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Covering High School Sports in America

Tag: Harvard-Westlake High School

  • A trio of high school athletes – discus thrower Shelbi Vaughan, 800-meter runner Ajee Wilson and 400 runner Aldrich Bailey – advanced from the opening round of the Olympic Track and Field Trials Friday at the University of Oregon. Two of them look like they might have a shot of making the Olympic team.

    File photo by Kirby Lee

    Ajee Wilson

    Vaughan, who just broke the national high school record last week in the USA Junior Nationals, had the fourth best toss Friday with a mark of 193 feet, 9 inches. It was well behind leader Stephanie Brown Trafton (206-1), who was the only athlete to break the 200-foot barrier.

    Vaughan, who just graduated from Mansfield Legacy (Mansfield, Texas), fouled her first attempt, went 183-3 in the second round before her top mark of the day. It wasn't as long as her national high school best of 198-9 last week at Indiana University. She is one of 12 competitors to advance to Sunday's 3:05 p.m. (PDT) finals. 

    Wilson, a graduate of Neptune (N.J.), placed second in her heat which automatically advanced her into the semifinals. Her time of 2 minutes, 3.63 seconds was 15th out of 32 runners and a second off her personal best. The 800 semifinals are slated for 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

    Two more prep girls in the event failed to advance. National high school record holder Amy Weissenbach, of Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), placed fifth in her heat in 2:06.46 and failed to move on. Incoming Bronxville (N.Y.) junior Mary Cain also placed fifth in her heat in 2:04.11.

    Bailey, who just graduated from Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), finished third in his heat but his 45.59 time was the fifth best of the day. LaShawn Merritt, the No. 1 seed coming in, won the heat in 45.36 – the best time of the day – and USC standout Bryshon Neilum (45.58) barely edged Bailey at the line. Saturday's semifinals are scheduled for 5 p.m.

  • Major League Baseball implemented a new draft system this year and the result has been quick signings by nearly every high school player chosen in the first round.

    Courtesy Photo

    Byron Buxton, Twins

    Under the new collective bargaining agreement, each team was given a Draft day pool of money to spend on draft picks. Each pick is slotted for a certain signing bonus and there is little flexibility to pay a draft pick a substantial amount of money over that slotted amount.

    In the past, draft picks also had until mid-August to sign with the team that drafted them. That date was moved up to July 13 under the new agreement.

    Unlike years passed when many No. 1 picks waited until the August deadline, many high school players have chosen to sign their tender less than two weeks after the draft. A total of 12 of the 16 high school players chosen in the first round have already signed.

    Here's a look at the 16 high school players chosen in the first round. Those who signed a contract are listed with their signing bonus.

    2. Byron Buxton, Twins - Signed, $6 million
    6. Albert Almora, Cubs - Unsigned
    7. Max Fried, Padres - Signed, $3 million
    10. David Dahl, Rockies - Signed, $2.6 million
    11. Addison Russell, A's - Signed, $2.625 million
    12. Gavin Cecchini, Mets - Singed, 2.3 million
    13. Courtney Hawkins, White Sox - Signed, $2.475 million
    14. Nick Travieso, Reds - Signed, $2 million
    16. Lucas Giolito, Nationals - Unsigned
    17. DJ Davis, Blue Jays - Signed, $1.75 million
    18. Corey Seager, Dodgers - Unsigned
    21. Lucas Sims, Braves - Signed, $1.65 million
    26. Stryker Trahan, Diamondbacks - Signed, $1.7 million
    27. Clint Coulter, Brewers - Signed, $1.675 million
    29. Lewis Brinson, Rangers - Signed, $1.625 million
    30. Ty Hensley, Yankees - Unsigned
    Note: Signing totals according to
  • The dynamic Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) baseball duo is down to one.

    According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Wolverine senior righthanded pitcher Lucas Giolito, ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the country by MaxPreps, has been diagnosed with a sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He sustained the injury in the seventh inning of Harvard-Westlake's 2-1 loss to Alemany on Tuesday.

    According to Wolverine coach Matt LaCour, Giolito's injury does not require surgery but will leave him sidelined for six to 10 weeks.

    "He's probably done for our season," LaCour told the Times.

    Giolito was part of an outstanding tandem of pitchers at Harvard-Westlake. Max Fried, the No. 1 lefthanded pitcher in the country, is ranked No. 5 in the country while Giolito is the No. 1 overall player.

    Committed to play at UCLA, Giolito reportedly hit 100 mph on the radar gun in Harvard-Westlake's season opener. Giolito is the returning Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year.

    "He's crushed. His teammates are crushed," LaCour told the Times. "His coaches are crushed, and we're going to have to spend the next two days getting back on track."

    The Wolverines are 4-2 on the season.
  • While all of the radar guns were intently focused on Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) phenom Lucas Giolito in Tuesday's game against Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.), Cody Thompson stole the show.

    Just one week after Giolito hit 100 mph on the radar gun in a season-opening win, Thompson pitched his team to a 2-1 victory over the Wolverines, giving up three hits while striking out seven.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, Giolito hit 98 mph on the radar gun while Thompson managed an 84 mph fastball. Nevertheless, Giolito ended up striking out just four while walking three and hitting three batters. Thompson walked four, but managed to work his way out of trouble in giving up just one run in the complete-game victory.

    Alemany got both of its runs in the third inning off Giolito, who pitched into the seventh inning. Ryan Paramo singled in the inning and Giolito hit two batters and walked a third before giving up a single to Peter Van Gansen.

    The loss was the second in a row for Harvard-Westlake and the second in a row for the Wolverines' talented pitching tandem of Giolito and Max Fried. Valencia topped Fried 11-4 in the Easton Tournament.
  • Lucas Giolito justified earlier this week why he is the No. 1-ranked high school baseball player in the nation by MaxPreps.

    The powerful 6-foot-6, 230-pound senior right-handed pitcher fired a couple of 100 mile-per-hour fastballs, Eric Sondheimer reported in the Los Angeles Times, to lead Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) to a convincing 11-0 victory over El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.).

    The UCLA recruit gave up just one hit - a single with one out in the seventh and final inning - while striking out eight and walking no one.
  • Charity Jones, a home-schooled junior from Miami, Okla., won the all-around title during the third annual Nastia Liukin Cup gymnastics tournament on Friday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

    Jones amassed 38.075 points to win her title. She also finished second or tied for second in vault, uneven bars and the balance beam.

    James River (Midlothian, Va.) freshman Alexandra McMurtry and Polina Shchennikova tied for second place in all-around with a point total of 37.875.

    * Jordyn Wieber, a senior from DeWitt (Mich.), won all-around honors at the AT&T American Cup on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She had a final score of 61.032 to win the Cup for the third time. She also is the reigning World all-around champion.
  • Maddy Jelenicki hit a seventh-inning single during her first at-bat for the Saugus (Calif.) baseball team, which was handed an 11-2 loss by Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.).

    Jelenicki, who is a standout softball player, was ruled ineligible for her No. 1 sport due to a transfer this year, so she tried out for baseball and made the team.

    * Sean Berry struck out 13 batters in just 5 1/3 innings as Moorpark (Calif.) blanked Burbank (Calif.) 3-0.

    * On the JV baseball level, freshman Jackson Grayson slammed four home runs and drove in seven runs as Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) defeated Saugus (Calif.) 14-4.

    * Leah Reeve struck out 16 and scattered four hits to lead the Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.) softball team to a 3-1 victory over Smiths Station (Smiths, Ala.).
  • See complete Day 3 results and notes from the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.

    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -
    We're putting the cart in front of the horse, but below is Friday's final schedule of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic. We'll update notes, results and features later tonight.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Super sophomore Isaiah Whitehead goes in for two of his game-high 26 points as Lincoln moved into the MaxPreps Invitational Division finals on Thursday.

    The much-anticipated Exhibition Division finals of No. 7 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is on after both were victorious Thursday to finish 3-0 in pool play.

    Mater Dei got 24 points from UNLV-bound Katin Reinhardt in a 98-67 win over Foothill, while Isaiah Whitehead showed why he's regarded as one of the top sophomores in the country with 26 points as Lincoln defeated Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 81-70.

    Here is the championship games over each divisions scheduled at Cathedral City High School:
    Yardhouse Division - Moorpark (Calif.) vs. Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 11 a.m.
    American Division - Torrance (Torrance, Calif.) vs. Thousand Oaks (Calif.), 12:30 p.m.
    RHV Division - Ponderosa (Shingle Springs, Calif.) vs. Viewpoint (Calabasas, Calif.), 2:05 p.m.
    DHTS Division - Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) vs.King (Riverside, Calif.), 3:40 p.m.
    National Division - Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.)vs. Santiago (Corona, Calif.), 5:30 p.m.
    MaxPreps Invitational - Mater Dei vs. Lincoln, 7:15 p.m.

    Other games

    At College of the Desert
    Miller vs. Desert Hot Springs, 10 a.m.
    Silverado vs. Rancho cucamonga, 11:30 a.m.
    El Camino vs. Dana Hills, 1 p.m
    Capistrano Valey vs. Vista Del Lago, 2:30 p.m.
    Galena vs. Crescenta Valley, 4 p.m.
    Burbank vs. Harvard Westlake, 5:30 p.m.
    Simi Valley vs. Colton, 7 p.m.

    At Marywood Palm Valley High School
    Sultana at Patriot, 10 a.m.
    Foothill vs. Skyline, 11:30 a.m.
    Pleasanton grove (Utah) vs. Canoga Park, 1 p.m.
    Lakeside vs. Fairmont Prep, 2:30 p.m.
    Brawley vs. Los Osos, 4 p.m.
    Brawley JV vs. Moorpark JV Championship Platinum, 5:30 p.m.
    Marwood Palm Valley vs. Palm Springs (Frosh championship gold), 7 p.m.

    At Palm Springs High School
    Desert Hot Springs JV vs. Palm Desert JV, 9:30 a.m.
    Central JV vs. Palm Springs JV, 11 a.m.
    Central vs. Sweetwater, 12:30 p.m.
    Santa Ana Valley vs. Sierra Pacific, 2 p.m.
    Dorsey vs. Bishop Manogue, 3:30 p.m.
    Cathedral City Frosh vs. Joshua Springs JV, 5 p.m.
    Victory Valley vs. 29 Palms, 6:30 p.m.
    Cathedral City JV vs. 29 Palms JV, 8 p.m.

    At Shadow Hills High School
    La Quinta JV vs. Shadow Hills JV, 10 a.m.
    Cathedral City vs. Shadow Hills, 11:30 a.m.
    Desert Christian JV vs. Desert Mirage JV, 1 p.m.
    Perris vs. Green Valley, 2:30 p.m.

    At Palm Desert High School
    La Quinta Frosh vs. Palm Desert Frosh, 3:30 p.m.
  • PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - There was one near upset, but things went about as planned on Day 2 of the 64-team, eight division MaxPreps Holiday Classic. There were plenty of highlight-reel plays and loads of heated action as teams completed the second day of pool competition.

    Photo by David Hood

    Ponderosa's Curtis Opsahl (green) and El Camino's Dayton Boddie fight for a rebound in the first of a double- header for each team Wednesday (see story below).

    Today completes pool action and the winners of each face off in championship games on Friday.

    Among Wednesday's highlights (see feature on Pleasant Grove 6-foot-8, 285-pound two-sport future college star Arik Armstead): 

    FINISHING STRONG: Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) junior point guard Shaquille Davis dribbled down the left flank a little off balance and under duress, but he heard Tafari Whittingham hooting from the right wing.

    He sent a perfectly place lob pass toward the wing and the high-flying 6-foot-7 wing, with his elbows at the rim, slammed down the final two points in Lincoln's hard-fought, tooth-and-nail 48-39 win over Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) at College of the Desert.

    This was an offensive and emphatic conclusion to a defensive stalemate and it was appropriate the highly-touted Whittingham finished it off. He led all scorers with 18 points.

    Despite a defender on his hip, Whittingham wasn't coy or hesitant. It was the best dunk we saw from either the top two venues, the other Cathedral City High School. It finished off a 10-2 run to close the game.

    "My only thought was 'just finish,' " said Whittingham, who has had several East Coast offers but is leaning toward Hofstra. "(Davis) and I have a good connection and he knows just to send it up high. I just went up and got it."

    Skyline had closed to its closest margin since early in the first quarter 38-37 on a 3-pointer by Bryan Cikatz with 4:50 to play, but Lincoln's defensive pressure was just too much down the stretch.

    The Railsplitters forced turnovers on six of Skyline's next seven possessions and got steals and breakaway layups from Dashawn Suber and Isaiah Whitehead to win going away. Whitehead, considered one of the best sophomores in the country, finished with 12.

    Lincoln (8-0) plays Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) tonight in pool play with the winner to play Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) for the Invitational Division title on Friday. Mater Dei is No. 7 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings presented by the Army National Guard.

    "We play all facets," Whittingham said. "This wasn't a pretty win, but it was a win. We'll need to play better (tonight)."

    Photo by David Hood

    Harvard-Westlake's Derick Newton goes up for two of his game-high 20 points.

    FULL STEAM AHEAD: Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake played nearly 'A' games with easy pool victories. Mater Dei got 20 points each from its Top 100 recruits, Katin Reinhardt (UNLV) and Xavier Johnson (Colorado) and Stanley Johnson chipped in 15 as the Monarchs ran away from Dorsey 81-36.

    Reinhardt drilled four 3-pointers helping the Monarchs (9-1) go on a 47-12 run in the second half. Dorsey (5-4) got 16 points from Kalin Barber. The Dons simply couldn't keep track of all of Mater Dei's shooters. Xavier Johnson also had a pair of impressive interior moves and dunks.

    Mater Dei unsung point guard Eli Stalzer distributed the ball beautifully.

    Harvard-Westlake (7-3) showed off its superior depth and skill in a 92-54 win over Bishop Manogue.

    Sophomore Derick Newton had 20 points, Francis Hyde 15 and Zena Edosomwan and Michael Sheng added 10 apiece. Edosowman said the Wolverines are making up the slack left by 6-7 Utah-bound guard Josh Hearlihy, out for the year with two torn patellas.

    "Josh did so much for us and was one of our top three scorers," Edosowman said. "Everybody is just contributing a little bit more. We miss Josh a ton, but it's great to see how everyone has responded."
    LET'S PLAY TWO: Ernie Banks would have been proud of the squads from Ponderosa (Shingle Springs, Calif.) and El Camino (Oceanside, Calif.), which decided to play a game a non-divisional game for extra work at 10 a.m.

    Both coaches left El Camino's 60-51 victory a little steamed and subdued, but by the end of the night were more than satisfied as each won their nightcap about eight hours later. Ponderosa edged Lakeside 56-52 and El Camino defeated Perris 74-53.

    With just eight players, El Camino's win was particularly impressive.

    "Kids are pretty resilient," El Camino coach Ray Johnson said. "We just needed to get some rest between games, though we pretty much slept through the first one anyway."

    Photo by David Hood

    El Camino's Tommy Griffin goes up for a mid-range jumper.

    WAKING UP: After taking an 11-0 lead against Ponderosa, El Camino (9-3) went back to bed according to Johnson and the only way to get them awake was with these three words: "Get into them."

    Translation: pressure the ball.

    The Wildcats did just that, forcing 11 of Ponderosa's 16 turnovers in the second half, keying runs of 14-2 in the third quarter and 9-2 in the fourth.

    Dayton Boddie, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound physical specimen headed to University of Riverside, led the charge with 15 points while Lorenzo Garcia, a blur of a 6-foot point guard, added 13 points.

    Johnson, a legendary coach around the San Diego Section, where El Camino has claimed 11 section crowns, said this team has played in spurts. When the Wildcats utilize their extreme team speed with defensive pressure, good things happen.

    "I think we got largely outplayed," Johnson said. "We finally started picking up the pressure and pulled it out. But we'll need to play better than this."

    Boddie, who broke his leg in football last year and gave up the sport to focus on basketball, pretty much does it all for the Wildcats: wing, perimeter and in the low block. 

    "I like the role," he said. "Where ever we need help I'm willing to give. It will be different in college, but for now, I'm enjoying playing everywhere. I love playing with these guys and representing my school."

    EMBRACING THE BALL: Ponderosa coach Andy Beal, whose team won just two games last year, has already tripled that amount with a 6-7 mark. Heading into the El Camino game, he said with more careful care of the ball the team could easily have won two more games.

    Against El Camino, it was more of the same. After falling behind 11-0, the Bruins methodically and skillfully got back into the game by running good sets, making their shots and most important, taking care of the ball.

    Photo by David Hood

    Ponderosa's Nicco Bruks just before burying a 3-pointer from the wing.

    The played perhaps their best quarter of the past two seasons with a 19-8 run in the second to take a 23-21 lead, one their extended to 28-21 on a jumper by Trevor Hammitt and a 3-pointer from Nicco Bruks to start the second half. But that's when El Camino turned up the heat, and went on a 14-2 run to take a 35-30 lead.

    To their credit, the Bruins fought back behind 6-8 sophomore center Chris Snyder (game high 22 points, six rebounds) to take a 38-37 lead on a layup from Snyder to start the fourth quarter. El Camino rattled off 9 of the next 11 to look back in control, but another Snyder layup and jumper by Curtis Opsahl cut the lead to 46-44.

    But that's as close as Ponderosa would get. Opsahl added 12 points and Hammitt nine.

    "We definitely have shown an ability to compete and fight back," Beal said. "We just need to take care of the ball.

    "The good thing is we showed we can execute a game plan. When we managed the ball and the tempo, we were in control. This is the type of team we're going to see in league so we'll hopefully learn from this and grow."

    Another positive is the emergence of Snyder, who had 14 points and seven rebounds in the nightcap against Lakeside. Hammitt led the way with 19. Despite the doubleheader, Ponderosa overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to outscore Lakeside 38-24 in the second half.

    REPORTED SCORES/STANDINGS: Here are all the reported scores, heading into the final day of pool play. Championship games, times and sites will be decided tonight after the final games, which should end approximately at 8:30 p.m.

    MaxPreps Invitational Division
    Pool A: Mater Dei 2-0, Burbank 1-1, Dorsey 1-1, Foothill 0-2
    Pool B: Lincoln 2-0, Harvard-Westlake 2-0, Bishop Manogue 0-2, Skyline 0-2

    Mater Dei 81, Dorsey 36
    Harvard-Westlake 92, Bishop Manogue 54
    Lincoln 48, Skyline 39
    Burban 65, Foothill 53

    Photo by David Hood

    Mater Dei's Xavier Johnson scores two of his 20 points in an easy win over Dorsey on Wednesday.

    Harvard-Westlake 70, Skyline 58
    Mater Dei 75, Burbank 42
    Lincon 83, Bishop Manogue 26
    Dorsey 60, Fooothill 59

    Today's games

    Dorsey vs. Burban at College of Desert, 4 p.m
    Mater Dei vs. Foothill at Cathedral City, 5:30 p.m.
    Bishop Manogue vs. Skyline at College of Desert, 5:30 p.m.
    Harvard-Westlake vs. Lincoln at Cathedral City, 7 p.m. Classic Division
    Pool C: Pleasant Grove (Calif.) 2-0, Rancho Cucamonga 1-1, Simi Valley 1-1, Pleasant Grove (Utah) 0-2
    Pool D: King 2-0, Crescenta Valley 2-0, Silverado 0-2, Canoga Park 0-2

    Pleasant Grove (Calif.) 73, Simi Valley 45
    King 78, Silverado 68
    Crescenta Valley 85, Canoga Park 45
    Rancho Cucamonga 58, Pleasant Grove (Utah) 39


    Pleasant Grove (Calif.) 64, Pleasant Grove (Utah) 47
    King 91, Canoga Park 31
    Crescenta Valley 67, Silverado 60
    Simi Valley 51, Rancho Cucamonga 48

    Today's games

    Silverado vs. Canoga Park at Marywood Palm Valley, 11:30 a.m.
    Crescenta Valley vs. King at Cathedral City, 2:30 p.m.
    Pleasant Grove (Utah) vs. Simi Valley at Marywood PV, 4 p.m.
    Rancho Cucamonga vs. Pleasant Grove (Calif.) at Marywood PV, 5:30 p.m.

    National Division
    Pool E: Capistrano Valley 2-0, Crenshaw 2-0, Galena 0-2, Central 0-2
    Pool F: Santiago 2-0, Green Valley 1-1, Vista Del Lago 1-1, Sweetwater 0-2

    Santiago 72, Sweetwater 51
    Vista Del Lago 61, Green Valley 50
    Crenshaw 67, Galena 53
    Capistrano Valley 76, Central 41

    Capistrano Valley 63, Galena 35
    Green Valley 81, Sweetwater 74
    Crenshaw 71, Central 16
    Santiago 69, Vista Del Lago 51

    Today's games
    Santiago vs. Green Valley at Cathedral City, 1 p.m.
    Capistrano Valley vs. Crenshaw at Cathedral City, 4 p.m.
    Sweetwater vs. Vista Del Lago at Palm Springs HS, 4 p.m.
    Central vs. Galena at Palm Springs HS, 5:30 p.m.

    American Division
    Pool G: El Camino 2-0, Torrance 2-0, Victory Valley 0-2, Perris 0-2
    Pool H: Thousand Oaks 2-0, Dana Hills 2-0, Palms 0-2, Colton 0-2

    El Camino 74, Perris 53
    Torrance 82, Victor Valley 52
    Dana Hills 50, Colton 28
    Thousand Oaks 58, 29 Palms 46

    Torrance 48, Perris 45
    Dana Hills 62, 29 Palms 24
    Thousand Oaks 81, Colton 44
    El Camino 69, Victor Valley 39

    Today's games
    Thousand Oaks vs. Dana Hills at Cathedral City, 11:30 a.m.
    Colton vs. 29 Palms at Palm Springs HS, 1 p.m.
    Victory Valley vs. Perris at Palm Springs HS, 2:30 p.m.
    Torrance vs. El Camino at Marywood Palm Valley HS, 7 p.m. California Division
    Pool I: Ponderosa 2-0, Cathedral city 1-1, Lakeside 1-1, Santa Ana Valley 0-2
    Pool J: Viewpoint 2-0, Fairmont Prep 1-1, Shadow Hills 0-1, Sierra Pacific 0-1

    Ponderosa 56, Lakeside 52
    Viewpoint 67, Fairmont Prep 66
    Cathedral City 72, Santa Ana Valley 53
    Shadow Hills vs. Sierra Pacific, not reported

    Viewpoint 65, Shadow Hills 46
    Ponderosa 59, Santa Ana Valley 31
    Fairmont Prep 51, Sierra Pacific 28
    Lakeside 80, Cathedral City 56

    Today's games
    Lakeside vs. Santa Ana Valley, 1 p.m.
    Cathedral City vs. Ponderosa at Marywood PV HS, 2:30 p.m.
    Fairmont Prep vs. Shadow Hills at Shadow Hills HS, 4 p.m.
    Sierra Pacific vs. Viewpoint at College of Desert, 7 p.m.

    Yardhouse Southern California Division
    Pool K: Moorpark 2-0, A.B. Miller 1-1, Brawley 1-1, Sultana 0-2
    Pook L: Edison 2-0, Los Osos 1-1, Patriot 1-1, Desert Hot Springs 0-2

    Los Osos 58, Patriot 50
    Brawley 60, A.B. Miller 48
    Moorpark 65, Sultana 23
    Eidson 69, Desert Hot Springs 24

    Edison 54, Los Osos 32
    Patriot 64, Desert Hot Springs 34
    A.B. Miller 64, Sultana 53
    Moorpark 87, Brawley 47

    Today's games
    Edison vs. Patriot at Cathedral City, 10 a.m.
    Sultana vs. Brawley at College of Desert, 11:30 a.m.
    Desert Hot Springs vs. Los Osos at College of Desert, 1 p.m.
    Moorpark vs. A.B. Miller at College of Desert, 2:30 p.m.
  • PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Get ready for the world's longest blog post. Each day we will fill your heart's and hoop's desire with everything and anything from the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Lincoln's Isaiah Whitehead showed why many consider him one of the top sophomores in the country.

    Had a nice little 10-hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area - a jaunt that normally takes closer to seven, but thanks to lovely Holiday traffic along Interstate 5, we embraced every rolling tumbleweed and oil rig in the state.

    Anyway, now that I've let that all go, let's get down to business.

    We'll update this throughout the day with results, nuggets, photos and other impressions. Consider these post-Christmas stocking-stuffers. We'll also run a daily feature with a game and feature of the day on our national home page.

    NO JET LAG: Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) couldn't have been more impressive in its 83-36 win Bishop Manogue (Reno, Nev.) as six players scored in double figures led by 20 from 6-foot-7 junior Tafari Whittingham.

    The Railsplitters - great nickname by the way - which arrived Monday night looked fresh, played hard, shared the ball and showed off its remarkable depth while improving to 7-0.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Point guard DaShawn Suber is a recent transfer from New Jersey.

    Dwayne Morton, in his 15th season, doesn't have Sebastian Telfair or Lance Stephenson - yet - but instead this squad really plays team ball and tough defense.

    Ian Vasquez had 12 points and Isaiah Whitehead, Shaquille Davis and Rakim Lesane all had 11 points. Recent St. Patrick's transfer Dashawn Suber added nine points.

    Whitehead, a 6-3 shooting guard, is considered one of the top sophomores in the country.

    Morton's son, 6-foot junior Tre'vonn Morton, along with nephew Marquis Morton and cousin Kwame MortonKwame Morton are other players on the 13-man roster. Ethan Telfair, Sebastian's younger brother, did not make the trip for unspecified reasons.

    "I'd give it a strong 'B,' " coach Morton said of his team's performance. "We have a lot of transfers (four) and this is a great opportunity for our guys get to know each other. This was a good start."

    BAM!: High School dunk contests are probably as strong as NBA showcases 30 years ago - not that they had them. On Tuesday, there were an assortment of high-flying slams, mostly on fastbreaks or breakaways.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Xavier Johnson had another big game in another big win for Mater Dei.

    But the best of the day came from Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-7 swingman and Colorado-bound Xavier Johnson, who took a tough interior pass from Eli Stalzer and with two defenders sandwiching him, went straight up, from a flat foot and tomahawked an emphatic left-handed jam during a 75-42 win over a very good Burbank (Calif.) squad.

    Johnson scored 16 and UNLV-bound Katin Reinhardt had 18 points including four three-pointers as the seventh-ranked Monarchs improved to 9-1. Andre Spight had 11 points and Kane Kennedy added 10 for Burbank (6-4), which was outscored 18-4 in the fourth quarter.

    Going against Baylor-bound 7-footer Isaiah Austin at the City of Palms Tournament helped Johnson be so decisive and aggressive on his slam.

    "When you're down low you have to be strong," Johnson said. "(From a standing start) that was one of my better ones."

    Johnson is forced to play the interior more than he's used to because the Monarchs are primarily all guards. "I've really worked on being more versatile," he said. "We're all work at it."

    ONE MORE SKILL: As if Josh Hearlihy doesn't have enough skills. His new, but reluctant one, is score-keeping.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Zena Edosomwan controlled the middle with 11 points and 15 rebounds for Harvard-Westlake.

    The highly versatile 6-7 guard for  Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) is out for the year with patella tears in both knees and Tuesday he was at the scorer's table adding up team fouls, tracking timeouts and adding free throws and field goals.

    With him pushing a pencil and not the ball up court, the Wolverines (6-3) defeated Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) 70-58. Francis Hyde made up for Hearlihy's absence with six 3-pointers and a game-high 20 points, Derick Newton added 15 and Zena Edosomwan 11 points and 15 rebounds.

    Will Parker had four 3-pointers and 18 points for Skyline and Lucas Shannon chipped in 16 for Skyline (7-1).

    "I'd rather be out there obviously, but I might as well learn something new," said Hearlihy, who just committed to Utah.

    KING IS BACK: After a pair of down years, King (Riverside, Calif.) coach Tim Sweeney is not afraid to say it. "We're back," he said before his team's first-round Division game with Canoga Park.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Lucas Shannon goes up for two of his 16 points for Skyline.

    The Wolves entered 7-2 and easily could be 9-0, losing buzzer-beaters to defending Southern California Division II champion Summit (54-51) and Clovis West (74-72).

    This after seasons of 11-15 and 12-16.

    King was the state Division II champion in 2002 and has featured such standouts as current San Antonio Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard, University of New Mexico starter Tony Snell and Colorado leading scorer Carlon Brown. 

    "We've been down a little but this team has talent and they get after it," Sweeney said. "I like their chemistry."

    Sweeney said for the first time he's letting his team go "end-to-end." That means run, gun and defensive pressure. They are led by super slick 5-9 point guard Nikko Turner (think Nate Archibald), 6-8 Brandon Pippenger (think Brian Scalabrine) and 6-foot sophomore Chris Lott, nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. Turner is a certain Division I talent and Pippenger a borderline next-level player.

    Asked if his team has hit triple digits yet, Sweeney said, "Not yet."

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Nikko Turner with a 3-pointer in Tuesday's lopsided win.

    He must have known something. Against an over-matched Canoga Park team, the Wolves exploded for 36 points in the third quarter, had 59 by halftime and 75 at the end of three. A running clock prevented them from hitting 100 in a 91-31 win.

    Brenton Muldrow, Lance Page and Lott had 11 points and Turner 10. Lott and Pippenger (nine points) each had four steals. Lott also had team-high seven rebounds.

    King was originally slated for the top division - the MaxPreps Invitational division - but was moved "down" when Lincoln (N.Y.) entered late. With Silverado (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta, Calif.) in his new division, Sweeney isn't sure the Wolves aren't in a tougher bracket.

    "That's OK," he said. "We'll find out just where we're at."

    IF IT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED: Dorsey's (Los Angeles, Calif.) 6-7 post/power forward Donald Muepo Jr.. wouldn't take no or rejection for an answer.

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Donald Muepo Jr. goes up strong for a rebound over Tyler Morris.

    Thirty seconds after getting blocked clean by 6-5 Darren Buckles, Muepo powered in a tough turnaround jumper in the key with 34 seconds left that proved to be the game winner in a 60-59 win over Foothill (Henderson, Nev.). Muepo went right over Buckles again. This time he wouldn't be stopped.

    "That hurt," Muepo said about getting blocked by Buckles the first time. "I've been blocked before but I can't remember in a clutch spot like that. The next time down I just went up stronger."

    Dorsey (7-3) will need to be much stronger Wednesday when it faces Mater Dei in pool action.

    "We'll need to play a lot better, especially defensively," Muepo said. "(Foothill) plays a lot like (Mater Dei). They move the ball, set a lot of picks and shoot well. Mater Dei is a lot bigger."

    Muepo and Kalin Barber a 6-4 senior shooting guard, led Dorsey with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Both are getting Division I looks. Greg Cox, a gritty 5-10 senior guard, led all players with 20 points for Foothill (6-4) which led most of the game.

    Dorsey took its first lead 58-57 since early in the first quarter on a 3-pointer by DeSean Frazier with 1:15 remaining. After Brannon Cresanto made a driving layup to give Foothill a 59-58 lead, Dorsey coach Kevin Gipson called timeout and set up a play for Muepo.

    "He's a tough kid," Gibson said. "He'll find a way."

    Asked what it will take to compete with Mater Dei on Wednesday, Gibpson said. "It will take our 'A' game. Check that, our double-A game." 

    PRO AT FIRST SIGHT: Sweeney said the first time he saw Leonard walk into the gym as a sophomore, "I knew he was going to the NBA. He had that kind of build and presence."

    Photo by Louis Lopez

    Brandon Pippenger helped King to a lopsided victory.

    Leonard made a huge impact in the Spurs' 95-82 season-opening win on Monday. He was the first player off Gregg Popovich's bench and had six points, six rebounds and two steals.

    "Kawhi is a very athletic individual," Popovich told the San Antonio Express. "He's got good size, good strength and he possesses great length. ... He wants to be involved. ... He's not afraid to put up a shot."

    MORE RUNNING CLOCK: The day started with two other blowouts at Cathedral City High School - host of the top two divisions - Lakeside (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) defeated host Cathedral City 80-56 and Ponderosa (Shingle Springs, Calif.) had little trouble with Santa Ana Valley 59-31.

    John Manhard had 22 points for Lakeside and Melvin Washington added 17. Isaiah Davis and Nickolas Taquin had 12 points each for the host team.

    Ponderosa, which won just two games last season, took its fifth game, utilizing a huge size advantage and 15 points from Curtis Opsahl, 13 by Trevor Hammitt and 10 from Chris Snyderr, a 6-8 sophomore who coach Andy Beal hopes will transform into former Ponderosa standout Brad Waldo, a redshirt freshman at St. Mary's College. Both had similar body types as sophomores.

    "Brad became very focused after his sophomore season," Beal said. "We're hoping the same for Chris."

    Beal was most happy how his team drove aggressively to the basket and ran the court. The Bruins take a giant leap in competition Wednesday when it plays El Camino (Oceanside, Calif.), a perennial San Diego Section power.  

    "I told the guys before the game that we're about a dozen possessions from being 7-3 rather than 4-6," Beal said. "We're going to have to take advantage of every possession against this team."

    PRE-TOURNAMENT RATINGS BY DIVISIONS: We'll start with this. The basics. You may not agree with our computer rankings but they sure are fun to talk about. So, according to that magic computer formula, here are how each of the top two divisions should shake out.

    MaxPreps Invitational Division
    1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 8-1 43.2 MP computer rating
    2. Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) 7-0 29.8
    3. Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-0 29.5
    4. Foothill (Henderson, Nev.) 6-3 23.4
    5. Dorsey (Los Angeles, Calif.) 4-3 23.1
    6. Burbank (Burbank, Calif.) 6-3 22.2
    7. Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 5-3 21.8
    8. Bishop Manogue (Reno, Nev.) 2-7 11.1 Classic Division
    1. Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) 8-1 31.3
    2. Silverado (Las Vegas, Nev.) 8-0 25.3
    3. Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta, Calif.) 5-1 24.4
    4. King (Riverside, Calif.) 7-2 23.7
    5. Rancho Cucamonga (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) 8-3 17.6
    6. Pleasant Grove (Pleasant Grove, Utah) 2-3 16.9
    7. Canoga Park (Canoga Park, Calif.) 2-12 13.8
    8. Simi Valley (Simi Valley, Calif.) 5-5 10.5