December 18, 2009

California Classic Rings in the New Year

Kevin McCarthy

The 1st Annual California Classic will take place January 2 at Cerritos College. It's a seven game, all day event hosted by LACES High of Los Angeles with intriguing matchups featuring Los Angeles area high school squads going up against teams from around the state.

Here is the schedule:

Game 1, 11:00 am - Orange Lutheran vs. Oakland

Can the Lancer quintet of Tyler Funk, Dylan Rice, James Douglas, Gabe York, plus frosh Peyton Banks keep bragging rights away from their counterparts out of Ground Zero for northern Californian basketball, the Oakland Wildcats, led by backcourters Dom Taplin and TJ Taylor? The latter is currently putting up 24 points per game and both Taplin and Taylor, though just juniors, have already committed to Santa Clara.

Game 2, 12:30 pm - Leuzinger (Lawndale) vs. Maranatha Christian (San Diego)

The Olympians then host the Eagles from down south. Juniors Amir Garrett and Darius Middleton, plus senior Delon Wright (brother of Dorell Wright of the Miami Heat) form the backbone of the Leuzinger squad, with Garrett currently leading in scoring and rebounding. 6-foot-7, 245-pound Chen Cai is the major force for Maranatha and currently averages a double-double of 25/16.

Game 3, 2:15 pm - Compton vs. Sacramento

It's the Cliff Sims Show for the Tarbabes as the senior is producing 18 points per game while 6-foot-6 sophomore Anthony January, a star in the making, is providing 14 a contest. 5-foot-9 junior point guard Allan Guei runs the show for Compton. Sacramento is loaded with Josiah Turner, Will Davis, Robert Garrett and Travon Abraham. Turner is a backcourt junior who will be in the running for state player of the year this season and next. Abraham mans the point and has already committed to Rice. The 6-foot-8 Davis will land somewhere in D-1 and Garrett is coming around as he grows into his 6-foot-10 body.

Game 4, 3:45 pm - Gahr (Cerritos) vs. Clovis West (Fresno)

The Gahr Gladiators are led by 6-foot-2 junior Davon Potts and 5-foot-8 senior Ervin Ware averaging 26 and 22 points per game respectively. They will match talents with 6-foot-2 Golden Eagle junior Denzel Johnson. Clovis West already owns a win against Leuzinger.

Game 5, 5:30 pm - Serra (Gardena) vs. La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)

Serra is simply loaded. The Cavaliers boast senior backcourters Vaughn Autry (Montana) and Keith Shamburger plus 6-foot-4 senior Craig Carter, 6-foot-8 senior Jordan Mitchell (Cal State Northridge) and 6-foot-8 junior Ronnie Stevens. La Costa Canyon will counter with the duo of 6-foot-10 senior Dennis Kramer (San Diego) and 6-foot-5 sophomore Matt Shrigley. Can the Maverick guards equalize their Serra counterparts?

Game 6, 7:00 pm - Campbell Hall (N. Hollywood) vs. Newark Memorial (Newark)

This contest will pit 6-foot-6 Viking Deuce Johnson (Louisiana Tech) up against Newark Memorial's 6-foot-4 Khion Sankey in a physical match of muscle against strength. Also look for CH's 5-foot-9 junior Austin McBroom versus sophomore 5-foot-10 Cougar Casey Norris in the NM backcourt. Plus, 6-foot-4 Kendall Andrews has transferred in to Newark Memorial after a very good year at Salesian High.

Game 7, 8:30 pm - Price (Los Angeles) vs. Hoover (San Diego)

photo of Norvel Pelle Norvel Pelle

Southland basketball fans are going to repeatedly hear "The Price is right" throughout the season as the Knights have beaucoup talent -- potentially seven D-1 players -- and are one of the favorites to nab a state title. The parade begins with 6-foot-9 Richard Solomon (California), 6-foot-9 Norvel Pelle, 6-foot-6 deluxe shooter Allen Crabbe (California) and 5-foot-9 Casey Trujeque (Montana State). Standing in Price's way is highly regarded 6-foot-8 Angelo Chol of Hoover who is currently averaging a TRIPLE double comprised of 21/14 plus 10 blocked shots a contest. He is joined by 6-foot-0 senior guard Terrence Ingram who mans the point for the Cardinals and athletic 6-foot-5 junior forward Dame N'diaye currently averaging 15 points a game along with eight boards a contest.

So live up to that New Year's resolution about getting out to see good prep basketball in 2010. You can't miss with this event.