Posted On: 12/19/17 1:02 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 and here we look at the “Ten Best” categories.
North OC Ten Best
Best Scorers: Josh Christopher, Mayfair and Dawson Baker, Capistrano Valley
It was tough to pick between Christopher and Baker here, so we’ll take both as they both score in bunches, but in different ways.
Christopher had games of 42 and 37 points leading up to his 24 in the championship win over Capo Valley and he can put the ball through the net in a variety of ways. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard scored on contested 3-pointers, baseline and mid-range fade-aways, at the cup in transition, and with some beastly dunks in traffic. One of Christopher’s best attributes is his ability to get to the free throw line and convert the freebies.
Baker isn’t as athletically gifted as Christopher, but he’s one of the most crafty guys you’ll see with the ball in his hands. The 6-foot-3 senior has a nasty crossover dribble which ties the defenders shoes together and allows him to get into the paint where he finishes with a nice layup package. He puts just enough English on the ball to flip it up off the glass and score it from any angle. Baker can knock down the open catch-and-shoot 3-pointer or the mid-range pull-up jumper.
Best Rebounder: Tim Adetukasi, Saddleback Valley Christian
Adetukasi is new to the Orange County basketball scene and he’s easily making his mark due to his massive frame and good athleticism. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound power forward is a walking double-double with his ability to rebound the offensive and defensive glass and nice touch around the basket.
Best Facilitator: A.J. Perry, Anaheim Canyon
Perry runs the intricate Canyon offense to a T. He does a good job of managing when to be aggressive and when to run the Comanches’ read and react sets. Perry is super quick with the ball in his hands and is adept at getting into the paint and kicking the ball back out to open 3-point shooters.
Best Catch-and-Shooter: Daniel Ramsey, Capistrano Valley
Ramsey is going to need to be very good if Capo expects to repeat as CIF champions, and so far, he’s been solid. The 6-foot-1 senior’s entire job is to move without the ball on the perimeter and spot up in the corners, on the wings or at the top of the key and knock down shots. Ramsey has good balance and repeatable mechanics on his jump shot. He had games of five and six 3-pointers during the tournament.
Best Guard Rebounder: Nick Draper, Capistrano Valley
Draper stands around the 6-foot-1 range and isn’t an explosive vertical athlete, but he rebounds the defensive glass like a big man. The senior point guard has elite rebounding fundamentals when it comes to finding and putting a body on someone to block out and then pursuing the basketball and rebounding it at its peak. Capo likes to get out in transition and having a guard that can board like Draper, then start the break, is a big time commodity.
Best Under-the-Radar Performance: Michael Ofoegbu, Mayfair
The 6-foot-6 junior forward doesn’t get things done in a flashy way, but his contribution to Mayfair’s championship run can not be praised enough. Ofoegbu did all the little things — tip ins, offensive rebounds, changes shots at the rim, and guards multiple positions — that helped the Monsoons get over the hump Friday and Saturday.
Best Transition Scorer: Jonah Tolmaire, Saddleback Valley Christian
Tolmaire has a strong, compact frame at 5-10 and 182 pounds and combines that with elite downhill speed and can stop-and-pop on a dime. The senior is impossible to stop when he gets a full head of steam and has good body control which allows him to finish around big men in the paint or knock down a mid-range pull-up at full speed.
Best Shot Blocker: Isaiah Johnson, Crean Lutheran
The 6-foot-5 sophomore is one who is ready to emerge as a Division I caliber prospect here in the near future and a lot of that recognition will come because of his defense. Johnson has long arms and is quick off the floor, but it’s his instincts that set him apart. He reads high ball-screens well, positions himself where he can meet the driver or recover to the roller and times either contest with precision.
Best On-Ball Defender: Caleb Christopher, Mayfair
Christopher takes pride in locking someone up on the defensive end and has the size, strength and lateral speed to effectively guard multiple positions at the high school level. His ability to slow Canyon’s guards in the semifinals was one of the biggest reasons Mayfair was able to advance.
Best Stretch Big: Sami Abdelahad, Canyon
The 6-foot-8 junior is a knockdown shooter from multiple spots beyond-the-arc, making him a match-up nightmare for most high school big men. Abdelahad moves well without the ball and sets solid picks which helps free him up for a pop and spot-up triple.