Fryer: Johnson a force at both ends of court


A look at Orange County boys basketball:

•Mater Dei star junior Stanley Johnson not only is an exceptional offensive player, he is very good at the defensive end of the court, too. He guarded Tustin's high-scoring Nick Hornsby, who is averaging 17 points a game, and held Hornsby to five baskets on 21 shots in the championship game of the Dick's Sporting Goods Orange Holiday Classic on Saturday. Being the resilient scorer he is, Hornsby still got his 17 points, thanks in part to his 6-for-6 output at the free-throw line.

•The county scoring leader going into this week is Chris DaSilva of University. DaSilva, a 6-foot-4 senior, is averaging 26.5 points a game. Evan Zeller of Mission Viejo is next, at 24.6 points a game.

•Canyon senior guard JoJo Ballestero has assumed point guard duties for the Comanches while his brother Anthony, a junior, recovers from a broken arm. That means fewer 3-point shots for the unlimited-range JoJo, but JoJo still leads the county in 3-point baskets with 57. Max Thurman of Sunny Hills is second in the county in 3-point goals with 53.

•Rebounding and assists statistics can be more difficult to acquire. But what we have found is that Beckman junior Charles Wright is the county rebounding leader at 14.4 a game. Brethren Christian sophomore Brandon Bryson is the county assists leader at 9.9 a game.

•Sunny Hills is 176 for 435 on 3-point shots, for 40 percent. Three-pointers account for 51 percent of all shots made by Sunny Hills.

•Corona del Mar's junior varsity team was among the 12 teams in last week's Estancia Coast Classic tournament. The Sea Kings JVs did fine, going 1-2 with a victory over Buena Park and losses of nine points to Corona and of eight points to Foothill.

•The Foothill team that played last week in the Estancia Coast Classic – going 4-0 in the tournament and winning the Silver Division championship – was not the Foothill team that will be on the court later this month. All-Century League forward Steven Browne has been in and out of the lineup because of injuries. Knights coach Rusty Van Cleave said standout sophomore Eric Patton should be healed enough from a broken right hand to be able to play on or around Jan. 21.

•Tesoro went 3-1 in the Cathedral Catholic Holiday Classic last week. The Titans lost on the final day to the host school in San Diego. Cathedral Catholic was 30-4 last year and is No. 16 in the state rankings.

•The Nike Extravaganza is Feb. 1 and 2 at Mater Dei. The first day includes some boys games, including Saddleback Valley Christian, coached by former Mater Dei star Tom Lewis, vs. Santa Margarita; Brethren Christian, led by 7-foot-5 center Mamadou Ndiaye, vs. Servite; and Mater Dei vs. Eisenhower of Rialto. The second day, a Saturday, includes Fairfax of Los Angeles vs. JSerra; Orange Lutheran vs. Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas; state No. 7 De La Salle of Concord vs. Foothill; state No. 1 Long Beach Poly vs. state No. 5 St. John Bosco of Bellflower; and state No. 8 Etiwanda vs. state No. 12 Loyola of Los Angeles.

•Former Santa Margarita coach Jerry De Busk has been scouting and consulting for Mater Dei this season.

•League play starts or resumes in some county leagues this week. Wednesday's top games include these three in the Trinity League: Orange Lutheran at St. John Bosco; Mater Dei at JSerra; and Santa Margarita vs. Servite in the loud Servite gym. Also Wednesday is Western at Cypress in an Empire League game; and Foothill at Villa Park in a Century League game that should attract a big, noisy crowd. Friday's schedule features St. John Bosco at JSerra, and Huntington Beach at Fountain Valley in a crucial Sunset League game.

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