Video: Highlights of Evan Mobley
Nation's No. 1 recruit from Class of 2020 helps Rancho Christian to big victory.
They packed the Athletic Center at Damien in La Verne (Calif.) to watch the nation's No. 1 senior recruit Evan Mobley
, the return to the court of Ziaire Williams
and to see if No. 2 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)
could gain a measure of revenge Monday night in The Classic at Damien boys basketball tournament.
They also gathered to see who would win the championship of the Platinum Division.
In the end, it was Rancho Christian (Temecula)
senior guard Dominick Harris
who sank two free throws in the final seconds of overtime to finish with a game-high 30 points, leading the Eagles (14-2) to a thrilling 85-81 victory.
It was the second straight victory for Rancho Christian over Sierra Canyon, last year handing the Trailblazers' their only defeat against a California team.
Williams, a transfer from Notre Dame (Sherman Oakls), playing in his first game for Sierra Canyon didn't disappoint, scoring a team-high 28 points, including a bucket in the final seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime. The nation's No. 5 senior recruit made four three-pointers.
Kentucky-bound Brandon Boston, Jr.
added 26 for the Trailblazers and Terren Frank
chipped in 12. The two-time defending California Open division champions (14-1) trailed most of the fourth quarter and overtime but kept fighting back, while suffering its first defeat. The Trailblazers were called for 27 fouls to eight for Rancho Christian.
Mobley, a 6-11 post headed to USC, was a big contributor down low with 16 points and 15 rebounds, but besides Harris, he got lots of help from Jaden Byers
with 19 points and 13 by Jayce Catchings
Down 78-71 in overtime, Sierra Canyon made up ground in a hurry with a 7-1 run, keyed by a three-pointer from Williams and a dunk-and-one by Boston to close to 79-78. But Byers made two free throws to put Rancho in control.
Mobley scored eight quick points in the first quarter that finished tied at 16-16, but was quiet the rest of the half as Sierra Canyon, behind Boston, took control in the second quarter. He scored 11 of his first-half 15 points in the second as the Trailblazers took a 39-33 halftime lead.
Last season, Rancho Christian handed Sierra Canyon a 61-58 defeat late in the regular season. But Sierra Canyon would go on to win its second straight CIF State Open Division title en route to a 32-3 season.