Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Etiwanda soars past Glendora
By Blair Angulo
GLENDORA -- Jordan McLaughlin has grown a couple of inches since last year. His arms are more defined. He's not faster but, rather, quicker. He can dunk with two hands now.
Jordan McLaughlin has emerged as a top-flight PG and one of Cali's top recruits.
And the scary thing is, the sophomore figures to keep growing, keep adding muscle, keep sharpening his tools.
McLaughlin put on a versatile display Tuesday night, scoring a game-high 21 points in Etiwanda's 56-35 victory against Glendora in the Baseline League opener. He sank six 3-pointers, including three in a row that set the tone early. Later, the 5-foot-11 point guard put an exclamation point on it with a thunderous breakaway two-handed slam.
"Right now he's being overlooked," Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner said. "People aren't aware of him, people don't know about him, but it's early. I'm sure once his name gets out there by the end of this year, I think people will be a lot more familiar with his name."
Etiwanda improved to 16-1, its only loss coming more than five weeks ago against highly regarded La Verne Lutheran. The Eagles used their suffocating defense to fluster Glendora (12-5), holding the home team to only five points in an ugly second quarter.
Glendora junior Nick Colletta, one of the region's top perimeter shooters, did not make a field goal, getting his five points at the charity stripe. Colletta missed seven weeks of full-contact play earlier this season, but longtime coach Mike Leduc didn't want to use that as an excuse.
"Tonight we didn't show up," Leduc said. "When that happens, we're going to have a tough time."
Sam Flemming added 11 points for the Eagles, who are favored to claim their sixth consecutive league title. Glendora gets another shot at the defending champs on Jan. 27 at Etiwanda.
McLaughlin opened the game by nailing three long-range jump shots. Brandon Townes and Dominique Walker also hit from behind the arc, forcing the Tartans to extend their zone scheme and freeing up the paint. From there, McLaughlin captained a deliberate tempo.
"He did have some minutes where he had to be the floor general as a freshman," Kleckner said. "I think it was great for his development. Now in his sophomore year he just looks so natural at that position."
McLaughlin also was a beneficiary of the NBA lockout when former Etiwanda and UCLA standout Darren Collison, now the starting point guard for the Indiana Pacers, used his old gym to work on his game. McLaughlin took some pointers on foot speed and refined his jumper.
"I've grown a lot," McLaughlin said with a smirk, "and I hope to grow more."
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.