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March 30, 2014

South sweeps North

Behind all-American Stanley Johnson's 25 points and eight assists, the Mater Dei Monarchs (35-0) cruised past Bishop O'Dowd (28-5) to cap off an undefeated season for their second consecutive Open Division title (and fourth in a row overall), 71-61. Paris Austin led the Dragons with 23 points and their own all-American, Ivan Raab, added 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Tyler Dorsey had 24 points, Daniel Hamilton added 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Vance Jackson chipped in 17 points and 17 rebounds as St. John Bosco (23-11) held off Folsom (32-3) to earn the school's first state title in the Div. II final with a 63-54 win. Sophomore guard Jordan Ford led Folsom with 20 points.

In the boys Div. IV final, Stephen Thompson scored 20 points and younger brother Ethan, a freshman, added 14 as Bishop Montgomery sprinted past Moreau Catholic in record-setting fashion with a convincing 85-44 win for the Knights third state championship.

Justin Bibbins, Bishop Montgomery - The Long Beach State signee, and only senior on either squad, certainly made his last high school a good one as the rat-quick Bibbins was the consummate point guard setting the pace by pushing the rock and penetrating the Moreau defense almost at will for the Knights. At 5-foot-9 and barely 140 pounds, Bibbins wasn't afraid to mix it up in the middle for six rebounds, three of them offensive and two of those in one sequence.

Stephen Thompson, Bishop Montgmery - The 6-foot-3 Thompson is one well-rounded player. He used his lanky frame to totally disrupt Moreau's offense to the tune of three steals and a blocked shot. On offense, Thompson's ranginess serves him well as he can stretch out and get to the rim in effortless fashion in either direction and he knocks down shots from the perimeter or from medium range. The son of former Crenshaw/Syracuse star Stevie Thompson, the smooth guard can certainly handle the point guard spot as he is always on the attack with his head up and eyes forward looking for open teammates. Thompson holds offers from a multitude of schools (Vanderbilt, Arizona State, and Gonzaga, to name a few) but more offers are certainly forthcoming.

Oscar Frayer, Moreau Catholic - The nationally-recognized Frayer hardly had a good showing outside of an impressive swoop to the hoop for a dunk in the first half, but highlights were rare for all of the Mariners. Leading Moreau with 10 points and three blocked shots, the 6-foot-6 sophomore has superior leaping ability, but he must get more aggressive on the glass as he collected just six boards for the game.

Jordan Ford, Folsom - The heady sophomore was on his game in the first half against the much-heralded Braves as he cleverly strung together floaters, jumpers, and drives for 15 first-half points. Just as importantly, his ability to quarterback the Folsom offense meant just four turnovers for the Bulldogs. He struggled with the length of St. John Bosco in the second-half, but still put forth a gutsy performance for a team-high 20 points

Colin Russell, Folsom - The 6-foot-8 junior is effective in the post with sound footwork and a nice spin move off of the right shoulder and finishing with his left. Russell held his own in the paint against St. John Bosco's talented front court before foul trouble kept him off the floor and Folsom vulnerable in the middle.

Daniel Hamilton, St.John Bosco - At 6-foot-8 with point guard skills, Hamilton tends to stall an offense with plenty of one-on-one play and he over dribbles frequently, but the future Conneticut Husky can change a game instantly with skills ranging from using his considerable reach to deflect a pass in the lane on defense, to finishing after filling the lane on the break at the other end. He tallied 22 points and 13 boards for the night.

Tyler Dorsey, St. John Bosco - Ultra-quick at 6-foot-4, Dorsey plays a bit more within the flow of the offense than Hamilton. The Arizona commit rebounds the ball well from the guard spot and plays solid defense as evidenced by some key sequences in the second half where he grabbed critical offensive boards in addition to limiting Ford to a single point in the period. Dorsey, a junior rated as the No. 7 prospect in the country, added seven boards, shot 8-of-11 from the line, and scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

Vance Jackson, St. John Bosco - Playing in the shadow of his much-ballyhooed teammates, the 6-foot-8 sophomore showed a nice shooting touch on the perimeter, he can handle the ball well, and Jackson rotates nicely on the defensive side as he did for an impressive block in the third quarter. The classic small forward at the next level given his skill set, Jackson rebounds the ball well too as his game-high 17 boards will attest, and he will make quite the one-two punch with Dorsey next season for St. John Bosco.

Michael Cage, Jr., Mater Dei - Son of former NBA player Michael Cage, the 6-foot-10 sophomore displayed a soft shooting touch from 15-feet. Despite his youth, Cage doesn't hurt his team with youthful mistakes. He also had four dunks off of feeds from teammates, two after running the length of the floor on the fast-break.

Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei - The Arizona-bound forward runs the point for Mater Dei although he will most certainly play small forward at the next level. The No. 3 senior in America, Johnson tends to rely on the 20-25 foot shot more than necessary, but he when he utilizes that quick first step off the dribble, especially going to his right, there isn't much that can prevent him from getting to the rim and good things happen, as evidenced not only by his scoring, but eight assists as well. The 6-foot-7 Johnson is a supreme athlete who uses good footwork defensively and he aggressively plays the passing lane, which leads to numerous opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Paris Austin, Bishop O'Dowd - Slashing to the bucket, via floater or the trey, Austin scored in a variety of ways to keep the Dragons close. Austin plays at furious pace and he can get out of control, but he will most definitely be one of the top senior guards in the state next season.

Ivan Raab, Bishop O'Dowd - The No. 2 junior in the country was bottled up inside and frustrated by the Monarchs for mostof the game, but did manage a nice sequence in the first quarter as he showcased his ability to run the floor for an easy dunk after blocking a shot on the other end. The 6-foot-10 Raab will need to add some bulk to deal with the constant harassment that is life in the paint, but he did show some ball-handling abilities in the final stanza as O'Dowd placed him at the point guard spot in order to get him more touches and he promptly went straight to the basket.


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