Posted On: 12/23/17 3:53 AM
LAS VEGAS – For only the second time in the event’s six years Saturday night, there isn’t going to be a Southern California-based squad playing for the championship of the Tarkanian Classic’s Platinum Division.
But the region is going to be well-repped in other key games on Saturday.
First-round Platinum losers (by four and three points, respectively) Temecula Rancho Christian and Pasadena will go at it in front of the Starbucks and breakfast sandwich crowd – 8 o’clock sharp – in Bishop Gorman’s main gymnasium for the consolation title.
The Brothers Mobley (Isaiah, a junior, and Evan, a sophomore) combined for 38 points and 21 rebounds in Rancho Christian’s 62-59 toppling of Aurora (CO) Overland.
And UNLV-bound Bryce Hamilton dropped in 28 points as the Bulldogs pulled away to knock off another Colorado-based program, Denver George Washington, 67-55.
Rancho Christian and Pasadena are part of the 16-team Platinum field in the second Classic at Damien, which tips Tuesday morning.
Two other Southern California programs, Corona Centennial (also in the Damien Platinum bracket) and L.A. Westchester beat Post Falls of Idaho and Chino Hills, respectively, Friday to earn spots in the fifth-place game that will tip at 2:40 in the afternoon in Bishop Gorman’s auxiliary gym.
Junior Onyeka Okongwu produced impressive numbers (32 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots) for Chino Hills but the Huskies – for the second game in a row – frittered away a double-figure advantage and fell, 73-69.
Transfer guard Kevin Bethel (Pacific Hills) hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with about 15 seconds to play, then – after timeouts by each head coach – stripped the ball from Onyeka on the drive, was fouled and dropped in a couple of insurance free throws with five seconds remaining.
Riverside Poly and Compton Dominguez advanced to the final in the Eastbay Division (it is supposed to tip at 10:40 a.m. in the main BG gym).
Propelling the squads in the semifinals – were sophomore point guard Lamont Butler (25 points and six assists) and Cal State Fullerton-bound Wayne Arnold (pictured/29 points) during wins over Las Vegas Sierra Vista and L.V. Faith Baptist, respectively.
North Hollywood Campbell Hall earned a spot in the 9:20 a.m. Gatorade Division final against another SoCal program, Fontana Knight.
And, in a contest that didn’t wrap up until about 10:45 Friday night, Culver City knocked off Las Vegas Desert Oasis in overtime, 90-87, and will be back main floor in the Bishop Gorman gym at 2:40 Saturday afternoon in a hook-up with Denver East for the Select Division title.
Left-handed freshman guard T.J. Wainwright dropped in six 3s while scoring 23 points for the Reggie Morris Jr.-coached Centaurs.
Morris coached Redondo Union to the event’s Platinum Division crown three years ago.
Culver City also got 26 points from forward Tevian Jones and 10 points and 17 rebounds from another senior, Cyrus Johnson, who grabbed six of those rebounds during the four-minute OT.
The Centaurs are also part of the Classic at Damien’s Platinum Division, opening up at 11:30 Tuesday morning against Oak Park.