Los Angeles Preps: Marcus LoVett Jr.

Holy Martyrs upsets Providence in OT

March, 3, 2012
SANTA ANA -- Freshman phenom Marcus LoVett Jr. did everything he could to propel his Providence Pioneers to the CIF-Southern Section Division 5A title on Saturday at Mater Dei High.

He jumped into the crowd diving for a loose ball late the game. He drove the length of the court, Tyus Edney-style, for layups over and over again. He even stole an inbounds pass with three seconds left in overtime to give his teammate a shot at a tying 3-pointer.

But he couldn't do it all, and LoVett Jr.'s No. 1-seeded Pioneers succumbed in overtime to their league-rival Holy Martyrs, 65-62.

The 5-foot-11 freshman guard, double-teamed all game by the Armens' stifling defense, scored 38 points on 13-of-34 shooting to lead all scorers. But no other Pioneer scored in double-digits, even senior guard Patrick Gonzalez, who had 24 points in last week's semifinal game.

Providence (26-5) had beat third-seeded Holy Martyrs (19-11) twice before this season in Liberty League play and were heavily favored to win Saturday's game, but the Armens kept it close all game and had a chance to win it on the last play of regulation.

"That's the worst part -- we beat them twice," said LoVett Jr., among the top-ranked prospects in the national Class of 2015. "I think we came in a little too cocky or something like that.

"We thought it was just going to be a piece of cake, and it wasn't."

Providence coach Ernest Baskerville said he told his team all week that the Armens would look a little different the third time, and he was right. They didn't double-team Gonzalez, but they made sure he was face-guarded at all times and hardly allowed him to catch the ball. They hadn't done that in the previous matchups.

"It's hard to beat somebody three times," Baskerville said. "Everybody knows that."

Senior guard Nshon Kenjoian had 33 points and 13 rebounds for Holy Martyrs and 6-5 center Vahe Safaryon added 11 points, including nine in the first half. The Armens, from Encino, made two key sets of free throws in the overtime that helped seal the school's first-ever basketball title.

"It was our day, I guess," Armens coach Koko Kaprielian said.

L.A. North: The top 10

February, 26, 2012
Crespi, Village Christian and Oaks Christian lost in the CIF basketball playoffs.

Thousand Oaks continues its unexpected and impressive run in the Division 2AA playoffs eliminating top-seeded Ocean View and eighth-seeded Riverside Poly last week.

Grant is in the championship game of the City Section Division III playoffs against Bell.

Renaissance Academy is rolling through the Division 6 playoffs, averaging 97.6 points per game, and is in the championship game against Cal Lutheran.

As a result, Thousand Oaks, Grant and Renaissance Academy move in to the top 10. Crespi, Village Christian and Oaks Christian drop out.

Here is a look at the L.A. North top 10 in championship week:
  1. (1) Woodland Hills Taft (27-3) – The reigning City Section Division 1 champs nearly blew a 21-point lead over Crenshaw in the semifinals on Saturday night. Taft held on for a 64-63 win in the semifinals to advance to its fifth title game in a row. Top-seeded Taft plays seventh-seeded Dorsey at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday at 8.
  2. (2) Alemany (27-4) – The Warriors beat Bishop Amat and Santa Margarita to advance to the championship game of the Southern Section Division 3A playoffs. Alemany is averaging 80.7 points per game in the playoffs. Marqueze Coleman recorded a double-double with 28 points and 12 rebounds against Santa Margarita in the semifinals.
  3. (3) Calabasas (26-3) – The Coyotes have won 11 games in a row and are in the championship game of the Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs. Calabasas beat Torrance, 67-46, in the semifinals. They were up 16 points at halftime. Jeremy Lieberman led three players from Calabasas in double figures with 14 points.
  4. (4) Royal (23-6) – The Highlanders have won eight games in a row and are in the semifinals of the Division 2AA playoffs against Sunny Hills. They beat Tesoro, 54-49, in the quarterfinals. J.R. Powell scored 18 points and Scott Woods had 10 points and seven blocks against Tesoro.
  5. (5) El Camino Real (21-7) – The Conquistadores advanced to the championship game of the City Section Division II playoffs after a 60-37 win over Narbonne in the semifinals. Michael Thomas scored 20 point and had 10 rebounds for El Camino Real against Narbonne.
  6. (6) Providence (26-4) Marcus LoVett Jr. scored 46 points against Kilpatrick in the semifinals of the Division 5A playoffs. Providence has won 10 games in a row and will play Holy Martyrs Armenian in the championship game.
  7. (7) Oak Park (24-7) – The Eagles knocked out second-seeded St. John Bosco, 67-66, in the semifinals of the Division 3A playoffs. Third-seeded Oak Park meets top-seeded Alemany in the championship game.
  8. (NR) Thousand Oaks (21-9) – The 15th-seeded Lancers are in the semifinals of the Division 2AA playoffs. They eliminated the No. 1 seed, Ocean View, and the No. 8 seed, Riverside Poly. Unseeded Inglewood awaits Thousand Oaks in the semifinals. The Sentinels knocked out fourth-seeded Canyon of Anaheim and 12th-seeded Cajon.
  9. (NR) Grant (27-5) – It’s been 24 years since the Lancers have played for a City Section championship. Grant is in the Division III title game against Bell. The last time the Lancers were in the City Section championship, they lost to Jordan in the Division 3A playoffs. With Gor Plavchyan, who scored 21 points against Banning in the semifinals, the outcome of this one might be much different.
  10. (NR) Renaissance Academy (23-6) – Since losing three games in a row in the first week of February, the Wildcats have won four in a row, including three in the Division 6 playoffs. They are in the championship game against California Lutheran.

Ribet knocks off Village Christian

February, 24, 2012

SUN VALLEY -- There has been plenty of hype surrounding Tyler Dorsey and his emergence as one of the Southland's top underclassman this season. And after seeing the freshman from Los Angeles Ribet Academy in action on Friday, it turns out the advanced billing was indeed worthy.

Sun Valley Village Christian early on had no answer for Dorsey, who had 11 points in the first quarter. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 6-foot-4 guard finished with 26 points to guide the visiting Frogs to a 64-52 victory in a Southern Section Division 5-A semifinal.

“Yeah, I have heard all of the talk about me, but I try not to worry about it,'' Dorsey said. “My focus is working hard on my game, that's it, and letting everything else fall into place.''

Who is going to argue with his game plan? The strategy, after all, has worked out particularly well this season. Dorsey is averaging 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists per game. On the defensive end of the floor, he's no slouch and averages more than two steals and a block per game.

Keep in mind, we're talking about a ninth-grader who plays beyond his years.

“I know he's young, but honestly, I don't worry about Tyler when he's out there on the floor,'' Frogs coach William Middlebrooks said. “He was under some pressure tonight, in a big environment, and I think he handled himself. He doesn't play like like a freshman, not in my book.''

Middlebrooks is not the only individual who has been impressed with the play of Dorsey. Division I college coaches and scouts appear to be enamored with the upside he possesses.

Arizona put a scholarship offer on the table for Dorsey over the summer. USC offered him on Tuesday. Duke, North Carolina and Louisville are among the other programs interested.

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North: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 29, 2012
Crespi had a rough stretch losing three games in a row and dropping to No. 5 in the L.A. North top 10 rankings. The Celts snapped out of their little funk with a Mission League win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday night.

Canyon saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end, and then lost two Foothill League games in a row. The Cowboys dropped out of the L.A. North top 10.

Enter Renaissance Academy, a tiny school in Sunland with a 18-3 record. The Wildcats have a tough game on Wednesday night against La Verne Lutheran, the No. 3 team in the ESPN Los Angeles rankings.

Here’s a look at the L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Woodland Hills Taft (19-3) – The Toreadors won two West Valley League games, including 70-58 over El Camino Real on Friday night. It was the 75th league win in a row for Taft and a much more comfortable margin of victory over El Camino Real. Taft won by one point, 45-44, the first time the two teams played this season. Anthony January scored 37 points for Taft against ECR in the latest meeting.
  2. (3) Alemany (20-3) – The Warriors have won six games in a row including five against Mission League opponents. Alemany is all alone in first place in the Mission League standings after Crespi stumbled with three losses in a row. Alemany and Crespi meet on Wednesday night.
  3. (5) Calabasas (19-3) – The Coyotes have won four games in a row and are in first place in the Marmonte League standings. They have a one-game lead over Royal. Coach Jon Palarz won the 300th game of his high school career as Calabasas beat Royal, 75-72, in double overtime on Wednesday night.
  4. (4) Royal (16-6) – The Highlanders have won seven of their past eight games. The only loss, 75-72, in double overtime to Calabasas. Royal bounced back with a 51-45 win over Simi Valley and is in second place in the Marmonte League standings.
  5. (2) Crespi (19-4) – The Celts lost three games in a row, all to Mission League teams, and fell into a tie for second place in the Mission League standings. Crespi ended its three-game losing streak by beating Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 66-52, on Friday night. The return of Michael Milligan Jr., who missed two games with a concussion, helped end the Crespi skid.

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L.A. North: The top 10

January, 22, 2012
There is a new No. 1 in the L.A. North and a new team in the top 10. Woodland Hills Taft ground out another tight one, this time against Fairfax in a match-up of two of the top teams in the City Section.

Oak Park cracks the top 10 for the first time this season after beating Oaks Christian by one point on the road.

Westlake and Harvard-Westlake had some untimely losses. Westlake dropped to No. 8. The Wolverines have lost three of their past four games, including 77-68, to Alemany and were knocked out of the top 10.

Here is a look at the top 10 teams in the L.A. North:

1. (2) Woodland Hills Taft (17-3) – The Toreadors extended their winning streak to seven games including 44-38 over Fairfax in the Fairfax City Preview Classic. Taft also tallied West Valley League wins over Cleveland and Birmingham. Anthony January scored 20 points for Taft against Fairfax in a defensive tussle.

2. (1) Crespi (18-2) – The Celts lost for only second time this season and had their six-game winning streak snapped against Harvard-Westlake, 67-66, in a Mission League game on Friday night. London Perrantes scored 16 points in the loss.

3. (3) Alemany (16-3) – The Warriors won both of their Mission League games last week, both on the road. They beat Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 85-62, and Harvard-Westlake, 77-68. Marqueze Coleman averaged 26 points in the games against Notre Dame and Harvard-Westlake, scoring 30 against the Wolverines.

4. (6) Royal (15-5) – The Highlanders won their sixth game in a row, 68-34, over Moorpark in a Marmonte League game. Max McCoy led Royal with 18 points and J.R. Powell scored 16.

5. (7) Calabasas (17-3) – The Coyotes won their second game in a row, 75-51, over Simi Valley. They have won five of their past six games. Jeremy Lieberman had a big game for Calabasas with 31 points against Simi.

6. (5) Providence of Burbank (17-4) – The Pioneers lost to Morningside, 71-70, in the Martin Luther King Shootout at Price High School, but rebounded nicely with a 73-66 win over Campbell Hall in the War on the Floor tournament at Taft High School. Freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. scored 45 points, 21 in the fourth quarter, for Providence against Campbell Hall.

7. (8) Canyon (19-1) – Canyon won its 12th game in a row, 68-34, over Golden Valley in a Foothill League game. The Cowboys are off to their best start in school history and can set the school record for longest winning streak against Saugus on Friday night. That is if Canyon beats Hart on Tuesday night.

8. (4) Westlake (16-7) – The Warriors were upset by Thousand Oaks, 53-46 in overtime, in a Marmonte League game last week. It was the only game Westlake played. Grant Lozoya scored 20 points for Westlake in the loss. Tanner Fanjoy had 22 points for Thousand Oaks.

9. (9) El Camino Real (12-6) – The Conquistadores won both their West Valley League games last week, but needed a buzzer-beater from Julian Richardson to beat Chatsworth, 57-55. El Camino Real has won three games in a row and four of their past five.

10. (NR) Oak Park (16-6) – The Eagles have won eight games in a row including all five of their Tri-Valley League games. They are coming off a 61-60 league win over Oaks Christian. Ron Lee scored 30 points, five in the final minute, and Oak Park held on after blowing a 17-point lead.

Fabulous freshmen take center stage

January, 21, 2012

WOODLAND HILLS -- And so it begins.

There was plenty of hype surrounding the showdown between Burbank Providence's Marcus LoVett Jr. and North Hollywood Campbell Hall's Aaron Holiday on Saturday night in the marquee game of the War on the Floor Tournament at Taft High.

Turns out, the advanced billing was worthy. Both of the highly-touted freshman played well, seemingly beyond their collective years at times. Each showed glimpses of immense potential and performed with the experience of a seasoned upperclassmen.

In the end, however, LoVett Jr. got the better of the overall exchange, particularly in the fourth quarter. He finished with game-high 45 points to guide the Pioneers to a 73-66 nonleague victory. Not to be outdone, Holiday had 27 points for the Vikings.

“Those two are not normal ninth-graders,'' Campbell Hall coach Steve Wachs said. “Everyone came to see what Aaron and Marcus had to offer and I don't think either one of them disappointed the fans. It's too bad someone had to lose this game tonight.''

The fact LoVett Jr. led Providence (17-4) in scoring should not come as a major surprise. He ranks among the state leaders with 31.6 points per game. Can't forget to mention his 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.0 steals on a nightly basis for the Pioneers.

Keep this in mind, he is still just 15 years old.

“I was looking forward to going up against Aaron and showing what I can do. I think he wanted to the same,'' LoVett Jr. said. “There's a lot of talk about both of us now. I'm not worried about it. I just worry about what happens on the court, not off the court.''

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L.A. North: Boys' basketball Top 10

January, 8, 2012
The top 10 boys basketball teams from the L.A. North region have a pair of 15-1 teams, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Crespi of Encino is off to a 15-1 start, its only loss coming in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic.

Canyon is also 15-1, its best start in school history, and has only lost to Crespi in the championship game of its own tournament.

The Mission League and Marmonte League well-represented in the top 10. Here's a look at this week's L.A. North top teams:
  1. Crespi (15-1) – The Celts have won three games in a row and their only loss came against L.A. Wasington in the semifinals of the Redondo Sea Hawk Beach Classic. Crespi won its first two Mission League games, including 75-73, over Loyola to open league play. The Celts play at Alemany and are home against Chaminade in league games this week.
  2. Woodland Hills Taft (11-3) – The Toreadors are coming off a 52-48 win over Lincoln in the L.A.-San Diego Challenge over the weekend. Taft snapped a two-game losing streak with the win over Lincoln. The Toreadors begin West Valley League play against El Camino Real on Wednesday night.
  3. Alemany (13-2) – The Warriors are off to a 2-0 start in Mission League play to keep pace with Crespi. They have won six games in a row and haven’t lost since Dec. 21 to Crespi in the San Fernando Valley Invitational. Alemany plays St. Francis on Monday night before a Mission League showdown against Crespi on Wednesday night.
  4. Calabasas (14-2) – The Coyotes are 4-0 in Marmonte League play and have won four of their past five games. The only loss for Calabasas in that stretch came against Rancho Verde in the Oaks Christian Tournament. Calabasas plays Newbury Park on Monday and Westlake on Wednesday in Marmonte League games.
  5. Burbank Providence (14-3) – The Pioneers have won six games in a row and have a 2-0 record in the Liberty League. Marcus LoVett Jr. is one of the top freshman, if not one of the top basketball players, in the San Fernando Valley. He is averaging 32.8 points per game and shooting 42 percent from 3-point territory. He also has 3.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

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Title Thursday for L.A. North

December, 29, 2011
It’s been a busy and productive week for some of the top boys basketball teams from the L.A. North region. Here is a look at some of the tournament championship and semifinal games tonight involving those teams:

Chaminade vs. Eastside Catholic in the championship game of the Chaminade tournament. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.

Canyon vs. Ventura in the championship game of the Ventura tournament. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Oaks Christian vs. Cleveland of Reseda in the semifinals of the Oaks Christian tournament. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. Etiwanda vs. Santa Monica in the other semifinal. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Village Christian vs. St. Francis in the semifinals of the La Salle-Temple City tournament. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Crespi vs. Washington Prep in the semifinals of the Sea Hawk Beach Classic at Redondo Union High School.

Woodland Hills Taft vs. Windward in the semifinals of the Torrey Pines tournament

Alemany vs. Modesto Christian in the semifinals of the Modesto Christian tournament. Bakersfield vs. Weston Ranch is the other semifinal at the Modesto Christian tournament.

Here are some highlights from games played on Wednesday night:

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Chaminade, Oaks Christian tournaments attract top teams

December, 27, 2011
A couple of holiday boys basketball tournaments are under way with a number of quality teams from the L.A. North entered.

The quarterfinals of the Chaminade tournament are tonight. Campbell Hall, with freshman Aaron Holiday and Nevada-bound senior Cole Huff, won its first-round game and plays Valencia this afternoon.

Providence of Burbank, with freshman Marcus LoVett Jr., lost its first-round game and plays Bonita in the consolation bracket. LoVett scored 41 points in a first-round loss to Eastside Catholic of Sammamish, Wash. He is averaging 34.6 points per game after 11 games this season.

In the Oaks Christian tournament, undefeated Calabasas takes on host Oaks Christian tonight in first-round action.

Here is a look at today’s games from both tournaments:

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L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

December, 19, 2011
  1. The Sierra Canyon football team won its first CIF state bowl game and is the only team in Southern California with a 15-0 record. But the school might be better known for having two Kardashian sisters on the cheerleading squad. Here’s a look at some of the top players on the Sierra Canyon football team: Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart threw for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns. A more impressive stat is that he threw only two interceptions in 222 pass attempts. The Trailblazers had a pair of running backs with 1,000 yards. Senior Danny Jordan had 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Xavier Menifield had 1,382 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. Three of those TDs came against Le Grand in the bowl game. He also caught 14 passes for 369 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Preston White led Sierra Canyon in receiving with 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Patrick McGown led the team with a whopping 17 sacks. Reggie Prince and Brian Tucker shared the team lead for interceptions with three. Each had one pick in the bowl game against Le Grand. Finally, sophomore kicker Noah Zgrabalich made eight field goals, 81 extra points and was second on the team in scoring with 105 points. Only Menifield had more points with 31 touchdowns, a pair of two-point conversions and 188 points.
  2. The Westlake football team might have lost the CIF Open Division bowl game to Concord De La Salle, but one player came out a winner. Westlake kicker Alex Ball won the Chris Sailer award recognizing the best high school kicker in the nation. Ball converted 19 field goals this season and tied for the state lead with Vista Murrieta’s Tyler Rausa. Ball’s 138 points are the most in the nation by schools that reported totals. Ball did not play in the CIF Open Division bowl game because he tore his ACL in his left leg in the Northern Division championship game against Oaks Christian. Even though Westlake lost the Open Division bowl game, the Warriors are not dodging tough teams next season. Westlake will open the season against Granite Bay in the Battle for Veterans Showcase in Sacramento. Oaks Christian and Thousand Oaks are also playing in the Battle for Veterans Showcase. Oaks Christian will play Del Oro, which lost to Helix in the Division II state bowl game. Thousand Oaks squares off against Franklin of Elk Grove. The week after the Battle for Veterans Showcase, Westlake will host Del Oro. Westlake opened the 2011 season against Del Oro and won, 30-27, in overtime.
  3. Providence of Burbank freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. had one of the best basketball games in San Fernando Valley history. He scored a school record 57 points in an 85-74 win over St. Joseph of Santa Maria in the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria. The previous school record was 52 points by Patrick Gonzalez in 2010. LoVett’s 57 points are the most by a player from the San Fernando Valley since 2005 when Grant’s Michael Danielian scored 58 points against Verdugo Hills, according to the Daily News. Providence plays Fremont on Tuesday in the National Prep Classic.
  4. The Harvard-Westlake boys basketball team won the Palos Verdes Tournament, beating Lawndale, 65-63, in the championship game. Derrick Newton scored the winning basket with 13 second left in the game. He was selected tournament MVP and scored 21 points, had 11 rebounds and four blocks against Lawndale. Zena Edosomwan scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds for Harvard-Westlake in the championship game. He was selected to the all-tournament team.
  5. The Chaminade boys soccer team won the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield beating McLane from Bakersfield, 6-1, in the championship game. Karam Gill and Nick Barbarino scored two goals apiece for Chaminade. Zack Khoury and Alessandro Giambrone each notched a goal. In the Arcadia Classic, the Palmdale boys soccer team shut out Monrovia, 2-0, in the championship game. Oscar Torres was selected the tournament MVP and scored both goals for Palmdale. He also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Arcadia in the semifinals.