Posted On: 12/27/17 1:29 PM
La Verne, Ca. — The Classic at Damien has cemented has cemented itself as one of the top post-holiday high school basketball tournaments on the west coast.
The Classic draws most of Southern California’s top teams and is beginning to branch out to the national level as the tournament directors added another 16-team division and brought in a couple of out of state teams.
Plenty of top prospects showcased their skills Tuesday, but these seven (potentially) lesser-known players provided breakthrough efforts.
Ryan Evans, Santa Margarita
Evans turned in one of his best shooting performances of the season, scoring a career-best 22 points in a comeback win over Birmingham. The 6-foot-2 sophomore was nearly automatic from the 3-point line and got a ton of good looks due to good ball movement by his Eagles teammates.
Devin Garcia, Dominguez
Garcia is one of the most improved seniors in SoCal. A four-year starter for the Dons, Garcia, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, has been known as a solid catch-and-shoot option from 3-point range, but is becoming more assertive with increased confidence. Garcia is rebounding at a better clip and finishing stronger through contact in the paint.
Amani Harris, St. Bernard
Harris was the catalyst for the biggest upset of the day as St. Bernard beat tourney host Damien in the last game of the day. Harris, a 6-2 junior combo guard, scored a team-high 18 points, but his poise in crunch time and his good decision making all game long is what put the Vikings over the hump. Harris displayed improved vision and willingness to dish out of ball-screen action.
Romelle Mansel, St. Bernard
We’ve known Mansel to be a guy with immense skill and natural basketball feel, but the 6-foot-8 power forward put all of that upside into action against Damien. The junior exposed the match-up nightmare he created by carving out space around the basket and finishing with power and touch around the basket.
Makiah Morris, Vista
Morris is the younger brother of Cal State Dominguez-bound guard Isaiah Morris and is quite a different player than his brother. The 6-foot-1 junior is a smooth shooter from deep and doesn’t need much time or space to get his shot off. Morris has good length and defensive instincts, the latter of which is something he learned from his older brother.
Tavian Percy, Pasadena
Percy, a 6-foot-5 senior wing, is flying under-the-radar of most college programs, but he opened some eyes Tuesday night. Percy scored 28 points in an overtime win over Corona Centennial, which included a good looking 3-point shot and a handful of explosive dunks.
Cameron Shelton, Damien
Shelton had to do a little bit of everything for the Spartans, but his 31 points and 10 rebounds weren’t enough to avoid an upset. The 6-foot-2 Northern Arizona-bound guard is one of the most well-conditioned athletes in all of SoCal and that showed Tuesday as he outworked most others to loose balls and finished through a ton of contact in transition.