Los Angeles Preps: Fairfax State Preview Classic

Serra upends event host Fairfax

January, 28, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- Serra guard Kajon Mack continues to show that he's one of the top unsigned seniors in the area. He didn't necessarily light up the scoreboard during Serra's 50-40 victory against Fairfax on Saturday night, but he displayed mental toughness and timely shooting.

Mack said he has one scholarship offer -- from San Francisco -- and interest from the likes of UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis and Sacramento State.

He is hungry for more attention.

"It makes me work harder for that scholarship," said Mack, who scored a game-high 16 points.

Said Serra coach Dwan Hurt: "Kajon is a student of the game. He's intelligent and understands his role very well."

Del Rey League leader Serra (21-2), which has won six straight since losing to Price in the Cochran Classic at LACES, used a balanced attack to pull away. Fairfax (15-8) pulled to within five in the fourth quarter but was plague by poor shooting late.

"This helps is get ready for the playoffs," Hurt said. "This helps boost our confidence. ... Our plan was to stay relentless on the boards and to wear Fairfax down."

Senior forward Daddy Ugbede added 11 points for the Cavaliers. Ronny Price led the Lions with 10 off the bench.

In the end, Serra was a rude guest at the Fairfax State Preview Classic.

"This was a big game because we want to be ranked high in the state," Mack said. "We wanted to make a statement."

Price blitzes Windward in second half

January, 28, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- A shift in gameplan was the key in Price's 65-41 win against Windward on Saturday afternoon at the Fairfax State Preview Classic.

The Knights played a smothering style of basketball after halftime, outscoring the Wildcats 26-5 in the third quarter. Junior guard Chance Murray netted a game-high 14 points and Price (17-5) had three others score in double digits.

"Coach [Michael] Lynch put an emphasis on us getting to the basket," Murray said.

Price has won six straight since losing at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee, an experience that, according to Murray, was valuable.

"Now we don't want to lose any more games," he said.

Windward has lost three of its last four. Point guard Charles Dawson had 12 points. The Wildcats actually held a 26-23 lead at the break, but they couldn't keep up with the Knights' run-and-gun tempo.

"That's the game we like to play," said Skylar Spencer, who had 10 points and altered a number of shots on the defensive end.

Alemany soars past SaMo

January, 28, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- Playing four games in six days is a difficult proposition at any level, let alone the high school ranks. Mission Hills Alemany made it through this week's gantlet just fine.

The Mission League-leading Warriors capped their week with an 80-69 victory over Santa Monica in the Fairfax State Preview Classic on Saturday afternoon. Nevada-bound wing Marqueze Coleman had a game-high 35 points for Alemany (20-3).

"This is our sixth straight win and we just want to finish the season off strong," said Coleman, who knocked down six 3-pointers. "Now we've got to finish off league. Our league is tough."

Sophomore Bear Henderson had 21 points and guard Max Guercy added 20.

Alemany, which is 8-1 in league, blew out Chaminade, Loyola and St. Francis earlier in the week. Games against Crespi, Price, Notre Dame and Harvard-Westlake remain on the regular-season schedule.

Ocean League co-leader Santa Monica (14-8) cut a large deficit to four with five minutes remaining, but Guercy took over on drives to the basket.

Loyola-OLu tops State Preview Classic

January, 24, 2012
The schedule for Saturday's State Preview Classic at Fairfax High School is out, and the all-day event includes a handful of exciting matchups.

10:30 a.m. - La Caņada vs. Oceanside El Camino
12 p.m. - Notre Dame vs. San Diego Francis Parker
1:30 p.m. - Alemany vs. Santa Monica
3 p.m. - Harvard-Westlake vs. Torrey Pines
4:30 p.m. - Price vs. Windward
6:30 p.m. - Fairfax vs. Gardena Serra
8 p.m. - Loyola vs. Orange Lutheran

Time Warner Cable's local channel 101 will air the Fairfax-Serra game on Sunday at 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon. The Loyola-OLu game will air Monday at noon and again Saturday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.

ESPNLA top 20 boys' basketball rankings

February, 1, 2011
There are only two undefeated teams left in the ESPNLosAngeles.com top 20 boys' basketball rankings after Etiwanda was upset by Loyola Los Angeles, 70-64, Saturday night at the Fairfax State Preview Classic.

True to form, Long Beach Poly has a firm grasp on the top spot once again. And surprisingly enough, it appears as if Mission Viejo is poised to continue its winning ways. The Diablos, after all, have made a remarkable regular-season run thus far.

So, without further adieu, it is time to get down to business and check out how some of the Southland's premier programs stack up against one other.

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (19-0): The only thing standing between the Jackrabbits and an unblemished regular season record is Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman on Saturday.

2. (3) Mater Dei (20-2): Stanley Johnson might be a freshman, but the 6-foot-5, 190-pound forward has surely not played like a wide-eyed youngster for the Monarchs.

3. (4) Corona Centennial (18-3): Challenges in the Big VIII League have been nonexistent thus far. Plenty of tests, however, await in the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs.

4. (5) Taft (17-2): All signs point to the Toreadors being hyped and ready for their showdown against Concord De La Salle in the Nike Extravaganza this weekend.

5. (6) Westchester (19-5): The Comets essentially wrapped up a Western League championship with a 22-point victory over second-place University on Monday night.

6. (2) Etiwanda (21-1): Seemingly no one saw the loss to Loyola coming. Hey Eagles fans, fear not, your team figures to rebound in Baseline League play this week.

7. (8) Harvard-Westlake (20-2): A pair of important Mission League games on the road loom large. First up, Chaminade on Wednesday followed by Loyola on Friday.

8. (11) Loyola (17-5): On a roster with a number of relatively unknown commodities, Julian Harrell has emerged as one of those names to definitely remember.

9. (9) Mission Viejo (23-0): James Cramer's stats are not particularly spectacular: 10 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game: Nevertheless, the senior gets the job done.

10. (10) Orange Lutheran (17-6): The Lancers are hanging onto a spot in the top 10 by a thread. They could made a statement Saturday though with a win against Westchester.

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