Los Angeles Preps: Quintin Taylor

I.E.: Boys' basketball playoff roundup

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
6:40
PM PT
The Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs began last week with a number of noteworthy performances. Here's a rundown of some of the more memorable from Friday night.

Biggest upset: One of the Inland Empire’s best hopes of winning a section title went down the drain when third-seeded Palm Springs lost on a buzzer beater to host Beverly Hills in a Division 3AAA second-round game. The Indians had taken a one-point lead on a putback by Jordan Pellum with 7.3 seconds remaining. Quintin Taylor then blocked a shot by the Normans on the other end of the floor, but the ball went to another Beverly Hills player and he made the basket from 12 feet at the buzzer.

Runner-up: Rancho Cucamonga beat eighth-seeded Downey, 73-67, in overtime of a Division 1AA game. Malcolm Drumwright had 26 points and eight rebounds for the Cougars, who blew a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining in regulation. Rancho Cucamonga will host ninth-seeded Foothill on Tuesday.

Best performance: Sticking with the low desert theme, Jonathan Serven of Palm Desert scored 35 points in another Division 3AAA game, leading the Aztecs to a 66-54 victory against visiting Citrus Hill. Serven, a 6-3 senior guard, became the school’s career scoring leader, passing the previous mark of 1,358 points established by Justin Sobczyk in 2005.

Runner-up: Eisenhower senior guard Marvelle Harris scored 34 points to lead the seventh-seeded Eagles to a 66-29 victory against visiting Montebello in a Division 1AA game. Eisenhower advanced to host 10th-seeded Rancho Verde in Tuesday’s second round.

Best comeback: Riverside Poly has some big wins already this season. The Bears were the only team to beat J.W. North during Big VIII League play and they did it twice. But they never had to come as far back as they did against visiting Perris in a Division 2AA first-round game. Poly rallied from a 17-point first-quarter deficit to win, 63-52. Jeff Gonzalez, a 6-6 senior forward, finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds, and Poly’s other big man, 6-6 senior forward Noah Prouse, pitched in 22 points and seven rebounds. The eighth-seeded Bears move on to play No. 9 Ayala on Tuesday night at Ayala High.

Runner-up: Vista Murrieta trailed by seven points with five minutes remaining in a Division 1A second-round game against visiting Alta Loma, then rallied to win in overtime, 65-57. Davin Guinn scored 32 points for the 10th-seeded Broncos, who advanced to play No. 7 Chino Hills in Tuesday’s second round at Chino Hills.
DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – La Quinta @ Palm Springs; Xavier Prep @ Cathedral City; Indio # Palm Desert. Friday – Coachella Valley @ Palm Desert.

Last year’s finish: Palm Springs (12-0); Palm Desert (10-2); La Quinta (7-5); Indio (7-5); Cathedral City (3-9); Xavier Prep (3-9); Coachella Valley (0-12).

Players to watch: Quintin Taylor (Palm Springs), 6-2, Jr., G; Nick King (Palm Springs), 6-1, Sr., G; Xavier Thomas (Indio), 6-4, Sr., F; Abram Montoya (Indio), 6-2, Sr., G; Jonathan Serven (Palm Desert); 6-3, Sr., G; Robert Romero (Palm Desert), 6-5, Sr., F; Mike Releford (Cathedral City), 5-10, Sr., G; Taylor Pope (La Quinta), 6-0, Sr., G; Nathan Hill (La Quinta), 6-4, Jr., G; Creighton Chaney (Xavier Prep), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Cathedral City, Xavier Prep, Coachella Valley.

INLAND VALLEY LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Arlington @ Moreno Valley; La Sierra @ Ramona; Canyon Springs @ Rancho Verde; Vista del Lago @ Valley View.

Last year’s finish: Rancho Verde (11-3); Canyon Springs (11-3); Arlington (8-6); Ramona (8-6); Valley View (7-7); Vista del Lago (5-9); La Sierra (3-11); Moreno Valley (3-11).

Players to watch: Jordan Grace (Rancho Verde), 6-2, Sr., G; Kendall Schmidt (Rancho Verde), 6-0, Sr., G; Lance Jones (Rancho Verde), 6-3, Jr., F; Rajshah Head (Canyon Springs), 6-0, Sr., G; Joseph Esthers (Valley View), 5-10, Sr., G; Devonte Klines (Valley View), 5-11, So., G; Stephen Scroggins (Moreno Valley), 5-11, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Rancho Verde, Canyon Springs, Valley View, Arlington, Vista del Lago, Ramona, La Sierra, Moreno Valley.

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – San Bernardino @ Rialto, Arroyo Valley @ Colton, Cajon @ Pacific. Saturday – Rialto @ Carter. Monday – Arroyo Valley @ San Bernardino.

Last year’s finish: San Bernardino (14-0); Cajon (11-3); Rialto (9-5); Arroyo Valley (9-5); Colton (5-9); San Gorgonio (4-10); Carter (3-11); Pacific (1-13).

Players to watch: Khleem Perkins (San Bernardino), 6-3, Jr., G; Javone Rabon (San Bernardino), 6-4, Sr., F; Jamie Jenkins (San Bernardino), 5-8, Sr., G; Richie Ragoo (Colton), 5-11, Sr., G; Devin Jones (Cajon), 6-0, Sr., G; Stephen Marshall (Arroyo Valley), Sr., G; Antonio Clemmons (Pacific), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: San Bernardino, Cajon, Arroyo Valley, Rialto, Colton, Pacific, San Gorgonio, Carter.

Next up: Big VIII, Mojave River and Mt. Baldy leagues (open league play Wednesday).

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.

(Read full post)

Inland Empire: Games of the Week

January, 7, 2011
1/07/11
10:46
AM PT
Rancho Cucamonga (9-7, 0-0) at Etiwanda (14-0, 0-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m. – Let’s face it. Rancho Cucamonga doesn’t stand a chance. But it’s a good opportunity for the neighborhood to come out and see Etiwanda in its Baseline League opener. The Eagles haven’t played in their own gym since Dec. 9, winning two tournaments in the meantime. USC-bound guard Byron Wesley is averaging 18.3 points, Jordan Daniels is averaging 12.5 and Tyler LaCour is at 11.2.

Palm Springs (12-1, 2-0) at Palm Desert (9-5, 2-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m. – Palm Springs has edged out Palm Desert for the last two league titles and the Indians appear to have a better team again this season. Quintin Taylor, a 6-2 sophomore guard, is averaging a team-high 13.2 points and 8.8 rebounds for Palm Springs, and 6-9 senior center Dillon Floyd averages 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds.

Riverside Arlington (10-5, 2-1) at Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (11-3, 2-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. – Arlington is led by senior point guard Mason Biddle, who just so happens to be a top tennis player as well. He led the Lions to a Southern Section Division V title while playing doubles last season. Rancho Verde has a significant edge in this Inland Valley League game, however. The Mustangs lost in the fifth-place game last week at the Westlake Village Oaks Christian tournament.

Ridgecrest Burroughs (9-7, 2-1) at Victorville Victor Valley (13-2, 2-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m.Zeke DeBlase is the motor that keeps Victor Valley humming. The 5-11 senior point guard scored 33 points Wednesday in a 64-43 victory at Apple Valley Granite Hills. Burroughs is much improved after finishing 1-11 in league play last season.

Chino Hills (12-3) at La Puente Bishop Amat (12-4), Friday, 7 p.m. – Chino Hills celebrated the holidays by winning the Covina Christmas Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. They couldn’t repeat that effort in an eight-point loss Tuesday to small-school power, Los Angeles Price, but get one more tough test before opening Sierra League play Wednesday against Claremont.

Looking ahead:

Redlands at Redlands East Valley, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. – Citrus League opener for the top two teams.

Eastvale Roosevelt at Riverside North, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. – Playoff positioning already underway in the Big VIII League.

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