If you’re looking for key match-ups today – in both boys and girls bball – then you’re in luck. It’s ‘on and poppin’, as teams have gotten a few games under their belt and coaches begin to tweek n’ adjust player rotation, with a focus on winning a ‘Ship. Don’t get me wrong, we understand that it’s still pre-league play and these games – technically – don’t count – but it’s important for programs to maximize team chemistry, run sound offensive and defensive sets, develop that killer instinct mentality, and as a result, create that confidence and swag needed to finish games you feel me. Let’s take a look at a few key match-ups tonight.
Oak Park vs Muir
Maranatha Rose City Classic Tourney 8p
Class of 2018 Utah Commit Riley Battin is a stud who will make an immediate impact for The Utes. We like to refer to him as ‘Mr Postman’. We just don’t see too many talented players playing with their back to the basket that much in Cali’. Center Ezekiel Richards 6-11 / 210 has been in the lab and improved his overall game tremendously. Nice feet, activity, and presence in the paint, should allow him to slip into the D1 recruiting buzz. He also provides that much needed big body down low for Oak Park, so that Head Coach Shaw, along with Riley, can utilize their perimeter play, causing a lot of discomfort for opposing teams. John Muir is grungy and scrappy, with their veteran coach pulling very good rabbits out of his hat. After being able to outlast Alemany in overtime yesterday(65-60), they might not have enough gas in their tank for tonight’s match-up. Nevertheless, look for their scrappy veteran guards and smooth lefty F Hunter Woods to keep it close, pushing the buttons of Oak Parks’ players, every chance they get.
The Pick: Oak Park
Taft vs Crossroads
St. Monica Tourney 730p
Ballislife should be on deck tonite, as we have two top CA recruits going at it during the 2017 St. Monica Tourney. Crossroads boats the Number 2 player in the State, Arizona Commit Shareef O’Neal. He’s a beast and provides just enough juice for his squad to be competitive and demand respect from opposing teams. Along with solid Guard play from DJ Houston and co., Crossroads should be able to ‘weather the storm’ and come out victorious.
Taft has Virginia Commit Kihei Clark calling the shots for Derrick Taylor and Taft, who has definitely produced some 5 start stud PG’s in the past (Larry Drew, JR/Jordan Farmer). Look for Crossroads to pull out a nail biter simply because Shareef is that good and should start to dominate and take over games. If Kihei can exhibit his skillset as to why Virginia scooped him up, it should be an interesting match-up going down to the wire.
The Pick: Crossroads
Westchester vs St. Bernards
Westchester Tourney 8pm
St. Bernard is as scrappy as they come – with enough discipline and structure from their coaching staff to make some serious noise this season. It appears they have all the necessary pieces to make it happen and chase that ‘Ship. Should be a good measurement tonight, to see if they can hang with the big boys on a big stage.
Westchester will look to ride the success of 6’3 Jr. Guard Jordan Brinson, who’s coming off an MVP performance during the Ryse Williams PAC Shore Tourney. They kid has gotten some great experience this summer under the tuteledge of Coach Gary Franklin and Cal Supreme. Veteran Westchester Head Coach Ed Azzam will need to pull a few rabbits from his hat in order to keep St. Bernard at bay and come away with the W.
The Pick: St Bernard
Harvard Westlake vs Bishop Montgomery
Trevor Ariza / Westchester Tourney 630p
Even without their star PG Gianni Hunt (injured), Bishop Montgomery is taking no prisoners. After whipping up on Narbonne by a score of 67-26, it’s safe to say that the Knights are lock down defenders. UCLA commit David Singleton III provides the scoring punch needed to take his team to the promise land and provide Coach Doug Mitchell with another feather in his cap. Harvard Westlake is as young as they come – sporting only one Senior on their 2017-18 roster (MaxPreps). Johnny Juzang will need to enter the zone for Harvard Westlake to stay close and make it competitive. Great way to see if your young bucks are up to par by taking on defensive minded BMHS.
Boys Key Match-ups – December 1, 2017
510p LB Poly vs Culver City – Westchester Tourney
630p Harvard Westlake vs Bishop Montgomery – Westchester Tourney
730p Taft vs Crossroads – St. Monica Tourney
750p Westchester vs St. Bernards
8p Oak Park vs Muir – Maranatha Rose City Classic Tourney
8p Mater Dei vs Compton – Diablo Tourney
Harvard Westlake vs Serra
Redondo Union Tourney 8p
Harvard Westlake matches up with Serra in what will make one of the best night caps on this Friday evening. Serra has some low post studs who cause damage on the block with their tremendous footwork, athleticism, and basketball IQ. The coach is a master at what he does, so look for him to have a few tricks up his sleeve for Harvard Westlake and coach Melissa Hearlihy. Harvard Westlake won’t lose too many games this season that’s for sure – as they have all the necessary tools in place to win a State Championship, when its all said and done. If the guards can step their play up and they receive enough support from their Freshman Big Kiki Iriafen, look for Harvard Westlake to come away with the Win. See you at the game.
The Pick: Harvard Westlake
Windward vs Etiwanda
Redondo Union Tourney 630p
Talk about an early season match up featuring two of the top CA Girls programs. Good Lord! Windward (Maxpreps #22 in Nation) comes in firing on all cylinders, with stellar play from Charisma Osborne and Kaiyah Corona. The team is a well lubed machine, sitting at 3-0, having already defeated the likes of Harvard Westlake, Long Beach Poly, and a scrappy West team. Jr. PG Charisma Osborne is a studmuffin. showing the ability to play at a very high level, while making it look effortlessly. Kaiyah Corona is as solid as a rock – in terms of her skillsets and her ability to change the game on both ends of the floor. She is a top D1 recruit in the making. If you’re looking for basketball played the right way, then be sure to check out Windward this season.
Etiwanda is always a tough out. This season they have a new system, under a new coach. It’s somewhat interesting when a new coach comes in and imprints his style of play. PopScout will be a peeping tom tonight, seeing if the girls have bought into his philosophy and how well they mesh into his system. Etiwanda has one of the best back-courts in CA girls basketball, so look for this to be a barn burner indeed. The roof will be on fire.
The Pick: Windward
Girls Key Match-ups – December 1, 2017
530p Brea Olinda vs Santa Margarita – Ladycat Classic (Brea Olinda)
630p Windward vs Etiwanda – Redondo Union Tourney
745p Granada Hills vs Crescenta Valley – CV Tourney
8pm Harvard Westlake vs Serra – Redondo Union Tourney
Elevate Yo’ Game