SoCalHoops High School News
Wooden High School Invitational:
Beats Mater Dei 54-42--(Dec. 5, 1998)
[Note: We didn't have time this morning to get the pictures of this game copied and inserted in the article. . . we'll put them up later, along with a report on the Dominguez v. Waltrip game; for now, we've got to head over to the Pond for the college games, and then to Long Beach State later tonight. Whew. Maybe we'll manage to find a telephone hookup at the Pond --we could borrow Louis Johnson's maybe-- to get the rest of the stories up by the end of the day. For now, here's the report of the Mater Dei game. Oh, by the way, Dominguez won big time, beating Waltrip 87-60. It wasn't pretty. But it was effective].
Mater Dei was a nationally ranked team going into this game. They were looking to win a CIF title this year. Maybe even a State Championship. But if what we saw last night is any indication of what we're likely to see this year, look for Mater Dei to continue it's "rebuilding" begun last year. Because there won't be any CIF or State banners unless they get their act together. They will definitely bounce back, because they have one of the most talented young teams around. But last night they just didn't have the veteran instincts which the senior-heavy Glendora Tartans displayed.
Mater Dei lost. Glendora won. Big time. 54-42.
Glendora might have a shot at a CIF title. Maybe. They are not especially deep. But they play hard. Very hard. And they're able to come back and overcome adversity well. And they have Casey Jacobsen. Who is not overrated as some in the Mater Dei side of the court were insisting before the game.
How did this happen? How could it happen? A lot of Mater Dei supporters who were in attendance wanted to know. And more who weren't in attendance will be asking.
Call it "Casey's Way." Because whenever Casey was bad, Glendora was bad, and whenever he was good, Glendora was good. Very goo. And fortunately for Glendora, he was good a whole lot more than he was bad. Casey plays hard. All the time. Flat out plays. Banging and hustling. Looking like a boxer at times, getting thrown to the floor, crashing into the basket support, and at one point coming up from the floor with a black eye and a small cut over his right eye. This guy is tough, just the kind of guy Mike Montgomery needs when Madsen leaves Stanford. But that's next year, and this is now.
Glendora started Chris Clark (6'-6" Sr. SG/SF), Jason Davis (6'-3" Jr. F), Michael Ahmad (6'-9" Sr. PF/C), Bruce Hatch (6'-2" Jr. SG) and Casey Jacobsen (6'-6" Sr. SG/SF).
Mater Dei started Cedric Bozeman (6'-5" So. SG), Mike Strawberry (6'-4" Fr. F), Erik Soderberg (6'-9" So. C) Derrick Mansell (6'-2" Sr. PG/SG) and Christian McGuigan (6'-3" Jr. SG/SF). Only one senior in the bunch. And that was one of the big differences last night. Senior leadership.
Jacobsen got started early, scoring the first points of the game off a driving layup, but then he began to struggle. At the beginning of the game, Gary McKnight instructed each of his players to "bang Jacobsen every time he comes through." And Christian McGuigan became the de facto, designated banger, because it was his job to guard Casey. And Christian was doing a good job in the first half, throwing Casey's timing off, and in the early going of this game he was overplaying a bit, forcing shots, trying to drive when there were no lanes, and generally not connecting, and shooting only 2 for 6 from the field, 0 for 2 from three point range, but doing reasonably well from the line (8 for 9) and his 12 points in the first half were still a team high, and a game high.
These two teams came into this game seemingly well matched, both on paper and player for player from a size and skills point of view. The only difference seemed to be that Mater Dei had no real matchup or answer for Casey, especially after Christian McGuigan fouled out early in the third quarter. . . but we're getting ahead of the story again. Casey did have one more basket in the first half, a driving, twisting leaner which resulted in him crashing to the floor and going to the line. In fact, McGuigan, and Mike Bayer (6'-7" Sr. PF) who came in off the bench, really did a job on Casey in the first half, and Mater Dei's man defense also managed to keep Chris Clark pretty much in check in the first quarter too, as Chris only managed 2 for 6 from the field for a total of four points. Brother Chad, who has been away from basketball for close to 9 months, came in during the first half and only managed to get off 2 shots, both from behind the arc, and he missed them both badly. Duncan Reid (6'-7" Jr. PF/C) who came in for Ahmad off the bench played well (not statistically, where he only made one shot (1 for 1 from the field), but he provided a strong defensive presence, which helped to slow Mater Dei's big offensive threat Derrick Mansell who was the high scorer in the first half with 7 points, followed by Steve Henderson who picked up 6.
Reid is a fairly thick looking kid, with good footwork, who moves well without the ball, and stays low in the block on offense, and plays wide in the paint on defense.
Steve Henderson (6'-5" Jr. SG/SF) played very well, using the floor well, and making good choices: He made a driving layup fingerroll and had some other nice shots, going 3 for 4 in the first quarter. Mansell shot 2 for 3, and he capped the first quarter with a shot which seemed to energize Mater Dei and deflate the Tartan, hitting a long three point shot at the buzzer. In the second quarter, it seemed that Glendora couldn't do any thing right, but they still managed to outscore Mater Dei 12-10 after only scoring 8 points to Mater Dei's 15 in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Glendora got called for an illegal pick, with Chad Clark setting the illegal screen for Casey. And even though Casey didn't score again in the half from the field, the momentum started to swing, with a sort of imperceptible shift, and Glendora just seemed to be able to work the ball when they wanted to and where they wanted. Jason Davis (6'-3" Jr. SG) from Glendora also showed some stuff as he had some nice twisting up and under layups, and he ended the half completing one of them going 1 for 2 from the field. He's very athletic, and runs the floor well, and will be a big time player next year when Casey and the Clark boys are gone.
Graham Miller (6'-3" Jr. SGT) showed his youth at the end of the second quarter with only seconds left when he got the ball and didn't shoot, didn't drive and just stood there as time esxpired. He'll get over it eventually, but he only managed a minute in the game, which is a lesson to all the high school players out there: If you're in the game and have a wide open look, shoot the ball. It's why you're out there. Miller didn't and hence his time was limited.
In the third, Glendora came out fired up. Casey had been listening all during the first half to the taunts from the Mater Dei bench, with players saying "Hey Casey, you're overrated," or "Casey, you can't play." And by the third quarter, he was all business, and so were the rest of the Tartans. Jacobsen didn't manage to shoot a whole lot better, going from 2-6 in the first half to only 4 of 12 in the second and he went 0-4 from three point range, so his percentage from the field overall stayed the same. But his athleticism and driving into the lane put him on the line enough times that he managed to pick up 22 points in the game, and he shot 14 for 17 from the line. McKnight's philosophy of stopping Jacobsen by baning him worked to a limited extent, but it also had consequences, especially because the refs weren't going to just let it happen and about midway through the third, McGuigan was called for his fifth foul.
Of course McKnight didn't care much for that, and with 33 seconds left in the third period and Casey going to the line to make it 30-33, McKnight said something to one of the refs, and they assessed him with a technical. Glendora made both T's, got the ball, and at the end of the third, Bruce Hatch hit a big 18' field goal to bring the score to 35-33 Glendora, the first lead the Tartans had in the game. From there, it was all downhill for Mater Dei.
Chris Clark hit the first shot from the field in the fourth after Scoggin had taken two from the line, then Bozeman hit a running layup to tie it up again at 37-37 but that was answered by Chris Clark with a twisting, turning reverse layup in traffic.
With Boseman, Mansell and Bayer in, the small guys were guarding Jacobsen, and it seemed to be working again, and he continued to force shots, trying to drive where there were no gaps and taking what seemed like a few wild shots. But where Casey couldn't drive, Brue Hatch was money, and as Chad Clark picked Mansell clean coming up the floor, Casey managed to break ahead of the ball, grabbed the pass from Chad, and made the driving layup and with only 4:34 to play, Mater Dei trailed by six, 43-37.
The deficit for Mater Dei hovered around 5 or 6 for most of the rest of the fourth quarter, and it seemed that no matter what they did, or how they scored (and they only scored 5 more points, 2 on a Bozeman layup off a steal from Jacobsen, and a Mike Bayer layup off an assist from Scoggin), Glendora always had an answer. The last few minutes were really garbage time, and with all of the fouling that Mater Dei was doing, Glendora went to the line several times and eventually built a 10 point lead.
With 1:01, Scoggin was called for an intentional foul and the Mater Dei fans went nuts. But McKnight didn't because by then Gary could see the writing on the wall, and the game, while still in reach was about to get away from MD. The score was 46-40 as Brue Hatch went to the line, taking two shots, and he made the first, made the seconed and with 1:01 to play the score was 48-40 Glendora.
With Casey and Chris playing keep away with 50.8 seconds, Bozeman fouled Chris Clark, and he made the first, missed the second, and for Mater Dei, the game is slipping away. Glendora gave Mike Bayer an uncontested layup under the basket trying not to foul, which brought the score to 49-40 with only 38 seconds left, and McKnight called his last timeout. After the timeout, Glendora pushed the ball, Jacobsen made a great outlet pass across the court to Chris Clark who made yet another driving layup, got fouled and after hitting from the line, the score was 52-42 with only 27.8 to play. Mansell was then fouled, went to the shooting three and he missed them all.
Perhaps the final icing on the cake for Glendora though occurred in the last 11 second of the game as Chad clark stole the ball from Mansell, broke downcourt, and lobbed the ball high in the air, and Casey just slammed it home, finally and completely answering his critics on the Mater Dei bench, all those who said he was "overrated." Obviously, Mike Montgomery at Stanford doesn't think he's overrated. Glendora had won, 54-42.
And truly, this was not all Jacobsen. Mater Dei had their role in it too. In the first half, Mater Dei shot .474 from the field, on 9-19 shooting, making 5 of 6 free throws (.833). In the second half, they just fell apart, shooting only .280 (7-25) from the field, 2-11 (182) from the three point line, and only .125 (1-8) from the free-throw line. Mike Bayer was the leading scorer for Mater Dei with 10, followed by Cedric Bozeman with 9, and Derrick Mansell with 9. Mike Strawberry, who we're certain is one hell of an athlete and can play, only scored 2 points, and despite being a starter, he only played 8 minutes, collecting one rebound and going 1 for 2 from the field. McGuigan understood his designated hitter role well, and never took a shot, and the line score on him was telling: No shots, No attempts from the field, No free throws, only one assist, no rebounds, and 5 personal fouls in 10 minutes of time.
Steve Scoggin, who is usually a great three point shooter, just never got his stroke last night, and he shot 2 for 11 from the field, 2 for 9 from behind the arc and only scored 6 points, and that stat probably had as much to do with Mater Dei's offensive downfall as anything else, since he occupied a lot of time on the floor, 26 minutes in all, as did Mike Bayer, and 16 points in a total of 52 minutes between them is not really an example of productivity.
Will Mater Dei rebound and recover from this game? Of course they will. They are still a very young team. There's a whole season ahead of them. We know they'll do well, probably still win their league, and go deep in the playoffs. Just how deep though is an open question, especially if they have many more repeat performances like last night. As for Glendora, Casey is tough, the Clark twins, especially Chris, are invaluable, and Bruce Hatch is also one cool customer, who made some great plays. If you're in Division I-A and you happen to run into Casey & Co., we've got just a few words of advice: Don't send him to the line, and don't let him shoot from the field. Which doesn't leave many options, but with Jacobsen there really aren't many ways to stop him.
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