Los Angeles Preps: Darius Butler

Inland league boys' previews

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
9:23
PM PT
BASELINE LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Etiwanda @ Glendora; Upland @ Los Osos; Alta Loma @ Rancho Cucamonga.

Last year’s finish: Etiwanda (9-1); Glendora (6-4); Upland (6-4); Los Osos (5-5); Rancho Cucamonga (4-6); Alta Loma (0-10).

Players to watch: Jordan McLaughlin (Etiwanda), 5-11, So., G; Sheldon Blackwell (Etiwanda), 6-4, Jr., F; Brandon Townes (Etiwanda), 6-2, Sr., G; Sam Flemming (Etiwanda), 6-0, Sr., F; Nick Colletta (Glendora), 6-5, Jr., F; Kyle Gordon (Glendora), 6-4, Sr., G; Myles Pearson (Upland), 5-10, Sr., G; Ferrell Marshall (Upland), 6-0, Sr., G; Malcolm Drumwright (Rancho Cucamonga), 6-1, Jr., G; Victor Joseph (Rancho Cucmamonga), 6-1, So., G; Adom Jacko (Alta Loma), 6-6, Sr., F; Jonathan Solomon (Los Osos), 6-3, Sr., F.

Predicted order of finish: Etiwanda, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Los Osos, Alta Loma.

MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Beaumont @ Citrus Hill; Hemet @ West Valley; Tahquitz @ San Jacinto.

Last year’s finish: Citrus Hill (10-0); San Jacinto (8-2); Beaumont (5-5); Tahquitz (4-6); West Valley (2-8); Hemet (1-9).

Players to watch: Anthony Rounds (Citrus Hill), 6-7, Sr., F; Ralph Myles (Citrus Hill), 5-0, Sr., G; Dejon Brown (Beaumont), 6-2, Sr., G.; Andrew Walker (Beaumont), Jr.; Kris Acevedo (Hemet), 6-0, Sr., G; P.J. Murrieta (San Jacinto), 5-10, So., G; Roosevelt Adams (West Valley), 6-4, Sr., F; Robert Edwards (West Valley), 6-4, Jr., F; David Walker (Tahquitz), 6-1, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Citrus Hill, Beaumont, San Jacinto, West Valley, Hemet, Tahquitz.

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I.E.: Five things from the weekend

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
3:51
PM PT
1. The Etiwanda boys’ basketball team had a performance to remember Friday night in the championship game of the Holiday Hardwood Classic. Or maybe it was just a night to forget for tournament host Oaks Christian. The Lions shot just 5-for-46 from the field for a minuscule 10.1 percent success rate in the 60-28 loss in their own gym. They didn’t convert a field goal in the second half until just 30 seconds remained. On the other end of the floor, Etiwanda sophomore point guard Jordan McLaughlin was averaging a point a minute while on the floor, finishing with a team-high 24. Etiwanda (14-1) is next scheduled to play L.A. Crenshaw in a one-day showcase Saturday night at Eisenhower High.

2. Murrieta Valley senior sharp-shooter Reid Shackelford continues his amazing season. He set a school record with eight 3-point baskets in Friday’s championship game of the Mayor’s Division at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. Shackelford finished with 31 points in the 80-55 victory against Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth. He’s averaging 19.1 points this season after averaging 3.6 as a junior. Darius Butler contributed 24 points for the Nighthawks and was named the tournament MVP. It was the third tournament title for Murrieta Valley (12-1), which is scheduled to host Redlands in a nonleague game Wednesday.

3. Elsinore is the only team to beat Murrieta Valley this season and the Tigers knocked off the area’s other top program Friday night, beating Vista Murrieta, 63-54, in the final of the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout. E.J. Twyman, perhaps the Inland Empire’s best player, scored 35 points and was part of a defensive effort that forced 19 turnovers. Twyman scored 17 consecutive points for Elsinore (12-2) to start the second half, helping the Tigers stretch a one-point lead to 14 entering the final quarter. Elsinore hosts L.A. Cathedral in a nonleague game Tuesday.

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Montclair defends title at Atascadero tournament

December, 30, 2011
12/30/11
2:12
PM PT
The Montclair boys' basketball team continued its record start to the season Thursday with a 60-57 victory in the championship game of the Atascadero tournament.

For the second consecutive season, the Cavaliers (13-0) beat the tournament hosts by three points in the final.

Atascadero guard Rob Berwick had a good look at the basket with about 10 seconds remaining, but his three-point attempt went off the rim, according to this report in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Montclair senior guard Devyn Sampson scored a season-high 24 points and contributed 13 rebounds en route to winning tournament MVP honors. Back-court mate Kevin Fregoso had 12 points and seven assists and was named to the all-tournament first team.

At the Holiday Hardwood Classic at Oaks Christian HS:

Behind a career-high 18 points from senior guard Dominique Walker, the Etiwanda boys’ basketball team advanced to tonight’s championship game in Westlake Village.

The Eagles (13-1) will meet tournament host Oaks Christian at 8:30 p.m.

Etiwanda took a 14-7 lead after the opening quarter against Santa Monica in the semifinals, stretched it to 11 by the end of three and ultimately advanced with a 56-52 victory. Etiwanda sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin contributed 12 points, only the third time this season has hasn’t led the team in scoring.

Oaks Christian (10-2) is led by senior point guard Chass Bryan (16.3 ppg) and junior guard Jackson Miller (11.7), setting the stage for what should be an interesting back-court matchup.

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I.E.: Boys' basketball Top 10

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
6:37
PM PT
With the boys' basketball season a week under way, some teams have already proved they're a force to be reckoned with, while a few others have started a step slow. Here's a look at the teams and players to watch in the coming months, and where you can see them play.

1. J.W. North, 4-0

The Huskies return their top two scorers from last season’s 19-11 team. Aaron Peck, a 6-4 senior forward, was an all-Division 2A selection after averaging a team-high 17.5 points and nine rebounds. He forms a dangerous trio up front with 6-5 junior forwards Marcus Baugh (10.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Dorian Butler (7.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg). Rancho Verde transfer DeShon Taylor, a sophomore guard, more than shores up the back court.

2. Etiwanda, 3-1

The Eagles graduated their top five scorers from last season’s team that advanced to the Division 1AA semifinals but should regroup well behind their next superstar, sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin. The 5-11 ball handler scored 20 points Saturday night in a 72-61 loss to LaVerne Lutheran in the Rose City Classic championship game in Pasadena. Etiwanda will also count on 6-4 junior forward Sheldon Blackwell and 6-3 senior guard Dominique Walker.

3. Murrieta Valley, 5-0

The Nighthawks graduated their top two scorers from a team that finished 24-4 last season but appear to have filled the gaps in a hurray, evident by their 58-54 victory last weekend against Rancho Verde in the final of the Big Daddy tournament at Citrus Hill High. Darius Butler, a 6-3 senior forward, and Reid Shackelford, a 5-11 senior guard, appear willing and able to step into scoring roles. Butler is averaging 21 points through the first five games after averaging 8.7 last season, and Shackelford has bumped his scoring average up from 3.6 last season to 18.8. Jackson Helms, a 6-7 senior forward, is also rounding into one of the region’s better big men.

4. Rancho Verde, 3-1

Jordan Grace, a 6-2 senior guard, is a returning Division I-AA selection. He’ll team up nicely with 6-foot senior guard Kendall Schmidt, who transferred from Woodcrest Christian after averaging 25 points a game last season. Sophomore guards Jalen Hall and Tre Nottingham and 6-3 junior forward Lance Jones give the Mustangs additional depth, while 6-6 newcomer Khalil Fuller, the brother of Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller, will push to join the rotation.

5. Colony, 3-1

The Titans return their two best players from last season’s team, which finished 20-10, including 11-1 in the Mt. Baldy League, and advanced to the Division 2AA quarterfinals. Miles Poullard, a 6-2 senior guard, and Everett Turner, a 6-foot junior guard, were all-Division 2AA selections last season. With no player taller than 6-4 on the roster, the Titans will need to maintain an up-tempo pace to be successful.

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