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Ndiaye, Brethren Christian tower over Servite
SANTA ANA – He still is not talking to media, so others will have to assess Mamadou Ndiaye's performance Friday.
"The best player on the court was the best player on the court," Servite coach John Morris said.
The best player, Brethren Christian's 7-foot-5 Ndiaye, scored 34 points with 26 rebounds and the Warriors defeated Servite, 50-34, in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.
Ndiaye, a senior who signed with UC Irvine, made 14 of 19 shots and blocked three shots. Stamina has been an issue for the native of Senegal since he transferred to Brethren from Stoneridge Prep of Simi Valley before his junior year. He showed his improvement in that category Friday, playing 31 minutes and not leaving the court until victory was secure.
"We've been working hard on him from the beginning," Brethren coach Jon Bahnsen said.
"His stamina has improved his game."
SLIDESHOW: OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball
Ndiaye scored 68 percent of his team's points, his scoring output equaled Servite's, and he had one more rebound than all of Servite's players combined.
Ndiaye did struggle at the free-throw line, where he was 6 for 20.
He has been shooting 50 percent from the line while averaging 27 points and 13 rebounds a game.
Ndiaye has scored more points — his high game of 45 came in a league victory over Oxford Academy last week — but Bahnsen said Friday's game might be Ndiaye's best.
"Because of the opponent, I think so," Bahnsen said. "Stat-wise, he's had better games, and he didn't shoot free throws well, obviously.
"But I can't complain about missing 14 free throws when he scores 34 and we win."
Ndiaye's guardians try to keep Ndiaye out of the spotlight as much as they can with somebody who reportedly is the tallest high school player in the nation. Brethren Christian is not one of Southern California's basketball powers, and his next school, UC Irvine, is not known for its basketball prowess.
Caleb Keller scored eight points with four steals for Brethren (19-3). Cameron Griffin scored seven with five rebounds.
Louis Juego led Servite (15-10) with 20 points including five 3-pointers. Neil Pauu had 10 rebounds for the Friars.
Brethren Christian is in first place in the Academy League at 7-0, one game ahead of St. Margaret's. Brethren plays at St. Margaret's on Tuesday.
Servite is 3-5 in the Trinity League. The Friars have a league home game Tuesday against St. John Bosco of Bellflower.
Servite made its debut in the Orange County top10 this week, after beating No. 6 Orange Lutheran last week.
The Friars also have defeated No. 3 El Toro. So, beating Servite was a victory that might be Brethren's most important since the school's 1993 team beat Chadwick in a CIF championship game.
"It's been a long time coming," Bahnsen said. "We're a school with only 250 kids, so to have this opportunity to play in the Nike Extravaganza is an awesome experience."
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