Video: Chino Hills outscores Redondo Union for MaxPreps Holiday Classic titleHuskies solidify hold on nation's top ranking in Palm Springs.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. –
There were plenty of smiles on the faces of Chino Hills (Calif.)
players after beating Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
96-80 in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic championship game Wednesday night.
But the overriding feeling for the Huskies was one of relief after successfully capping an eight-game run against teams from eight different states at two of the nation's top holiday tournaments.
"These guys have been on the road for two weeks," Chino Hills head coach Steve Baik said. "Our guys were a little bit like zombies out there and it was a bad combination because Redondo was so hungry and came in with a great gameplan."
Thankfully for the No. 1-ranked Huskies (13-0), they have arguably the nation's best player to pick them up.
Tournament MVP and future UCLA Bruin
saved his best for the final, tallying 33 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds against a game Redondo Union squad.
"That's our leader," little brother and junior standout LiAngelo Ball
said. "When he gets going, the whole team gets going. He runs the team and we are going to run with him."
Redondo Union (10-3) stayed within striking distance for most of the contest and entered the final eight minutes down by just seven points at 70-63. However, turnovers on the Sea Hawks' first two possessions of the fourth quarter keyed an 11-2 Chino Hills run that put things out of reach.
LiAngelo Ball added 21 points for the Huskies while the third Ball brother – freshman LaMelo
– chipped in with 16 points and five assists.
Chino Hills also got a big lift Wednesday – and throughout the tournament – from 6-foot-4 junior manchild Elizjah Scott
, who contributed 16 points and nine rebounds.
Redondo Union was led by senior guard Leland Green
with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Chino Hills will get a much-needed 10-day layoff before facing Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.)
on Jan. 9 at the Sierra Canyon Super Showcase. Big games with High Point Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.)
, Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)
and MaxPreps Holiday Classic semifinalist Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
still loom in the regular season.
"We've logged some miles and these guys need to go home and get some rest," Baik said.Third Place Game: Jonesboro (Ga.) 65, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 64
A controversial block/charge call with 0.2 second to go sent Jonesboro back home to Georgia on a winning note.
With the Cardinals clinging to a one-point lead in the final seconds, Bishop Gorman found Gonzaga-bound big man Zach Collins
under the basket. The 6-foot-10 post converted but made contact in the process and was whistled for an offensive foul.
Junior star M.J. Walker Jr.
poured in 38 points for Jonesboro and delivered a pair of thunderous dunks
that delighted the fans at Rancho Mirage High School.
Despite the last-second disappointment, Collins was spectacular for Gorman, piling up 29 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.Other Division Championship GamesDesign Pro Division Rancho Mirage (Calif.)
74, Grants (N.M.)
64Goody's Café DivisionDowney (Calif.)
51, Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
34iHoop Gear DivisionBeckman (Irvine, Calif.)
71, Santiago (Corona, Calif.)
63Gatorade DivisionSt. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
57, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
50Ford Dealers DivisionDamien (La Verne, Calif.)
74, Villa Park (Calif.)
60Nike DivisionSanta Monica (Calif.)
53, Mercer Island (Wash.)