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March 23, 2014

Top seeds advance

Bishop O'Dowd's All-American Ivan Raab had 26 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks to lead the Dragons (28-4) to the state finals for the first time in three years after a 70-60 win over Capital Christian (28-4) for the open division crown. O'Dowd will do battle with three-time defending state champion Mater Dei (34-0 after beating Westchester for the SoCal title, 59-54) and fellow All-American Stanley Johnson. Michigan-bound D.J. Wilson had a game-high 29 points to lead the Cougars.

In the Div. I championship game, Freedom's Elliott Smith hit a 28-foot bank shot at the buzzer to force an extra period, but No. 1-ranked Monte Vista (31-1), who got a combined 26 points from guards Grant Jackson and Rishi Satoor, outscored the Falcons (26-7) 10-2 in overtime to finally take the title, 59-51. Monte Vista now faces Centennial-Corona, an 80-73 winner over top-seeded Chino Hills in the SoCal Div. I final, next Friday night at Sleep Train for the state championship.

Folsom (32-2) methodically dismantled Consumes Oaks (16-18) 68-51 for the Div. II championship behind Jordan Ford's 20 points. It was the school's second regional title and first since 1985, and they now go on to face St. John Bosco (a 72-55 winner over Compton) for the Div. II state championship next Saturday at Sleep Train Arena.
Consumnes Oaks has three top-ranked juniors but it was senior Alex Van Dyke who led the way with 14 points in defeat.

Alex Van Dyke, Consumnes Oaks - The gridiron may be the first priority for the UCLA-bound wide receiver, but Van Dyke led the Wolfpack in scoring (12 points in the second-half) and, despite five turnovers, he shot 6-of-9 from the line and a perfect 4-of-4 from the field.

Jaaron Stallworth, Consumnes Oaks - The extremely quick Stallworth was out of control at times and had seven turnovers, but he has the savvy to get in the paint often. He scored 11 points showing nice range knocking down 3-of-4 beyond the arc. The six-foot junior will be one of the region's top guards next season.

L.J. Reed, Consumnes Oaks - Finishing with 13 points and eight boards, Reed came out of the gate bulling his way to the basket going strictly to his left, but like the rest of the Wolfpack, he didn't finish on the right note. In spite of a disappointing second-half (just three points in the last two quarters), the 6-foot-3 junior lefty will also be a top senior in the class of 2015.

Jordan Ford, Folsom - To some observers, Ford may not look the part, but the six-foot sophomore plays at times beyond his years. He deftly handled the superior quickness of the Wolfpack guards with his own brand of craftiness while running the Folsom offense and spearheading their pressure defense while managing to make some perimeter shots, including three treys, and displaying some acrobatic moves around the baseline.

Elliott Smith, Freedom - The unsigned 6-foot-6 small forward did not hurt his stock with a game-high 19 points along with 14 rebounds. Long and lean, Smith displayed the handles to go coast-to-coast on two occasions for scores and he had an impressive block on the defensive end.

Trevor John, Monte Vista - The top-25 guard bound for Cal-Poly was hounded all four quarters by Freedom defenders and didn't have his best game from the perimeter, but John showed his penchant for the clutch with a go-ahead trey late in the fourth quarter before Smith's heroics.

Spencer Rust, Monte Vista - Despite going just 1-of-8 from the field, the 6-foot-9 Rust does understands his role with the Mustangs. That said, he utilized his height to roam the paint on defense to the tune of nine boards and four well-timed blocked shots. Probably headed to an Ivy league school, Rust will make a valuable interior presence.

Justice Mosley, Capital Christian - This 5-foot-11 combo guard is simply fearless with the ball and strong for his size. Mosley was in compete attack mode against O'Dowd's formative guards and although he can get out of control at times, Mosley's tenacity and desire to get to the rim can't be denied. Once he gets more consistent from the perimeter he will become a nightmare for defenses.

D.J. Wilson, Capital Christian - The region's No. 3 prospect is a perimeter player with the ability to run the floor and finish above the rim. Headed to Michigan, Wilson is suited for an uptempo style that emphasizes perimeter as he showed plenty of ability to stroke the long ball and run the floor for some high-flying dunks on his way to a game-high 29 points and 10 boards. He will need to improve defensively (but he did block four shots), but any player that doubles his scoring average in a game of this magnitude should be able to find his way to some playing time at the next level.

Paris Austin, Bishop O'Dowd - This year's edition of Bishop O'Dowd reminds one of the girls program that won the open division title last season with star power in the post and a three-headed monster in the backcourt. One of those heads belongs to the region's No. 5 junior prospect Paris Austin. Austin has blazing quickness and can do what he wants on the court from blasting by the opposition on the dribble-drive, to spotting up for a knock down jumper anywhere on the floor, to throwing the perfectly timed pass to a teammate for a score. He did it all in a 16-point first half on 6-of-8 shooting.

Ivan Raab, Bishop O'Dowd - The 6-foot-10 All-American showed the way with 26 points on a number of effortlessly smooth moves around the basket with both hands and some highlight dunks that left the crowd swooning. The highly-skilled junior also added 13 boards and six blocks to the O'Dowd cause.


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