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March 17, 2013In the inaugural NorCal Open Division championship game, Mitty's Aaron Gordon set the NorCal record for rebounds in a game with 22 as Mitty beat Sheldon 70-50. Also see how Pleasant Grove won its first regional crown and a record setting matchup between College Park and Dublin.
It is a good thing Aaron Gordon only has one game left in his prep career. Because we are running out of superlatives. The 5-star uncommitted senior posted another big night of 29 points and 22 rebounds as Mitty beat Sheldon 70-50. Gordon also defended Washington signee Darin Johnson throughout the night and held the 4-star shooting guard to six points and no made field goals. Standing at 6-foot-8, Gordon is a versatile forward who Mitty head coach Tim Kennedy called , "an ultimate competitor." He can guard any position on the floor at the high school level and was a difference maker on the glass with seven offensive rebounds.
He has narrowed his list to Washington, Arizona, Kentucky and Oregon and will announce his decision at the McDonald's All-American game.
Gordon wasn't the only Monarch who had a good night as Mitty put forth its best defensive game of the year according to Kennedy in holding Sheldon to 50 points on 30 percent shooting including 3-for-16 from three point range. Sheldon was just 8-for-36 through three quarters. Connor Peterson had 11 points and five rebounds as an emerging 2014 recruit and Brandon Farrell went for 10 points and seven rebounds.
Sheldon was paced by 13 points from Antonio Lewis to go with nine rebounds and three steals. Dakarai Allen had eight points, seven rebounds and six turnovers before fouling after. Following a great shooting and offensive start against Salesian on Tuesday, Sheldon never seemed comfortable against the Monarchs. They trailed 7-0 to start the game and were down double digits in the second quarter before the game got away from them in the third. The Huskies will go down as one of the top teams to come out of the Sacramento area.
Mitty will next play in the Open Division state finals against fellow two-time state champion Mater Dei and its junior superstar Stanley Johnson.
Pleasant Grove captures first title
In the lead for much of the game, Pleasant Grove beat Deer Valley 73-60 in the first regional title game appearance for both programs. Pleasant Grove withstood numerous runs from Deer Valley thanks in part to 27-for-28 shooting from the free throw line. Deer Valley finished 2-for-11 from the line, but stayed in the game with eight made three pointers. Pleasant Grove will move on to play Santa Monica on Friday night.
Both teams boasted good senior guards with the Eagles winning the backcourt. Unsigned 2013 point guard Malik Thames had 17 points and five rebounds while 2013 2-star guard Matt Hayes had 20 points and five rebounds. Thames is a good finisher, has good command over his dribble and is comfortable directing the offense while staying aggressive. Thames will be a nice spring pick-up for a quality West Coast mid-major. He was able to play off the ball some with Hayes taking on the ball handling duties at stages. Hayes' calling card is his shooting range. He went 2-for-9 from beyond the arc, but gets in good balance on his shot and looks comfortable pulling up from mid-range. He will be a good addition for a Division II school.
Deer Valley's Kendall Smith had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists despite playing on a bum ankle. Smith is a 6-foot-3 point guard who has very good vision and competes in the rebounding game. His offensive was limited and he will have to become a more consistent shooter heading to UNLV, but he has been the catalyst for Deer Valley the past two years.
Inside, there was a fun matchup with Kentucky bound power forward Marcus Lee and Pleasant Grove sophomore Marquese Chriss. Lee had 10 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks and Chriss turned in 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Lee has an elite combination of size/length/athleticism and got his hands on a lot of balls inside despite not having a big offensive impact. Chriss competed well inside in not shying away from attacking the rim. Chriss has a very high ceiling and should remain among the top 2015 prospects in the region.
College Park wins record setting finals
Peter Schoemann had missed his first nine threes, but got a kind bounce off the front rim with seven seconds left to propel College Park to a 93-90 overtime win over Dublin for the Falcons' first NorCal title. The shot ended the furious comeback attempt for Dublin, which trailed by double digits most of the night and by seven points with less than a minute left. Being a predominantly jump shooting team, College Park was able to tame the Sleep Train Arena curse in knocking down 10 threes to offset a 64-38 rebounding edge for Dublin.
College Park was led by 23 points, four rebounds and three assists from junior Sebastian Flores on 9-for-11 shooting. He got in the lane and showed he can finish on a straight drive and also off a spin to go with a nice touch on his mid-range shot. At 6-foot-2, this is a junior to watch next weekend and into the club season.
Senior Mikey Eggleton had 22 points with five rebounds and two blocks as a solid point guard. He did have seven turnovers, but has the basketball smarts to be a nice Division II point guard. He went 5-for-14 from the field, but did great work from the line in the fourth quarter in finishing 10-for-13.
Dublin's JoJo McGlaston scored a Division II NorCal regional record 35 points on 13-for-24 shooting. His 13 made field goals tied the Division II mark. He also added 14 rebounds and three steals with six turnovers. McGlaston is an explosive wing who was able to get inside the defense, finish at the rim and get to the free throw line. He was better going to the basket than from the outside (1-for-7 from three point range). He struggled some handling in traffic, but was the best player on the floor in a losing effort. He is a really good spring find for Utah State.
Eric Nielsen tied the Division II NorCal regional record with 17 rebounds to go with 12 points and seven blocks. He is an under control shot blocker who can cover space going side to side and also challenged shots on the perimeter. He is a finesse offensive player who would need to improve his catching ability. While he can find a home as a projectable big man at the lower levels, his future looks to be as a pitcher in baseball.
Gaels' senior Devin Moss played all 36 minutes and consistently drove the lane with good toughness. He had 18 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Team records set were most points ever in a NorCal Regional game regardless of division (183) and most points scored by a Division II team (93 points) by College Park.