The 2017 Nike Extravaganza featured the shattering of the individual score record, a game unfinished until finally being settled in the third round of overtime and the ultimate downfall of No. 1 nationally ranked Chino Hills’ 60-game winning streak, just for starters.
In what was characterized as possibly the best Nike Extravaganza in its 22-year history, hundreds upon hundreds of eager fans piled into the Meruelo Athletic Center to watch history in the making.
Here, the Times High School Insider gives you a rundown of the premier high school basketball showcase.
Oak Hill Academy vs. Foothills Christian:
The Oak Hill Warriors (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) defeated Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) with a 86-58 victory. In a showcase of athleticism and dominance, Oak Hill wore down Foothills by pushing the tempo and blocking shots. For the Warriors, 6’2 guard Lindell Wigginton poured in 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Jaylen Hands of Foothills individuality torched the Oak Hill defense, scoring 34 points.
Village Christian vs. Mater Dei:
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) took on Village Christian (Los Angeles) in the final Friday game, and emerged victorious by a score of 74-42. The 7-foot-2-inch center Bol Bol led the way for Mater Dei with 19 points along with 9 rebounds, while Village Christian was guided by Jalen Riley who finished with 10 points. Spencer Freedman also chipped in for the victorious Monarchs, scoring 12 points.
“We really have been playing well on the defensive end, and the key is to continue that and offensively to work as a unit, by moving the ball and getting good shots,” Freedman said.
Dos Pueblos v Jserra:
Led by the 6-foot-11-inch center Joel Mensah, the JSerra Lions (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) defeated the Dos Pueblos Chargers (Goleta, Calif.), 73-51, in the first game of the Saturday morning session. Mensah grabbed 7 boards and scored 21 points, completely taking advantage of the smaller Dos Pueblos defenders.
“I shot pretty well today and also tried to hit the boards,” he said.
Diego Ritker of Dos Pueblos scored 14 points, and tried to push his team’s pace.
“We did our best to push the ball, but couldn’t get out to a fast start like we wanted to,” Ritker said.
St. John Bosco vs. Capo Valley
The St. John Bosco Braves rallied for a 81-75 win after three rounds of overtime and 8 lead changes between the two. The Braves’ Makani Whiteside put up 30 points throughout the game, with the next closest scorer being the Cougars’ Nic Lipovic with 19 points.
Both teams missed several opportunities to solidify their lead, hesitating on many open shots. Along with this, both teams faltered when confronted with free throws, as the Braves only made 32% of their total free throws and the Cougars only made 52%.
Los Alamitos vs. Villa Park
The Los Alamitos Griffins ended the morning session with a bang as Jacob Eyman brought in 25 points out of the total 54 points the Griffins put up against the Spartans in their 54-48 win. The Spartans’ Julien Franklin held his own, putting up 23 points.
Unfortunately for Franklin however, the closest scorer to him on his team put up less than half of his own total, with 11 points.
Centennial vs. Los Altos
The Centennial Huskies started off the evening session with a confident 83-53 victory against the Los Altos Conquerors. UCLA signee Jalen Hill led the huskies into their 30-point lead with 21 points and two assists.
The energy Centennial brought onto the court was unrivaled, as the quadron of Hill, Legend Stamps, Isom Butler and freshman standout Jalen Clark dominated the court.
Lucas, an unexpected leader from Los Altos kept the Conquerors somewhat together as he scored 13 points himself. Though, This differs from his season average of 27.5 per game. The Huskies defense played a hand in this dip in scoring.
Fairfax vs. Santa Margarita
Right from the tip, it was extremely apparent that the size and length of Santa Margarita (Santa Margarita, Calif.) would matchup well against Fairfax (Los Angeles). After an even first half of play, the Eagles of Margarita began to wear Fairfax out with a sudden urgency to push the tempo. Santa Margarita took the win, 59-51, and Adrease Jackson along with Jake Kyman were integral parts in that for the Eagles. Jackson put in 11 points, overwhelming the bigs of Fairfax, and Kyman poured in 13 by knocking down several mid range shots.
Long Beach Poly vs. Orange Lutheran
In the third game of the extravaganza’s Saturday night session, Long Beach Poly immediately punched Orange Lutheran in the mouth, starting the game off on a 9-2 run. Poly dominated in the paint as well as on the perimeter, however what really turned this contest into a blowout was the battle for 50/50 balls. Lutheran was out hustled, and additionally had too many careless turnovers. Long Beach Poly turned this game into a blowout, with the final score, 72-49. No. 20 of Long Beach Poly, Jeremiah Sadler, led all scorers with 26 points. For Orange Lutheran, No. 21 Isaiah Pope added 10 points.
Sierra Canyon vs. Bishop Gorman
As the night heated up, Sierra Canyon (No. 2 in California) took on Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman(No. 5 in Nevada) in a 98-72 victory. What was expected to be a close, tight game evolved into more of a showcase for Sierra Canyon’s Marvin Bagley III, who set a tournament record at most points scored individually, putting up a massive 43 points.
Mater Dei vs. St. Augustine
In the second to last game of the night, the Mater Dei Monarchs defended themselves successfully against the St. Augustine Saints in their home court after a quick first quarter that saw a 5-point lead. The Saints defense wasn’t enough to keep up with Mater Dei’s dominant shooting from Bol Bol and Justice Sueing, who put up 26 points and 20 points respectively.
“They played really well but inside Bol was able to hold it down and we were able to take control of a lot of rebounds. Of course we could’ve done better but it was good,” said Mater Dei’s Spencer Freedman.
St. Augustine’s top scorers were T. Cherry and O. Taylor, scoring 24 points and 15 points respectively.
“We had played them before at Mission Viejo and knew what kind of game to expect … it was a whole other level of intensity playing at the Nike Extravaganza,” said Taylor.
Oak Hill Academy vs. Chino Hills
The most highly anticipated matchup of this year’s Nike Extravaganza, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) against Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.), certainly lived up to the hype. Entering Saturday night, Chino Hills was viewed as the No. 1 team in the country and had a remarkable 60-game winning streak going for themselves.
However, this extravaganza finale would prove to be the ultimate test for Chino, going up against the athletic Oak Hill Warriors. Chino Hills came out of the gates firing on all cylinders but Oak Hill quickly responded and kept the game close throughout the first half and into the third quarter. For every insane trick shot LaMelo Ball completed, Oak Hill had a response.
Responses for the Warriors mainly came in the forms of guard Lindell Wigginton and Forward Billy Preston. Wigginton nailed 4 huge three-point shots, and scored 35 points to give his team a chance. Preston played extremely physical against LiAngelo Ball in the paint, and stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points to go along with 21 rebounds.
On the other side, Chino Hills sophomore guard LaMelo Ball backed up his reputation of being one of the best young prospects in the country, pouring in 36 points and snatching 9 rebounds. Melo’s older brother, senior forward LiAngelo, struggled from the field but did score 23 points.
The main difference in this game would turn out to be shot selection, which Oak Hill prevailed with. LiAngelo shot just 8 of 35, which put his team in tough positions at times. Oak Hill outscored Chino 27 to 21 in the third quarter, and then 28 to 19 in the fourth, which gave the Warriors the upset with a 96-91 final.
Oak Hill’s Preston emphatically stated what he believed his team accomplished Saturday night, saying, “we let everybody know who the real hill is.”