Torrey Pines Holiday Classic Recap
How can you truly gauge the performance of your team on a big stage? You play in tournaments and against teams that will test your level of play. It gets no bigger than the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic in San Diego, where teams show and prove, step up and step out, or whatever buzz words you wanna tie it to. It gave Fairfax, Westchester, and Crossroads a glimpse of what their play will look like against the big boys.
Crossroads Roadrunners 8-5 (1-3 Tourney Play)
12/27 W St Johns Jesuit 61-59
12/28 L Bishop O’Connell 82-67
12/29 L Foothills Christian 70-65(OT)
12/30 L Piedmont Classical 65-63
The Roadrunners went 1-3 during The Torrey Pines Holiday Classic in San Diego December 27-30, 2017. It gave 6’10 SR F Shareef O’Neal a chance to showcase his skills on a big stage. It also gave his counterpart, 6’2 SR PG DJ Houston, a chance to step up and step out, showing why he should be considered among the top CA recruits who run the PG position. DJ was special against Piedmont Classical who had a very nifty PG in the likes of 6’0 JR Shakeel Moore, giving Crossroads fits with his craftiness and heady play. DJ held his own, showing true shake and bake skills and a defensive presence as well. Look for this young man to hit the radar when it’s all sad and done. Crossroads must come up with a game plan for utilizing Shareef’s overall game. He looked special at the stretch 4 but less effective on the block -often times being double teamed and looking a bit uncomfortable making decisions from the post. Finding that sweet spot for ‘Lil Diesel’ will be a focal point heading forward for the Crossroads coaching staff. Shareef must also continue to play and embrace these instances where he’s finding his way around out there (developing a feel for the game) and don’t let it become a mind game to where it becomes a real issue you feel me. Have fun young soldier. Embrace the moment.
Westchester Comets 13-3 (3-1)
12/ 27 L Foothills Christian 73-49
12/28 W Bishop O’Dowd 93-89
12/29 W St. John Jesuit 62-48
12/30 W Collage Park 73-71
Westchester ate its way to victory with solid play from their bigs inside. Maurice Tutt, Keveon Batiste, and Kaelen Allen all chipped in to establish solid play, giving College Park more than it could handle down low. As a result, the Comets were able to combat strong back court play from #5 SR G Quentin Grimes and #12 SR G Deon Blakemore, who both looked every bit capable of running a D1 program. 6’3 JR Guard Jordan Brinson was named to the all tourney team and rightfully so – holding his own and establishing himself as a major D1 PG on the recruiting trail come Summer 2018 (AAU Team Cal Supreme).
Fairfax Lions 10-4 (2-2)
12/27 W St Augustine 78-52
12/28 L St. Edward 75-68(OT)
12/29 W Piedmont Clsssical 61-58
12/30 L Foothills Christian 74-73
Fairfax was solid during their last day of play against Foothills Christian and their big man Taeshon Cherry (6’10 240 W), who’s considered the #1 player in the State of CA per ESPN. The Lions were down with a few ticks remaining on the clock and the ball out of bounds. As the ball was passed in-bounds., it looked as though they could have made one more pass, as it appeared another Fairfax player was open and had a better look at the basket. I’m not saying it was a bad shot but in that instance, you have to consider trusting in your teammates and possibly giving him the rock. A lot about being a championship caliber ball club, as well as an elite team across the nation, from what we’ve seen, is that you must be fundamentally sound as a team, showing unselfish play (among other attributes), to win close games down the stretch. Most of these national powers are fundamentally sound in many areas of their game. They play solid defense, they pass well, and all seem to have solid back courts that show a uniqueness in their game. Definitely cats who’ve been in the lab. In all, it was a good showing for Fairfax and coach Steve Baik. After playing these national powers – taking St. Edward to an OT nail biter – look for ‘Dem Fairfax Boys’ to be truly battle tested when they hit the courts in LA. Mark your calendars for January 12, 2018 as Fairfax travels to Westchester to take on the Comets.
Where Legends are Born.