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Posted On: 12/19/17 10:04 PM
The North Orange County Championships tournament was won by a team outside the OC.
Lakewood Mayfair, led by supremely talented and highly recruited sophomore Josh Christopher, defeated Capistrano Valley, 60-56, in as exciting a game as you’ll come across.
There were plenty of other standout performers throughout the tournament, as discussed in our “Ten Best” story published earlier, and here we look at the “Next Ten Best” categories.
North OC Next Ten
(Next) Best Scorer: Justin Williams, Anaheim Canyon
Williams is a three-level scoring type who is best at getting into the paint and finishing craftily around the basket. The 6-foot-1 sophomore has high level ball handling and ability to change speeds and direction to blow by defenders and avoid any contesting big men. Williams can knock down the catch and shoot 3-point shot, but that’s not his biggest strength at this point.
(Next) Best Rebounder: Jordan Taylor, Saddleback Valley Christian
Taylor is a big body at 6-feet-10 and 245 pounds which makes rebounding at the high school level all about putting in the effort, really. The senior center certainly does that, he has a good motor and conditioning for someone his size, and when he dedicates himself to crashing the glass, he’s a terror for most high school big men to deal with.
(Next) Best Facilitator: Lucas Parks, Aliso Niguel
Parks is your prototypical “floor general” type of point guard. He’s solid all the way around, brings a hard-nosed approach to both sides of the ball and doesn’t try to do anything outside of his comfort zone. Parks makes sure to get all of his teammates involved before looking for his own shot, unless it’s a high percentage transition look.
(Next) Best Catch-and-Shooter: Nic Lipovic, Capistrano Valley
Lipovic was on fire against Saddleback Valley Christian in the semifinals Friday and is nearly automatic from either corner with his feet set. The 6-foot-2 senior has mechanics and a high release point on his jumper.
(Next) Best Guard Rebounder: Nick Colosi, La Mirada
Colosi doesn’t look the part of a hooper, but once the ball goes up he’s quick to show people he can go with the rest of ‘em. The 6-foot-1 senior is super athletic and an explosive leaper which helps him out jump less athletic bigs in the paint. Colosi is in constant motion and it pays off on the offensive glass as he gets his team plenty of second-chance opportunities.
(Next) Best Under-the-Radar Performance: Lucas Holden, Anaheim Canyon
Holden is one of the more underrated players in all of Orange County and the reason why is slipping my mind. He’s long and athletic at 6-feet-6, can knock down an open catch-and-shoot mid-range or triple and can put the ball on the deck and get to the rack and finish over and through contact. Holden is a smooth lefty that should see an uptick in his recruitment by the end of his senior season.
(Next) Best Shot Blocker: Jacob Eyman, Los Alamitos
Eyman battled injuries throughout the event, and missed the Griffins last two games, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the best rim protectors in SoCal. Eyman’s timing on contests is impeccable and he’s starting to block shots for possession, rather than spiking them out of bounds as most young big men like to do.
(Next) Best Big Finisher: Harminder Dhaliwal, Aliso Niguel
At 6-feet-8, Dhaliwal is a big man who stays true to his position and doesn’t fancy himself as a “stretch” kind of guy as he’s dominating the paint, shooting 60 percent on two-point field goals this season. The senior center has soft touch around the basket with either hand and fundamental post footwork.
(Next) Best Old School Big: Brennan Hellmers, Foothill
It’s not often you see a throwback power forward who has mastered the mid-range game, but Hellmers is that guy. The 6-foot-6, high academic senior operates best out of the mid-post, where he can go to work with his back to the basket or in a face-up situation. Hellmers has a nasty fade-away shot that’s nearly impossible to block as he has his shoulders leaned back, coupled with a high release point.
(Next) Best On-Ball Defender: Reilly Caya, Servite
If you’re going to play for Servite coach John Morris you’re going to have to defend and Caya has four years of that under his belt now. The Friars play a grind-it-out style on both ends of the floor and the 5-foot-10 senior has bought in to every part of if. Caya can play any brand of on-ball defense you need — one pass denial, straight man-to-man, containment and can defend three spots at the high school level.