Last week, 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Gianni Hunt and Bishop Montgomery shocked the world when they took down CIF Southern Section Open Division top seed (and BallIsLife number ten) Rancho Christian of Temecula. This season, CIF-SS is experimenting with pool play for their eight man Open Division bracket, as the pool was split into each and each teams in the pools played each other. The winner of the two pools would go on to play each other in the Open Division Final. Bishop Montgomery went on to defeat Rancho Verde and Etiwanda to claim their spot in the CIF Open Division Championship this Saturday against the one and only Sierra Canyon.
Sierra Canyon boasts of talents of high flying act Cassius Stanley, Scottie Pippen, Jr. (Vanderbilt commit) and Beavers targets KJ Martin and Terren Frank. Within the last few years, the Southern Section has boasted the talents of Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills, Bol Bol of Mater Dei, Marvin Bagley of Sierra Canyon, and Ethan Thompson of Bishop Montgomery. It was in 2017 when Ethan and the Knights shocked the country when they defeated Chino Hills, Sierra Canyon, and Mater Dei to claim the CIF Open Division Title. Last season, Mater Dei won the CIF-SS Section Title, led by Harvard’s Spencer Freedman and UPenn’s Michael Wang. They claimed the top seed in the CIF State playoffs, but were knocked off by Fairfax, coached by Steve Baik, former Chino Hills coach. This goes to show how competitive the Southern Section is, as any given team can win on any given day.
Bishop Montgomery plays underdog again, as they were the eighth seed in the right man pool and take on the Trailblazers, who defeated Jefferson High School (Portland) and University School on their way to win the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro. They currently stand at 27-3, as two of losses were to Montverde Academy, who are deemed the top team in the nation by several polls. Gianni Hunt looks to lead a traditionally scrappy Bishop Montgomery team on Saturday with his stellar guard play. By his side, is Montana Commit JoshVasquez, who is the true essence of a point guard that can find the right play at each given scenario. Vasquez recently scored his career 1,000th point for the Knights.
Jarod Lucas and Los Altos lost in a heart breaker in the CIF-SS Division 1 bracket to Damien 86-72. This was Jarod’s final prep game, as he scored 35 in a valiant effort but ultimately came up short of victory. However, he left California as the state’s third all time leading scorer and averaged around 40 points per game, as he made sure fans and opponents alike knew the last name Lucas. He played his AAU basketball last spring with the highly acclaimed Compton Magic, who were renown as last season’s best AAU squad. Lucas was attendance of the Civil War last Saturday and fans and spectators alike cannot wait for Jarod to step on campus this fall.
Julien Franklin and the Villa Park Spartan’s run also came to and end, but not without a battle. Their efforts came up short against an incredibly entertaining Mayfair Monsoons team that showcases ESPN 60 top talent Joshua Christopher. Christopher is known for his in court “drip” and is amongst the high school basketball’s fashion leader in the new “short shorts” movement. He is known for tailoring his shorts after CIF instilled the “no tuck” rule in reference to rolling up the shorts. Nonetheless, Julien Franklin didn’t back down from the competition and went head to head with one of the nation’s best, but now looks forward to his days at Corvallis.