By Mitch Stephens
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - To be a true star, Demar DeRozan says, you have to excel on both ends of the court.
The Compton High standout did both in the final 11.4 seconds for his team to pull out a stellar 62-60 National Division win over Santa Rita (Tucson, Ariz.) in the arguably the best game of the night Wednesday in the 56-team, four-division MaxPreps Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines High School.
Sure, DeRozan, a strong, sleek 6-foot-7 senior headed to USC, scored a game-high 39 points including a game-winning three-point play with 11.4 seconds left.
But he said he was more pleased that he partially blocked a last-second shot beyond the 3-point line by sensational Santa Rita sophomore Terrell Stoglin, who scored 34 points and just 20 seconds earlier made a jaw-dropping 18-foot jumper over DeRozan to put his team ahead 60-59.
"That made me a lot more determined on that last drive," said DeRozan, who kept the large crowd entertained with a variety of dunks and drives. "I didn't want to settle for a jumper."
On his go-ahead bucket, DeRozan dribbled by one defender but met long 6-6 Santa Rita forward Byron Morgan, who had four blocks earlier. Along the baseline, DeRozan went high into the air, hipped Morgan, hung in the air and floated in a six-footer while being fouled.
He canned the free throw, putting Compton up 62-60, but his work wasn't done.
The 6-foot Stoglin had made a variety of shots all night but DeRozan faced him up in the backcourt. With two seconds left, Stoglin pulled up for a 3-pointer but the ball fell well short.
Santa Rita coach Jim Ferguson and Stoglin claimed DeRozan hit the talented sophomore all over the arm. It appeared there was contact.
"All ball," DeRozan said.
Said Stoglin: "It was all wrist."
Said Ferguson: "It's a shame. (Stoglin) should have been shooting three free throws to win the game."
As it turned out, it was Santa Rita's first loss of the season after 11 straight wins. The Eagles move into the losers' bracket of the tournament's top Division.
Other first-day winners in the National Division were Dominguez (Compton), Simi Valley, Campolindo (Moraga), Gahr, Campbell Hall (North Hollywood), Franklin (Seattle, Wash.) and Long Beach Jordan.
"We wanted to go the entire season undefeated," Stoglin said. "It was a dream game except for the end. We'll bounce back."
DeRozan and Stoglin were staged in quite a battle all night as both were the only players in double figures. The Compton star, ranked the fifth best senior in the country by CSTV, approached Stoglin, a polished left-hander, and gave him some props.
"He told me to keep it up," Stoglin said. "He said I could be a hell of a player and coming from him, that meant a lot. He's amazing."
Ferguson said what Stoglin did was nothing special for him. Santa Rita got the state championship game last year with Stoglin leading the way as a freshman.
"If there are five better sophomores in the country I'd like to see him," Ferguson said. "He's very special."
DeRozan agreed: "Man, he made some tough shots tonight. He's already good but he's really going to be something in a couple of years."
DeRozan, who came in averaging 29.5, was special all night. He drew ooos and ahhs throughout, especially when he drove past three defenders and sent down a one-hand tomahawk jam with 1:25 left in the third quarter to give his team a 47-45 lead.
Stoglin came back on the next possession, but under heavy duress from DeRozan fired up an air ball.
"I'm more happy with my defense than with the dunks and points," DeRozan said. "It's what I'm going to have to focus on in college."
Ferguson had hoped Santa Rita could hold DeRozan under 20 points.
"That was probably unrealistic," Ferguson said. "He made a lot of amazing shots. If we could have just held him under 30 we would have won."
That's a big if.
MORE NATIONAL DIVISION
At Torrey Pines HS
Simi Valley 82, Torrey Pines 76: In another great duel, Lorne Jackson, a 6-2 senior guard, scored 34 points as Simi Valley (11-0) outscored the host team 8-2 down the stretch to win going away.
Jackson was outscored by 6-4 Santa Clara-bound guard James Rahon, who busted loose for 38 points but Torrey Pines (8-2) came up short.
A 21-13 run in the third quarter was pivotal for the winners, who also got 21 points by Brad Lewis.
Lewis made a 3-pointer and a putback to tie the game 74-74 with just under two minutes remaining. Jackson then connected on eight straight free throws and Torrey Pines went cold.
Dominguez (Compton) 75, Sheldon (Sacramento) 48: Sheldon requested to move up to the National Division at the last minute and then paid dearly as it was ambushed by a very strong Dominguez team (8-1), which was coming off the championship of the Amare Stoudamire Classic in Florida.
Jordan Hamilton, a 6-7 guard considered one of the top juniors in the state, showed why with 26 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and five assists as the Dons rolled to a 45-19 halftime lead and never looked back.
Thurman Woods had 20 points for the winners, while teammate Myron Green added 10.
Darius Nelson, a 6-6 freshman and brother of the state's career scoring leader DeMarcus Nelson (now starting at Duke), led Sheldon with 15 points. Teammates Ramon Eaton and Marcus Jackson added 13 and 10, respectively.
Hamilton said the Dons were a little weary after traveling across country last week, then taking a two-hour drive from Compton.
"We had some trouble getting our legs underneath us early on," said Hamilton, who said his top college choices thus far are Texas, Connecticut, Syracuse, USC and Cal. "But we settled down and took care of business."
Campolindo (Moraga) 75, Arroyo Grande 58: Will Shields and Jack Trotter scored 25 points apiece as Campolindo used a 19-5 run in the fourth quarter to win going away. Shields made seven of his team's 11 3-pointers to help offset a combined 36 points from James Sanders and Jermaine Anderson.
Gahr (Cerritos) 88, Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) 69: Gahr busted open a close game by scoring 37 points in the third quarter to 16 for Desert Vista in an easy opening-round win. Casper Ware made 14 of 17 free throws and scored a game-high 27 points for the winners, who got 23 from Nasheed Wallick and a combined 28 from Karl Roby, Erwin Ware and Cameron Nettles. Michael Proctor led four Desert Vista players in double figures with 18 points. Teammate Marcus Lever added 15 before fouling out.
Franklin (Seattle, Wash.) 85, Pasadena 73: Washington's top-ranked team overcame a sluggish first half by exploding for 50 in the second half to win going away. Chris Holmes scored 27 points for the winners while Peyton Siva made all 10 of his free throws and added 20. Franklin had no answer for Keon Bell, a 6-3 senior who had 38 points.
Long Beach Jordan 61, Newark Memorial 51: Keith Davis had 24 points and Stephan Heard 12 as Long Beach Jordan went on a 23-8 run in the fourth quarter to knock off Newark Memorial, which got 13 points by Chris Jones and 12 from E.J. Farris. Newark Memorial had a 43-38 lead entering the fourth quarter before Jordan caught fire.
Campbell Hall (North Hollywood) 69, Country Day (Metairle, La.) 48: Jrue Holiday, the country's sixth best senior according to CSTV, was held to just 10 points but James Johnson, a 6-7 sophomore, had 19 points and Dallas Rutherford added 15 for the winners. Eddie Ludwig, a 6-8 junior, led Country Day with 19 points.
At La Costa Canyon HS
Sylmar 78, Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 66: Tyler Honeycutt had 19 points and Gary Ricks 16 as Sylmar fought back from a 19-10 deficit at the end of the first quarter to win going away. The winners used a 26-14 run in the third quarter to take control over Mission Prep, which got a game-high 24 points from Jerry Casey.
Eisenhower (Rialto) 72, Fremont (Los Angeles) 66: Eisenhower got a combined 45 points from David Chavarria, Kauri Black and Nicholas Carter to pull out the hard-fought victory. Tony Freeland scored 23 points, Sean Price 18 and Laron Armstead 17 for Fremont.
Bishops (La Jolla) 50, Leuzinger (Lawndale) 46: Malik Love and Corey Makiewicz scored 14 points apiece as Bishops overcame a big rally from Leuzinger, which got a team-high 13 points by Jerry Evans. Leuzinger went on a 17-6 fourth-quarter run after Bishops went on a 20-9 run in the third quarter.
Mayfair 83, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) 74: A 24-9 run in the second quarter keyed the win for Mayfair, which got a game-high 22 points by Charles Odum and 16 from Jeremy Pope, who made four 3-pointers. Chris Springer and Garrett Jefferson combined for 29 points for the winners, while Evan Sanzo-Davis had 16 for Bishop O'Dowd, while teammates Justin Brue had 14 and Nick Caplti 13.
La Mirada 82, Reseda 74: Derrick Williams had 12 baskets and made nine of 13 free throws to score 33 points, leading La Mirada to victory over Reseda, which got 32 points and six 3-pointers from Mycal Mendez. The game was tight throughout with no team holding a larger than six-point lead after any period. Mark Nichiporuk and Ryan Kelly combined for 23 points for the winners, while Ryan Watkins chipped in 16 for Reseda.
La Costa Canyon 65, Ribet Academy 52: Tony Cali scored 18 points as host La Costa Canyon took control with a strong third quarter to win going away. Kevin Scroggins led all scorers for Ribet Academy with 24 points.
Mission Hills 70, Bakersfield 58: Taylor Darby scored 33 points and Jensen Moore chipped in 15 as Mission Hills used a 17-7 run in the third quarter to win going away. Dijon Henry led Bakersfield with 21 while Ricky Wofford added 14.
At Rancho Bernardo HS
Laces (Los Angeles) 88, Monte Vista (Spring Valley) 77: Jason Beach had 25 points and Michael Butler 23 as Laces used a 30-11 run in the third quarter to wipe out a 41-36 halftime deficit and win going away. Geoff Hartman had 32 points for Monte Vista and Ryan Houser 16. Butler and Beach had four 3-pointers each as Laces made 10 3-pointers to none for Monte Vista.
James Logan (Union City) 89, Carlsbad 70: James Logan came out after halftime with a 30-8 run in the third quarter to win going away. Howie Manzo led four James Logan players in double figures with 17 points, while Isaiah Moore added 16. Taylor Cole, Michael Krak and Michael Tanael combined for 42 points for Carlsbad.
Orange Lutheran 64, Pacific Hills (West Hollywood) 63: Matt Ledbetter made all seven of his shots from beyond the 3-point arc and scored a game-high 21 points leading Orange Lutheran to the one-point win. Orange Lutheran entered the fourth quarter down 53-46. William Porter led four Pacific Hills players in double figures with 13 points. Teammate Alex Osborne added 13.
St. John Bosco 73, Coronado 54: Keith Price hit four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 25 points as Bosco steadily pulled away from the Nevada squad. William Shamburger and Gilbert Parga combined for 26 points for the winners, while Christian Hatch led Coronado with 14.
Langley (McLean, Virginia) 50, Ponderosa 48 (Shingle Springs) 48: Langley outscored Ponderosa 19-14 in the fourth quarter to win a topsy-turvy game and hand Ponderosa (9-1) its first loss. Derek Baker scored 16 and Ahmed Malik 10 for the winners, while Rhett Beal scored 16 and Steve Lackey 15 for Ponderosa, which made all 11 free throws it attempted.
Lexington (S.C.) 63, James Logan 60: Kevin Sayles had 16 points and Devanta Taylor added 14 as Lexington pulled out an overtime victory over Logan, playing its second game of the day. Moore led Logan with 21 points and Howie Manzano added 11.
At Francis Parker High
Granite Hills 70, Serra 67: Kevin Flagg had 26 points and Justin Dunford 21 as Granite Hills pulled out an overtime thriller over Serra, which got 29 points from Chris Coleman.
Francis Parker 87, Temescal Canyon 53: Alex Gipsman drilled seven 3-pointers and scored 30 points as host Francis Parker rolled over Temescal Canyon.
St. Joseph 64, La Jolla 59: Ryan Smalley led four St. Joseph players in double figures with 17 points and his team exploded for 42 second-half points in the win over La Jolla, which got 19 from point guard Spencer Moyer.
Rancho Buena Vista 77, Laces 56: Terrell Mabry had 23 points and Rancho Buena Vista outscored Laces 27-18 in the third quarter to pull out the victory. Jason Brach led Laces with 15 points.