Beach Bash: Strong semifinal field at Corona del Mar

High School
Southern California

Posted On: 12/8/17 3:35 PM

NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. – I spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Corona del Mar High, watching eight games (involving each of the 16 entrants) of the Beach Bash.

Four quality programs – one of which, Santa Margarita, is projected as an CIF Southern Open Division playoff participant for the third season in a row – hook up in the Friday night semifinals.

Those begin at 6 o’clock with Santa Margarita facing another Orange County team in Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo, followed by a 7:30 pitting squads from L.A. County in Lawndale Leuzinger and Compton.

The championship game is set for Saturday night at 7:30.

Here are some thoughts on each of the teams:

*Santa Margarita (5-1) vs. Trabuco Hills (7-1): The teams’ respective losses were to two of the best teams in California, Santa Margarita to L.A. Westchester (in the championship game of the Ryse Williams/Pac Shores Tournament on Nov. 25) and Trabuco Hills to Mater Dei (in the final of the Diablo Inferno at Mission Viejo High last Saturday).

The Eagles of Coach Jeff Reinert have quality size and skill, led by 6-foot-8, Boston University-bound Jordan Guest, juniors Jake Kyman (6-7) and Max Agbonkpolo (6-8) and sophomore Ryan Evans (6-2).

Kyman and Evans are exceptional jump shooters to the 3-point range, Agbonkpolo explodes to the rim from distance and Guest is stronger than 90 percent of the post players in SoCal.

Trabuco Hills, led by one of the best young coaches in the region in Sean Sullens, has one of Orange County’s best seniors in 6-3 Chase Anderson.

*Leuzinger (2-0) vs. Compton (5-2): The Olympians of Coach Arturo Jones made their season-debut Tuesday, blowing out Westminster then edged the host Sea Kings, 66-62, in the best game of the event so far.

Compton, under long-time coach Tony Thomas, has lost only to Trabuco Hills and Mater Dei during the Diablo Inferno.

Leuzinger has a strong group of underclassmen, led by 6-2 Amound Anderson (pictured/one of SoCal’s best sophomores), quality seniors including Tyler Ridley and Devon Brown.

The Tarbabes also have a nice foundation of underclassmen, including Jabari Steward and Dennis Johnson, and solid seniors that are led by Christian Swint (a very good football player) and Jacobyn Scott.

The 4:30 fifth-place semifinal between Coronal del Mar (led by senior hoops/volleyball standout Kevin Kobrine) Manhattan Beach Mira Costa (which has a very good junior guard in Lucas Hobbs) should also be a dandy.