Most Viewed Stories
Inside O.C. basketball this week (1-22-13)
I'm going through with my retirement from covering boys basketball.
No hoops coverage for me this week.
But just like every boxer, I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to stay away.
Whenever you ask a boxer if he is retired for good, you never get a straight answer. (My favorite example of this happened this week when former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik retired, but then added there is only a "95 percent chance" that his retirement sticks.)
Always go with the five percent. I have a feeling he'll be back. Shane Mosley is coming back, and there's a strong chance I will be back covering O.C. boys basketball next week ... but I'm not ready to put a percentage on it though.
Welcome to the inside look at the O.C. boys basketball scene:
Defeated on the road
Mater Dei hit the road again and this time it went to Ohio for a showdown against St. Edward. Reports say the Monarchs were defeated by St. Edward, 58-44, on Monday, ending their 20-game winning streak. St. Edward is the former school of Mater Dei's Elijah Brown, so you had to know the Eagles were primed and ready. The good news for Mater Dei: no more out-of-state trips.
The countdown to Jan. 30
Circle that date on your calendar – now! That's the night of two highly anticipated league rematches: St. John Bosco at Mater Dei and El Toro at Mission Viejo. Now that's a schedule. The question: Which game will OCVarsity's Jonathan Khamis attend? He always picks the wrong game.
Golden West League showdown
There are only two undefeated teams remaining in the Golden West League: Ocean View and Loara. They will get together Wednesday night with sole possession of first place at stake. The game is at Ocean View. The Seahawks lost a nonleague game, 79-61, to Huntington Beach on Monday despite leading 57-51 going to the fourth. Look for guard Kendall Small to be out to get Ocean View back on track Wednesday.
Century League Game of the Week
This week's schedule includes a rematch between Villa Park and Foothill on Friday night at Foothill. The first time they met, Jan. 2 at Villa Park, the Spartans rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat the Knights, 58-53. It wouldn't surprise me if the Knights get revenge Friday.
More on Foothill
If the Knights shoot like they did in their Jan. 15 game against Canyon, nobody will beat them. Do you remember that performance? I think the nets at Canyon are still on fire. Foothill shot 34 of 54 (62.9 percent) from the field and made 13 of their 22 3-point shots (59 percent). That was a performance to remember. Not sure if the Knights can duplicate that, but it is a big game, anything can happen.
Big game for Tesoro
The Titans are off to a 1-3 start in the South Coast League, having lost to El Toro by 20, Aliso Niguel by five and Mission Viejo by 10. The second half of league starts Friday, and the Titans welcome Aliso Niguel to their gym. In the team's first meeting, Tanner Lancona dropped 32 points on the Wolverines, but the rest of the crew managed just 29. Tesoro led, 29-26, at halftime, but a 23-13 third quarter for Aliso Niguel helped the Wolverines take over. Lancona will need some help to pull off the upset. The game is at Tesoro on Friday night.
Every game matters
In the Freeway League, we are set up for an interesting end to the season. Entering the week, three teams (Sonora, Troy and Sunny Hills) were tied for first at 4-1. The game of the week is at Troy vs. Sunny Hills on Friday. The teams met on Dec. 20 and Troy pulled off a 68-62 victory. Also Friday, Sonora visits La Habra. The Raiders controlled the first meeting, 72-40. Based on that, we should have Troy and Sonora tied for first place after this week ....unless Sunny Hills has something to say about it.
The contest is over
There has been a lot of talk about the best student section in the county. There are some impressive groups: Mission Viejo, El Toro, Mater Dei, Sonora ... The list is long, but which student section has its own Twitter account? Servite. "The Asylum" is on Twitter at @ServiteAsylum. However, @ServiteAsylum isn't following me. Why is it following Carlos Arias? I wouldn't follow that guy anywhere.
The second unit
Last week I picked my starting five from the best players in the county: Mater Dei's Stanley Johnson, Mission Viejo's Evan Zeller, Tesoro's Tanner Lancona, Ocean View's Kendall Small and Mission Viejo's Max Redfield. This week, I'm giving you my second five. This unit will sub themselves in, beat you off the dribble, get to the bucket and take your lunch money. You don't stand a chance: Nick Hornsby (Tustin); Payton Banks (Orange Lutheran); Justin Davis (Foothill); Luke Selway (Villa Park) and Josh Armstrong (Fountain Valley).
My county top 10 vote this week
1. Mater Dei; 2. Orange Lutheran; 3. El Toro; 4. Mission Viejo; 5. JSerra; 6. Villa Park; 7. Foothill; 8. Tustin; 9. Sunny Hills; 10. Fountain Valley.