Fryer on basketball: League play brings outstanding matchups


The basketball season is divided into three sub-seasons: tournament season, league season, playoff season.

League season begins this week with some outstanding matchups.

Orange Lutheran (12-2), No. 4 in the Orange County top 10, plays host to No. 1 Mater Dei (13-2) on Tuesday in a Trinity League opener. Friday’s schedule includes two Trinty games: No. 7 JSerra (12-2) at No. 2 Santa Margarita (9-5) and No. 8 Servite (11-4) at Mater Dei.

No. 10 Edison (12-3) is at No. 3 Los Alamitos (12-3) in a Sunset League opener Friday. Corona del Mar (11-4) is at Woodbridge (10-5) in a Pacific Coast League opener Friday.

Perhaps the two best teams in the Sea View League, Capistrano Valley (11-5) and Tesoro (8-7), play a league opener Friday at Tesoro.

Jump stops around Orange County boys basketball:

• Los Alamitos rolled into the championship game of the Under Armour tournament in Escondido, but got beat badly in the championship game. The Griffins lost to Roosevelt of Eastvale, 64-37, in the final. Los Alamitos coach Eddie Courtemarche said seven players were suspended from playing in that game for breaking team rules.

• Orangewood Academy (1-7) is among the county teams that will get better now that the 30-day sit-out period for some transfers has expired. Eligible this week for the Spartans are a pair of sophomore forwards: 6-foot-5 Uriel Batista and 6-7 Erik Grajales. Orangewood coach Ansar Al Ameene said of Grajales: “He has huge hands and is very powerful around the basket.”

• Buena Park (11-3) could have its best team in years. The Coyotes could be good for a couple of more years, too. Freshman point guard Cameron Dashiell is averaging 13 points and six assists a game and junior shooting guard Rocky Watkins is averaging 15 points a game.

• Coyotes coach Aaron Riekenberg said Dashiell is an energetic and committed player. “He’s just all over the place defensively, and nobody works more in the gym,” Riekenberg said. “He’s always asking for extra time in the gym so he can practice shooting.”

Check out the OCVarsity Hoops show below where Fryer and Jonathan Khamis discuss the preseason breakout stars of the season.

• JSerra senior guard Alec Hickman, this week’s O.C. boys basketball player of the week, is benefitting from the presence of 6-7 junior Sebastian Much, who transferred from Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. “Sebastian’s made Alec’s life easier,” JSerra coach Joedy Gardner said, “because every other team is double-teaming Much most of the time.”

• JSerra plays at Orangewood in a nonleague game Wednesday. Other nonleague games that day include No. 6 Foothill (11-3) at Tustin (6-8), El Toro (12-4) at Trabuco Hills (9-6), Cypress (8-4) at No. 5 Villa Park (10-4), and Northwood (11-5) at Huntington Beach (7-8).

• Corona del Mar plays at Newport Harbor (14-2) today. The game will be the first Corona del Mar game for point guard Robert Cuevas, who transferred from Mater Dei. Cuevas observed the 30-day sit-period for transfers who did not make the valid change of residence required by CIF rules that would have made him immediately athletically eligible.

• Another good nonleague matchup Friday: Crean Lutheran (9-3) at Foothill.

• Orange Lutheran (12-2) won the championship of the Challege in Mesa, Ariz. Zac Jervis, a 6-5 senior, was tournament MVP. He scored 34 points with 16 rebounds in the Lancers’ 70-63 win over Desert Vista of Phoenix in the championship game. Lutheran’s KaVaughn Scott was named to the all-tournament team.

• Saddleback Valley Christian junior guard Trey Smith is averaging 23 points a game. He scored 105 points over four games in last week’s Orange Holiday Classic.

• Capistrano Valley Christian (11-4) won the championship of the Elks Holiday Classic at Century. San Clemente advanced to the championship game of the Estancia Coast Classic in which the Tritons lost to Clovis West.

• Capistrano Valley went 3-1 in its division of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic. Dawson Baker and Wolfgang Schultz were all-tournament selections for the Cougars.

• Woodbridge (10-5) won the championship of the Las Vegas Prep Championship. The Warriors defeated El Toro, 44-42, in the championship game. Woodbridge senior forward Vik Ghadi was tournament MVP, and teammates Anthony Coloma and C.J. Lomboy were all-tournament selections.

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