Prep Preview and Report
Montclair Prep High School--October 5, 1997
Montclair Prep is an enigma, in a puzzle, wrapped in mystery. After being banned from league play for the last few years, Montclair will rejoin the Delphic League, and will compete against teams such as Campbell Hall, Brentwood, a Baron Davis-less Crossroads, Faith Baptist, Landmark West, Pacific Hills, and Whitney. Not stellar competition, and from what we've heard, other than Crossroads and the Campbell Hall team led by PG Josh Glass, Montclair should be the favorite to win their league, and is likely to advance to the State Championship. They won in 1995, lost in 1996, and were eliminated in the semi's last year.
The team is coached by Head Coach Howard Abrams, and by assistant Greg Patterson. Abrams must know what he's doing, as he's got a number of State Championships under his belt in the last 20 years. Many think he can duplicate the feat again this year. Games to watch this year: Montclair v. Campbell Hall: The nice thing about a Glass-Cohen matchup this year? Both alternated at the point on this year's Seattle-bound Bronze Medal 15-16 year old LA Maccabi Team, which was also coached by Abrams. Should be interesting to see the fur fly when these two drive, slash and dish. Truly two of the most talented PG's in this year's SoCal Jr. class.
Why do we say that people are talking about Montclair possibly capturing a state title this year? One name: Jed Hall, a 6'8 Sr. from Virginia. No make that two names, Jed Hall and Jason Anderson, a 6'9" Jr true center. Add the lightening quick Micha Cohen, 5'11 at point, and don't forget about Carlese Clark, who at 6'1" and 200 lbs. is also a Division I football prospect. And let's not forget Kevin Bently, a 6'2" kid who plays the 2 or 3 extremely well. Oh yeah, don't forget about Greg Jones, a freshman who at 14 years old is now 6' 7" and still growing. Did we forget anyone? Yeah, probably one of the best shooting points on the west coast, Rocky Steryo, 6'3", 210 lbs, who can throw up the jump stop J from anywhere on the court, and is most deadly from the wings out from about 20'. And also let's not forget about Chida Daniel, another guard, who at 5'9" has both the handle and good enough hops to slam--Daniel is really more of a football player, and the LA times ranked him as a Division I football prospect in their preseason football poll.
I saw Steryo working out today at a Dana & Dave Pump "Double Pump" clinic held at Montclair with shooting coach Dave Hopla (who works all the Double Pump and West Coast All-Stars Camps, and also works with many pros including Kobe and many of the Clippers), which was also attended by some up and coming youngsters such as Nicholas Mark ( 6'3" 14 yr old JV Oakwood), Charlie Kranzdorf (5'11" Montclair and ARC 14 Traveling Team) and David Gale (5'7" Buckley and ARC 14 Traveling Team) To say that Steryo is deadly is putting it mildly. . . he's lethal and the summer has only improved his game.
The one loss this year to the program, after what coach Howard Abrams called last year's "rebuilding" was Steven Johnson, who transferred to Crossroads. At 6'1", Johnson was a 2-3 "small forward" and it seemed as if he didn't figure to get much playing time behind a front line with the kind of size of Hall - Anderson - Clark - Cohen - Steryo - Jones (assuming that Jones can play strong enough to start at Crossroads). And with Davis leaving Crossroads for UCLA this year, opportunity knocked and Johnson left.
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