This past weekend the hoop All-Star game season came to an end at the local and national levels. The San Diego County Coaches Association All-Star Game at Parker was last Friday and hours before back east in Brookyln the Jordan Brand Classic was taking place before a national TV audience. Also last weekend the Los Angeles City vs. Southern Section All-Star Game (Collision XVI) was also played at Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, CA).
The Metro conference ran away early with the inaugural Grossmont vs. Metro Conference All-Star game as they led 75-29 at the half before winning 132-83. Unlike the Grossmont Conference, North County Conference and San Diego County All-Star games this one featured a DJ playing music throughout the game.
East County and North County both had their annual basketball senior all-star games this weekend. The 16th Annual East County All-Star Basketball game was Friday night at Grossmont College, the first time the game was not held at a high school since 2008 when Cuyamaca College hosted the game from 1999-08. The North County game was held at Palomar College but did not have a 3-point or Slam Dunk contest.
The McDonald’s All-American Game nominations were announced today and St. Augustine’s Trey Kell ’14 was the lone San Diego nominee, boy or girl. Nearly 1,000 players from 44 states and the District of Columbia were nominated for the 2014 game to be held at Chicago’s United Center on April 2.
The best moments from all four days of the Under Armour Holiday Classic revealed players of all shapes and sizes playing at the highest level of prep hoops.
Bishop O’Dowd has been a regular in the National Division and likely considers the Torrey Pines gym their second home. But the Dragons placement in the top division has never been charity as they always bring a highly ranked team that has D1 talent.
The Trojans of High Point, North Carolina are the defending state champions (Independent 3A), have won five state titles and are loaded with senior talent. The Christian Academy will play a national schedule all season long and was ranked # 22 in the USA Today national rankings.
Loyola is the oldest high school in Southern California having been established in 1865. The all-boys school is located two miles west of downtown Los Angeles and is the most experienced team in the National Division returning 11 players from their state semifinal team.
The Patrick Celtics return to Torrey Pines after having won the National Division in 2009 as St. Patrick. The school was the oldest parochial school in New Jersey having opened in 1868. But because of the economy and declining enrollment in the previous five years the Archdiocese of Newark decided to close the school, the enrollment in 2012 before it closed was 151 students.
Westtown heads much further west to Torrey Pines and brings an international flair to the National Division. Six of the 12 players are from outside the country. One player is from Brooklyn, NY and two are from New Jersey.
Teams from all four corners of the country will assemble along the interstate 5 corridor on the day after Christmas to play in the 24th annual Under Armour Holiday Classic in five divisions. Teams from the northwest (Wasilla, AK), southwest (Honolulu, HI), northeast (Brookyln, NY) and southeast (Ludowici, GA) will each make the longest trips from each corner of the country. And there is one team from Canada, Semaihmoo (British Columbia).
Christian is tucked away in the far reaches of East County, the last “metro” freeway stop along interstate 8 freeway. Many around the section may not be paying much attention to the football team or athletic program. But the small private Christian school with 388 students continues to prove that they can win against larger private schools and even the bigger public schools.
Sweetwater head coach Brian Hay turned a struggling Mar Vista program around and looked to be content at the Imperial Beach school until Sweetwater came knocking and Hay couldn’t resist the challenge of bringing back the rich tradition to the National City school. Hay knew they always had some talent but just needed the right coaching to bring the Red Devils back to the promise land.
In the ten years of Mission Hills football only once have the Grizzlies missed the playoffs, in 2005. Mission Hills has reached the semifinals every year since 2006 and this year Mission Hills routed Oceanside 30-6 and was ranked # 1 in the county after the victory. But all of that was white noise to the focused Grizzlies who wanted to take home their first CIF title.
This CIF title game will go down as arguably the greatest finish in football championship history. # 1 seed San Pasqual and nine-time CIF champion Cathedral needing triple overtime to decide the champion at Qualcomm Stadium which ended in a 98-yard interception return.
The Saints season in some ways was already complete, a victory over Holy Bowl archrival Cathedral 19-7 in the regular season. But CIF hardware tends to rise above all else and St. Augustine was able to raise their fourth CIF trophy after a runaway 49-0 shutout over Mission Bay at Qualcomm Stadium.
November is time for the fall season playoffs as water polo and football crown champions. Fake extra points, punts and multiple blocked punts show the excitement of special team plays.
With a team made up of players who play other sports year around the Holtville Vikings (11-2) were able to avenge an earlier loss to Crawford (12-1) and easily defeat the Colts 42-6.
Grid-hoopster Royce Freeman broke the section football career records in rushing yards, touchdowns and points scored. But it is Freeman’s performance on the field that is most amazing. And Freeman can throw the ball and punt the ball; sounds a lot like Helix’s Reggie Bush ’03. Except Royce Freeman has the size to be an every down back.