Los Angeles Preps: Dillon Van Der Wal

LA North: Oaks Christian 66, Buckley 48

March, 5, 2011
ANAHEIM -- Blair Holliday looked toward his Westlake Village Oaks Christian High teammates during the first half of Saturday's Southern Section boys' basketball championship game and put three fingers in the air after another one of his 3-pointers found nothing but the bottom of the net.

The senior guard, as they say, was feeling it.

At times, it seemed as if he could not miss.

Holliday connected on four three-pointers in first quarter alone against Sherman Oaks Buckley, had five from beyond the arc by halftime and finished with career-high 26 points for the Lions in a 66-48 Division 4A victory at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“Blair was pretty average today,'' Oaks Christian coach Andre Chevalier jokingly said. “He led us to a title today, he stepped when we needed him the most.''

The fact Holliday played particularly well might come as a surprise to some considering he is thought to be a football players first, which best explains his gridiron scholarship to play at Duke next year.

Nevertheless, he scored 12 points in the first quarter to help top-seeded Oaks Christian (24-7) take a 11-point lead. Holliday scored seven straight points in the second quarter and the Lions ended up taking a 32-11 lead at the break.

“During warm-ups, I wasn't hitting my shots, I was a little worried,'' Holliday said. “After my first shot went in, then the second, I started feeling good. I play my best, I think, on the big stage.''

(Read full post)

LA North: Football recruits

February, 2, 2011
Steve Dillon from Palmdale and Antwaun Woods from Woodland Hills Taft are going to have some stiff competition on the defensive line at USC. Greg Townsend Jr., the son of former NFL defensive lineman Greg Townsend, and Christian Heyward from Point Loma in San Diego also committed to USC today. Dillon van der Wal had a last-minute change of heart and switched his verbal commitment from Arizona State to Vanderbilt.


Steven Manfro, running back, Valencia


Patrick Carroll, OT, St. Francis


Steve Dillon, defensive end, Palmdale

Antwaun Woods, DT, Woodland Hills Taft


Dillon van der Wal, defensive end, Oaks Christian

Washingtion State

TJ Poloai, DT, Burbank

ESPNLA top 20 boys' basketball rankings

January, 25, 2011
There are no significant changes at the top of the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 boys' basketball rankings this week. A shakeup toward the bottom half of the top 10, however, was in order after one team was dealt a surprising setback.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that a pair of programs are making their first appearance in the rankings following the exits of Murrieta Valley and Los Angeles Fairfax, a pair of schools that could be back in the mix sooner rather than later.

Some other teams to keep a close eye on are Aliso Niguel, Compton and La Verne Damien, along with Pasadena, Ventura and Los Angeles Washington. A couple of quality victories over the next couple of days figure to go a long way.

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (18-0): Winning Moore League games by an average of 42 points. Are you kidding me? Running the table appears to be entirely possible.

2. (2) Etiwanda (20-0): Jordan Daniels doesn't receive enough credit. All of that, however, could end up changing if the senior point guard keeps the Eagles flying high.

3. (3) Mater Dei (18-2): There are no easy games in the tough Trinity League. St. John Bosco looms on Wednesday followed by a showdown with Orange Lutheran on Friday.

4. (4) Centennial (16-3): Big VIII League games against Riverside King on Tuesday evening and Riverside Poly on Thursday night figure to offer little, or no, resistance.

5. (5) Taft (15-2): Kevin Johnson has been focused on the task at hand recently. And make no mistake, when the senior is motivated, the Toreadors are seemingly unstoppable.

6. (7) Westchester (18-5): With a showdown against rival Fairfax on Thursday, perhaps the Comets are primed for an upset loss Wednesday against Hamilton. Perhaps not.

7. (8) Canyon (19-2): Chris Anderson might be a tad bit undersized. He is, after all, 5-foot-7. Thing is, no one plays a bigger role tor the Comanches than the senior point guard.

8. (9) Harvard-Westlake (17-2): Damiene Cain and Zena Edosomwan are a potent one-two punch down in the post and they work the high-low game to near perfection.

9. (10) Mission Viejo (22-0): At 6-10, Issac Neilson is proving to be a force on both ends of the floor. Aliso Niguel will attempt to stop the BYU-bound senior on Friday night.

10. (6) Orange Lutheran (16-5): Suffered a setback with loss to Cezar Guerrero and St. John Bosco. Now, it is time to see how the Lancers respond to some adversity.

(Read full post)

1. Oaks Christian (12-2) – Oaks Christian won the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship, 29-28, over Westlake in the championship game. Oaks Christian loses a ton of senior skill players, including receiver Blair Holliday to Duke and defensive end Dillon Van Der Wal to Arizona State. Running back/defensive back Ishmael Adams, receiver Jordan Payton and linebacker Carlos Mendoza are only a couple of players who will be seniors next season.

2. Alemany (12-1) – In its first tour through the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs, Alemany made it to the semifinals, losing to eventual champion Servite, 28-21. Senior quarterback Vernon Adams led the team in almost every offensive category. He threw for 2,901 yards and 27 touchdowns. He rushed for 896 yards and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. He led Alemany in passing yards, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He will be a tough one to replace next season.

3. Westlake (12-2) – The Westlake football team lost only two games by a combined two points. The first loss came against St. Bonaventure, 32-31, in double overtime. The second loss came against Oaks Christian in the Northern Division championship. Westlake loses some key players on offense to graduation. Quarterback Nick Isham, running back Tavior Mowry and receiver Nelson Spruce are all seniors. The offense will be most likely be in the hands of sophomore quarterback Justin Moore and sophomore running back Dashon Hunt. Moore and Hunt also saw considerable playing time at defensive back.

4. St. Bonaventure (11-2) – St. Bonaventure lost to Westlake, 37-27, in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs. Linebacker Cody Kurz and defensive back Tanner Souza anchored a stingy St. Bonaventure defense that posted three shutouts and held eight opponents to 17 points or less. Kurz and Souza are seniors. The offense has three key players returning. Quarterback Marc Evans, running back Shaun Wick and receiver Jeremy Sanchez are juniors.

5. Paraclete (13-1) – Paraclete won the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division championship, beating Sierra Canyon, 14-7, in the title game. Paraclete lost its opening night game, then rattled off 13 wins in a row. The Paraclete running game should be in good hands, so to speak. Ryan Davis is a junior and rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown in the East Valley Division championship game. His brother, Roosevelt Davis, is a senior and gained 53 yards on 11 carries in addition to picking off a pass on defense against Sierra Canyon.

Paraclete had two sophomores, Travion Boykins and Uriah Trailer, who made significant contributions this season.

(Read full post)

LA North: Game of the week: Oaks Christian vs. St. Bonaventure

September, 16, 2010
Oaks Christian's 6-foot-7 tight end/defensive end Dillon Van Der Wal is not expected to play in his team’s Friday night Marmonte League opener against St. Bonaventure in a matchup of ESPN Los Angeles.com top 25 teams at Ventura High School.

Van Der Wal injured his leg in Oaks Christian’s season opener against Alemany on Sept. 3. Coach Bill Redell said Van Der Wal did not injure his knee, but it will take about another week for his leg to heal. Redell added he won’t need to make many adjustments on offense with Van Der Wal out of the mix.

“It doesn’t really change it,” Redell said. “It probably hurts us more defensively than offensively.”

Oaks Christian, ranked 22nd in the ESPN LA.com poll, lost to Alemany, 20-17, in its opening night game. It was a game that could have gone either way. Alemany kicker Martin Meza made an 18-yard, last-second field goal to win the game. The Lions did not play last weekend and will have had two weeks to prepare for the game against St. Bonaventure.

St. Bonaventure, the No. 16 team in the ESPN LA.com poll, beat Long Beach Poly, 32-7, in its season opener on Friday night.

Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure are new to the Marmonte League. They will meet each other for the first time as league opponents.

(Read full post)