on the floor, he'll be a good D-I prospect.

Steve Henderson also scored 4 points in 13:46, and while scoring is nice for him, it doesn't seem to be his designated role, and last night he seemed to be the "do the dirtywork" guy, blocking out, getting inside and disrupting the rythym of Horizon, and in general creating some chaos for the Panthers.   He had no assists, no turnovers, no blocks, and no steals, but did get 5 boards, almost all of them defensive, and he managed to alter more shots than he stopped.   Mike Strawberry (6'-4" Fr. SG/SF) played  8:13  but also wasn't especially productive, getting only one field goal out of three attempts, picking up one foul and committing two turnovers, but he did have one huge blocked shot on Zack Jones in the second half.   Five other Mater Dei players didn't see any action at all (Geoff McKnight, Gary's son among them), but that's to be expected with a team that has this many players.

For Horizon, the biggest story was Detric Watts (6'-3" Sr. SG/PG) who scored 22 points, but who went scoreless in the fourth quarter.  Watts managed to bring Horizon back from oblivion in the first quarter, kept them close in the second and third, and with Wayne Bernard's help (Wayne scored 10 points, going 3 for 5 (.600) from two point range) the two of them scored almost half of Horizon's points.   Watts just did it all when he was doing it, which, as we said was only in the first three quarters, going one for three from three point range, and picking up 5 rebounds.

Horizon is a good team, and they beat some pretty impressive teams in this tournament including Long Beach Jordan (75-71), and Crenshaw (76-70), and they'll beat a few more teams along the way, and may even get a rematch with Crenshaw or Mater Dei in the Nike Holiday Classic down in San Diego from December 26-31 (yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll be putting up the brackets and first round games pretty soon, so just hang in there).

Compton 58, Santa Barbara 49--This was never really a contest, and Compton led most of the way, sometimes by as many as 20 points.  But in the fourth quarter, Compton almost gave the game back on some of the worst calls we've seen lately from the refs, which is bound to happen, but it really started to get to the Compton guys. Following a technical called on Ellis Myles, it started to get to Rod Palmer too, and he got T'd up also.  Compton's 18 point lead with about two minutes left to play was cut to only 9 at the end, mostly on free throws following silly fouls committed by Compton.   And we also wondered what some of the Compton guys were thinking at the end (well, we know what they were thinking because they told us): Rather than slow the game down, Lanere Anderson (6'-1" Sr. SG), Ellis Myles (6'-7" Jr. PF/C) and Bobby King (5'-9" Sr. PG) refused to let the game die a natural death, and they kept forcing the ball up court, taking shots that didn't need to be taken, and giving Santa Barbara more offensive possessions than they really deserved in this game, which of course resulted in a couple of intersting foul calls, leading to a few people trying to start the chant "Jordan, Jordan", which was meant to convey that the refs were treating Santa Barbara's Tony Freeman (6'-4" Sr. SG/SF) like Michael Jordan when it came to going to the line.  Compton didn't want to let the game go, but kept forcing it and trying to get their lead back in the last few minutes.  Which of course was exactly the opposite of what they should have done. Hold the ball, use the clock, but they didn't need to shoot.

Tony Freeman scored 10 points, but they were all from the line.  He has a very nice move to the basket, but just wasn't able to penetrate much beyond five or six feet from the hoop, and when he did, his shots were either off or got blocked by Ellis or Terry Hosendove.   Santa Barbara's  Brent Williams (6'-1" Jr. SG) scored 12 points and was active and generally effective, and Bryce Maloney (6'-2" Sr. F) had 13 points, but these were the only guys in double figures.   Craig Christ (6'-1" Sr. G) had 6, Sean Kelley (6'-8" Sr. C) had 3. Justin Thompson scored 2, and Shawn Wilt  managed just three points.

Ellis Myles was the big scorer last night for Compton with 17 points followed by Leroy Dawson with 13.  Tito Maddox (6'-4" Sr. PG/SG) didn't score a lot, and sat for a good deal of the second half after bumping knees with Brent Williams, and after the game he had a welt on his thigh just above the left knee about as big as a grapefruit and while this would mean most other players would be questionable for the title game, we don't think this will stop Tito, who finished with 7 points on the night. 

Fontana 75, Morningside 57-- We didn't get to see much of the Fontana v. Morningside game, but what we did see we enjoyed.  Gary Holmes (6'-6" Sr. SG/SF) who has signed with Eastern Washington, played very well, dunking, blocking shots, and enjoying himself immensely, even if he did only score 6 points.   The biggest player though for the Steelers was Joseth Dawson (6'-2" Sr. SG) who had 23 points, and played one of the best games we've seen him play. His shooting was spectacular, and he had 4 three pointers.  Joseth is very fast, has great shooting form and squares up nicely. He can create off the dribble or spot up, and he'll make some D-I coach very happy.  Baron Baker (5'-10" Sr. PG) also played well, showing good speed and quickness, and he also picked up 6 points.  We were also very impressed with the play of Aaron Gipson (5'-9" Fr. PG/SG) who has a great handle and plays very good pressure defense and managed to score 6 points on the night.

Morningside is really a one player show, which may not be a fair assessment, but Dwayne Trotter (6'-4" Jr. SG/SF) was really the only player last night who showed consistent scoring ability and excellent athleticism, and he scored 21 points and pulled down about 12 rebounds that we counted.  Which is not to say that Morningside doesn't have other good players, just that no one measured up to Trotter's play.  Ricky Rico (6'-7" Jr. C) had 11 points anas did Tracy Cathey (6'-1" Jr. SG), and we really liked little Kenny Ellison (5'-7" Sr. PG) who has a good handle and can really push the break, but overall, Morningside just wasn't really a match for Fontana. 

Long Beach Jordan 70, Ayala 46-- We saw even less of the Jordan game than we did of the Fontana contest, and walked in at the last five minutes when the game was already out of reach by about 20 points.  Travon Bryant (6'-8" Jr. PF/C), who often doesn't get the ball a lot from teammates Darren Peterson (6'-4" Sr. PG/SG) and Craig Calloway (6'-0" Sr. PG/SG), still managed to get 24 points, a game high. Peterson had 17 and Calloway had 11.  Others scoring were Ron Banks with 3, Deryon Dale with 2, Greg Grant 3, and Wilfred Lucas with 4.   For Ayala, Jack May (6'-7" Sr. PF) managed to get 12 points and Chasen Jones (5'-11" Jr. SG/PG) had a team high 17.  Chris Pacana (5'-11" Jr. PG) didn't really have a very good night, and only scored 8, while Marcel Burke (6'-4" Jr. SG/SF) scored 6.  D.J. Lucas (6'-5" Jr. F) was the only other scorer and he had 3.  We didn't get a chance to see if Dan Sherman (6'-7" Sr. C) played, but presumably his lack of scoring would indicate that he didn't play.


The Swish Award
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