|OCVarsity Boys Hoops: Holiday tournaments|
Steve Fryer and Jonathan Khamis travel to Mater Dei to preview the upcoming holiday tournaments. Interviews with Stanley Johnson, Elijah Brown, and Gary McKnight. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com.
|Mission Viejo surges past Canyon in 2nd half|
The Diablos Evan Zeller scored a team-high 24 points in a 87-65 victory over Canyon. Mission Viejo remains undefeated. Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com.
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Fryer on basketball: 'Tis the season for tournaments
A look at Orange County basketball:
•As usual, the post-Christmas Day schedule is dominated by tournaments. The 48th Orange Holiday Classic, featuring Mater Dei and Tustin, runs Wednesday through Saturday at Chapman University, the Elks Century Classic is on those same days at Century, the Estancia Coast Classic is at Estancia and the Katella Klassic, absent from the schedule the past few years, returns at Katella.
•It was a good week for the county's Trinity League teams. Mater Dei won the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Orange Lutheran won the Windward Tournament in Los Angeles, Santa Margarita went 3-0 against Inland Empire teams and Servite won the I-15 Tournament in the Inland Empire.
•Orange Lutheran's Payton Banks broke the school's career rebounding record. He collected 11 rebounds Saturday in the Lancers' victory over Palisades of Pacific Palisades in the championship game of the Windward Tournament to give the senior 628 career rebounds, breaking the school record set by Wayne Stark in 1978.
•Mater Dei junior forward Stanley Johnson was the most valuable player at the Jerry Tarkanian Classic tournament in Las Vegas. He scored 23 points with 13 rebounds in the Monarchs' 76-60 triumph over host school Bishop Gorman in the championship game Saturday. Johnson scored 78 points over four tournament games.
•Foothill handed Tustin its first loss of the season Saturday. The Knights beat the Tillers, 58-50, in a nonleague game at Foothill. Justin Davis scored 30 points for Foothill.
•In the most recent state rankings by CalHiSports.com, compiled before the conclusion of last week's tournaments, Mater Dei was at No. 4 and Mission Viejo was at No. 17. Mater Dei was No. 17 in ESPN's national rankings.
•South teams won 11 of the games played over the two days of the JCTees.com North/South Challenge at El Toro.
Mission Viejo senior Evan Zeller is averaging 25 points a game, compared to his 17 points average last year when he was All-Orange County third team. "I'm taking good shots and getting my teammates involved," Zeller said. "For us to win, not only does my game have to be good, but my teammates' game has to be good, too."
•Brea Olinda coach Jeff Sink said the Wildcats' 65-42 victory over Woodbridge in the North/South Challenge Saturday was a typical Brea victory. "We have to win by playing harder than the other team," Sink said. "When we maintain focus, we're hard to beat."
•CIF-Southern Section polls resume Jan. 7 and will be published that day at ocvarsity.com
A couple of Orange County leagues began league play last week. Canyon and Foothill are off to 2-0 starts in the seven-team Century League. Buena Park, Sonora and Troy won their Freeway League openers.
•A small photo in a tournament program led to the incorrect conclusion that the Mater Dei varsity boys basketball team has 13 coaches. The Monarchs varsity has five varsity coaches. Mater Dei has 13 coaches among the school's six boys basketball teams.
•The Coast View Conference is a group of 10 south-county public schools that are divided into the Sea View and South Coast leagues, with different school memberships in different sports. League/sport membership changes every two years, with the changes made based upon teams' success in their sports. For boys basketball this year, the Sea View League has Dana Hills, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, San Juan Hills and Trabuco Hills. The South Coast League has Aliso Niguel, Capistrano Valley, El Toro, Mission Viejo and Tesoro.
•Jacob Short, a junior who has been one of Capistrano Valley's better players this month, did not play in the Cougars' victory over Brethren Christian at the North/South Challenge because of a sprained ankle.