Los Angeles Preps: Clay Kasdorf

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

February, 6, 2012
  1. The CIF basketball playoffs don’t start for another week, but some of the top teams in the Southern Section and City Section got a taste of the postseason in the Nike Extravaganza at Meter Dei High School and at the Alemany Showcase this weekend. Alemany played Price in a matchup of top-20 teams in the ESPN Los Angeles rankings. Alemany won, 82-76, and Warriors coach Tray Meeks said it was important for his players to compete against an unfamiliar opponent. The Mission League has quality programs in Crespi, Harvard-Westlake and Loyola, but facing a team as talented as Price is good preparation for playoffs, Meeks said. “No disrespect to Price, but this is not a different level,” he said. “The Mission League is ranked No. 1 in the state for a reason. That’s because it’s tough night in, night out. This is just another tough game. It’s different because we don’t know one another. For the Mission League, it’s different because we all know one another. That’s where the Mission League is different. We all know one another, whereas we get a Price, we’re adjusting throughout the game, and that makes it a tough challenge. That makes it more like a playoff game.” Alemany point guard Max Guercy rallied his team in the second half. He hit three 3-pointers in the span of two minutes and helped Alemany erase a nine-point deficit. His first 3-pointer beat the buzzer to end the third quarter. In the first half, Price bottled up Guercy and held him to six points. “They were trying to get the ball out of his hands,” Meeks said. “They were doing a good job of doing that. He just adjusted and that three got him going." Alemany leads the Mission League standings with a 9-1 record. The Warriors have two more league games, beginning tonight against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Loyola is in second place in the Mission League with an 8-3 record. The Cubs have one more league game, on Wednesday against St. Francis.
  2. Woodland Hills Taft made a playoff statement with a 73-57 win over Loyola in the Nike Extravaganza in another matchup of top-20 teams in the ESPN LA rankings. Anthony January, who had to wait until December to play for Taft after transferring from Compton, scored 26 points and has been integral in Taft’s 12-game winning streak. Brandon Perry scored 13 points for Taft, but it was his defense against high-scoring Julian Harrell, who is averaging a team-high 16 points, that stood out. He held Harrell to 10 points. Taft wraps up its West Valley League schedule this week against Birmingham and Chatsworth and will wait to see where it is seeded in the City Section Division I playoffs.

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Canyon wins 12th game in a row

January, 20, 2012

CANYON COUNTRY -- The Canyon football team is known for its 46-game winning streak in the 1980s. The Canyon cross country teams have won a number of national titles and CIF championships.

The boys' basketball team is on the verge of setting some school records and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Canyon boys won their 12th game in a row, 68-34, over Golden Valley in a Foothill League game on Friday night at Canyon High School. The Cowboys are off to their best start in school history at 19-1. They are one win away from matching the longest winning streak in school history.

The 1978 Canyon boys' basketball team won 13 games in a row. That team went 22-4 and reached the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

Canyon is the top-ranked team in the CIF-SS Division 2AA and, for the time being, the favorite to win the Division 2AA championship. It would be the first CIF basketball championship in Canyon’s history.

Known as a football school, Canyon is quickly becoming the basketball juggernaut of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Canyon coach Chad Phillips said his team is playing unselfishly and gelling like a family.

“It has to be,” Phillips said. “Everybody has a role. You gotta have role players to play around the star players.”

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L.A. North: Boys' basketball top 10

January, 16, 2012
  1. Crespi (17-1): Crespi has won five games in a row, including all four of its Mission League games. The Celts beat Alemany, 60-55, on Wednesday night. London Perrantes scored 15 points against Alemany. He averaged 14.5 points per game in wins over Alemany and Chaminade and notched 11 assists against the Eagles on Friday night.
  2. Woodland Hills Taft (14-3): Taft has won four games in a row, including its first two West Valley League games and a convincing 83-53 win over Grant in the Fairfax City tournament. Taft has won 71 league games in a row, dating to Jan. 12, 2005. The winning streak almost came to an end against El Camino Real on Wednesday night. Taft narrowly escaped, 45-44.
  3. Alemany (14-3): The Warriors lost to Crespi, 60-55, and their seven-game winning streak ended. But their week started on a winning note: Alemany beat St. Francis, 79-69, in a Mission League game. Marqueze Coleman had a big week, averaging 22 points and 8.5 rebounds per game against Crespi and St. Francis.
  4. Westlake (16-6): The Warriors pulled off a stunner, beating Calabasas, 51-50, in a Marmonte League game on Wednesday night. Westlake erased a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit behind the hot shooting of Grant Lozoya. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Westlake has won two games in a row and eight of its last nine.
  5. Providence Burbank (16-3): Providence has won eight games in a row and improved to 4-0 in the Liberty League with wins over Glendale Adventist and Holy Martyrs Armenian last week. Providence will get tested tonight in the MLK Shootout against Morningside at Price High School.
  6. Royal (14-5): The Highlanders have won five games in a row including an impressive 62-51 win over Westlake last week. Scott Woods has been a monster in the middle for Royal. He scored 22 points, had 10 rebounds and blocked four shots against Westlake.
  7. Calabasas (16-3): The Coyotes had a tough loss, 51-50, to Westlake last week. But Calabasas bounced back with a 78-46 win over Thousand Oaks on Friday night. Calabasas has won four of its past five games.
  8. Canyon (17-1): The Cowboys have a 10-game winning streak, including a 61-47 over Foothill League rival Valencia. Clay Kasdorf is averaging 26 points in the first two league games.
  9. Harvard-Westlake (10-6): It was a bad week for the Wolverines. They lost two games, including a heartbreaker, 44-42, to Chaminade in a Mission League game. Harvard-Westlake is 3-3 in its past six games.
  10. El Camino Real (10-6): The Conquistadores took Taft to the wire, losing 45-44 on their home court last week. El Camino Real beat Reseda Cleveland soundly, 73-46, on Friday night. Julian Richardson scored a game-high 17 points against Taft and was instrumental in controlling the grinding pace of the game.

The next 10, in alphabetical order: Crescenta Valley, La Canada, Oak Park, Oaks Christian, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Renaissance Academy, Valencia, Ventura, Village Christian.

Chaminade, Canyon win basketball tournaments

December, 30, 2011
The Chaminade boys basketball team won its own tournament. The Canyon boys basketball team beat Ventura at the Ventura tournament.

Alemany is in the championship game of the Modesto Christian tournament. Crespi lost in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic.

Here’s a look at the games from Thursday night and some of the tournament games being played tonight:

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L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

December, 5, 2011
  1. The Foothill League is starting the basketball season strong. The Valencia and Canyon boys' teams won tournaments over the weekend. Valencia won the Simi Valley tournament and beat highly touted El Camino Real, 88-77, in the championship game. Canyon won the Burbank Tournament ousting a talented Renaissance Academy of La Canada team, 53-50, in the title game. Valencia’s Troy Hammel earned Simi Valley tournament MVP by scoring 18 points against El Camino. Canyon’s Clay Kasdorf was the MVP of the Burbank Tournament and scored 15 points in the game against Renaissance Academy.
  2. The Canyon girls' basketball team is off to an impressive start as well. Canyon won the Nike Central Valley tournament against some of the top teams from the CIF Central Section. Canyon beat Lynwood, 33-30, in the championship game and knocked off Clovis West, 59-57, in the semifinals. Jaya Schultz earned tournament MVP. She scored 17 points against Clovis West and had eight points against Lynwood in the defensive tussle of a championship game.
  3. The Calabasas boys' basketball team won the Campbell Hall tournament in a matchup of two of the top young guards in the San Fernando Valley. Calabasas won the championship game, 72-57, behind 22 points and eight assists from sophomore Jeremy Lieberman. Campbell Hall’s freshman phenom Aaron Holiday scored 26 points, 15 in the first half, and was 10-of-22 from the field.
  4. The Thousand Oaks boys' basketball team won the Nordhoff Tournament, beating Buena, 69-25, in the championship game. Eric Greene scored 13 points in the championship game and earned tournament MVP. Dakota Pierce scored a game-high 20 points for Thousand Oaks against Buena. Tanner Fanjoy added 18 points and was selected with Pierce to the all-tournament team.
  5. Harvard-Westlake’s Cami Chapus gutted out a ninth-place finish in the girls seeded race at the Footlocker Cross Country West Region meet and earned a spot in the national finals meet next week. Battling the after-effects of bronchitis, Chapus completed the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 34 seconds at Mt. San Antonio College. By finishing in the top 10 at the West Region meet, she earned a spot in the nationals meet at Balboa Park in San Diego on Dec. 10.