Over the course of two days and 14 games, the nation’s top high school basketball talent was on full display at the 23rd Nike Extravaganza. Held at Mater Dei High School, teams from San Diego to Chicago congregated for the annual showcase. Here, the Times High School Insider gives you top highlights and storylines from the Extravaganza’s best matchups.
Corona del Mar vs. Rolling Hills Prep
An 18-point fourth quarter Vaughn Flowers performance cemented a 70-54 victory over Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) for Rolling Hills Prep (Los Angeles), who improved to 15-6 overall. “This game was crazy for me, I had a lot of open looks and just took my shots,” Flowers (24 points) said. “After halftime they kept leaving me open so I knew I needed to keep taking those shots, and they just kept falling.”
Forward JT Tan and guard Alex Garcia added 16 points each for Rolling Hills Prep. Senior guard Kevin Kobrine (17 points) and sophomore John Humphreys led the way for Corona del Mar.
St. John Bosco vs. Los Alamitos
St. John Bosco (Bellflower) jumped out to a 15-point first half lead over Los Alamitos and blew the game open in the second half, winning by a final score of 68-31.
Joshua Adoh led all scorers with 15 points and four three-pointers. “No matter what team we play we’re going to play our hardest,” he said. “That’s us, it’s who we are, we’re Bosco.” Jacob Eyman posted 11 points and 11 rebounds for Los Alamitos, who shot just 20 percent as a team.
Colony vs. Oak Park
McDonald’s All-American nominee Riley Battin (26 points and 20 rebounds) dominated the entire game for Oak Park in a 71-48 victory against Colony (Ontario). Brothers Clark and Wes Slajchert scored 17 points each, and combined to shoot 6/13 from three-point land for Oak Park.
Junior guard Sedrick Altman scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds for Colony, while five-foot-elleven freshman Brenton Knapper added 11 points and two steals. Oak Park out-rebounded Colony by 18, and never trailed.
Capistrano Valley vs. Westchester
In perhaps the most entertaining fourth quarter of the Extravaganza, Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) and Westchester (Los Angeles) were tied at 62 with 16 seconds left. Senior guard Zellie Hudson (13 points) tipped in a missed three at the buzzer to give Westchester a 64-62 win. “Well, that was a lot of fun,” he said. “My teammates were really excited for me and I’m just happy we got the victory.”
Six-foot-one senior Daniel Ramsey (12 points) delivered a huge basket for Capo to give them a 60-59 lead with under one minute remaining. Dawson Baker poured in 19 points and scored one possession later, but a Westchester three-pointer cancelled out any edge in momentum for Capo before the final sequence. Nik Lipovic (18 points) scored 16 first half points and hit four three’s.
Santa Margarita vs. Corona Centennial
Shooting guard Max Agbonkpolo had an unstoppable 14-point third quarter and finished with 26 points for Santa Margarita, as the Eagles blew out Corona Centennial, 61-35. Outside of his red-hot third quarter, Agbonkpolo skied to complete an alley-oop off a Ryan Evans (13 points) pass, bringing the house down. “When I saw Ryan I knew he was going to throw it, so I got ready to jump and he threw a great pass.”
Senior big man and Boston University commit Jordan Guest also contributed for Santa Margarita, finishing with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Colony shot just 11 percent from the three-point line, while Santa Margarita shot 37 percent.
DJ Davis led Centennial with 11 points and two steals. Sophomore Jaylen Clark added seven points and six rebounds. While the Huskies were out-rebounded and out-shot, they won the turnover battle with nine total, whereas Santa Margarita had 16.
Villa Park vs. Orange Lutheran
Orange Lutheran (Orange) outlasted Villa Park despite losing the first and fourth quarters, mainly due to huge performances from guards Isaiah Pope (18 points) and Cade Potter (17 points). Tre Anderson also chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds.
Point guard Julien Franklin scored 13 points and dished out five assists for Villa Park. Maxx Hazely put up eight points and snatched seven rebounds. Villa Park committed five more turnovers than Orange Lutheran, but grabbed a staggering 23 offensive rebounds.
Long Beach Poly vs. Sierra Canyon
The Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) big four of Duane Washington Jr. (12 points), Scotty Pippen Jr. (12 points), Cassius Stanley (23 points) and K.J. Martin (29 points) overwhelmed Long Beach Poly, 80-60, in one of the most anticipated matchups of the Extravaganza. A Poly turnover led to an exhilarating Martin slam over two defenders late in the first quarter, which foreshadowed how the rest of the game would go.
A team that has as much athleticism as Sierra Canyon cannot be allowed to make shots, which is unfortunately exactly what happened for Poly. The Trailblazers shot a whopping 58 percent from the field, and Martin finished a perfect 12/12 with 20 rebounds. Stanley, a five-star recruit, made 11 of 20 shots and picked up an additional 10 rebounds.
Poly had four players in double figures, but shot just 35 percent from the field. Jesse Galloway (11 points), Darryl Polk Jr. (10 points), Malik Salahuddin (13 points) and Giordan Williams (15 points) all did their parts, but the Jackrabbits were no match for Sierra Canyon’s speed.
Fairfax vs. Bishop Gorman
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) traveled to Southern California and earned a gritty 55-48 victory against local basketball factory, Fairfax (Los Angeles), thanks to a big 17-point game from senior Jamal Bey. “I was just patient and didn’t force shots.” He added, “I just played my game.”
Gorman also got impressive showings from Isaiah Cottrell (8 points) and Zaon Collins (9 points). The gales shot 92 percent from the foul line, which paid dividends down the stretch. Jamal Hartwell scored 15 points in 32 minutes for Fairfax, and Ethan Anderson supplied 13, five boards and four assists. Kirk Smith controlled the paint inside with 14 points and eight rebounds.
St. Augustine vs. Whitney Young
Taking the trip to Southern California all the way from Chicago was certainly worth it for one of the top teams in Illinois, as Whitney Young handled St. Augustine (San Diego) by a final score of 74 to 56. Guards Javon Freeman and Xavier Castaneda led Whitney Young with 17 points each. Tyler Beard added 15 on 12 shots. “We had to come out and show them how we like playing in Chicago,” Freeman said.
Six-foot-six sophomore Chibuzo Agbo scored 12 points on eight shots for St. Augustine. “I felt like we definitely had a chance to win that game but we gave it away,” he said. St. Augustine stayed within six until the third quarter, when Whitney Young’s speed and athleticism began to wear them down.
Mater Dei vs. Chino Hills
In a rematch of last year’s CIF-Southern Section semifinal, Spencer Freedman-led Mater Dei beat Andre Ball-led Chino Hills in the Extravaganza nightcap, 81-63. Harrison Butler did a little bit of everything for Mater Dei, scoring 21 points, snatching 10 boards, dishing out four assists and coming away with five steals. Freedman added 20 points and Michael Wang put up 19 with six assists.
“I’m really happy with the way we played and excited with how much everyone was able to contribute,” Freedman said. “We feel like we took a big step today, playing another great team from Southern California.”
Andre Ball scored 20 points, while six-foot-nine power forward Onyeka Okongwu added 21 and 11 rebounds for Chino Hills. “Me and my brothers came in here and played our hearts out, I’m proud of my guys,” Okongwu said. “Playing in-front of this Mater Dei crowd is always tough, but we played a great game.”
Ball and Okongwu combined for 22 first-half points and Chino Hills was within four at the half, but Mater Dei’s Butler-Freedman-Wang combination proved to be too much for the Huskies to handle. To start the second half, Wang flew in from the outside and fought through a foul to acrobatically tap in a Freedman missed three. After Wang’s made and-one free throw, Mater Dei seized momentum and took control the rest of the way.