Posted On: 02/14/18 7:04 PM
With all eyes zoomed in tightly on the Open Division and Division I playoff field, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the heaping amount of talented teams, and individual players, competing in the “other” CIF-SS divisional playoffs.
Division 2AA for example, has teams like Los Altos, Anaheim Canyon, Mayfair, Capistrano Valley, Cajon, Crossroads and Camarillo, among many others.
As far as individual players go, Jaime Jaquez (Camarillo), Jarod Lucas (Los Altos), Josh Christopher (Mayfair), Shareef O’Neal (Crossroads), Dawson Baker (Capistrano Valley), Jarred Hyder (Cajon) and Sedrick Altman (Colony) all tip first round games Wednesday night.
Here’s a deeper look at the early favorites to take home the 2AA crown.
Los Altos has played with a chip on its shoulder all season long and the results have been great. The Conquerors are top seed in the division with a 24-3 overall record and perfect run to the Hacienda League championship. Jarod Lucas and Julian Lopez lead the way for the “positionless” Los Altos side and role players like Bryant Howing and Danny Plascencia really make the Conquerors a difficult guard for any team. Los Altos has a first round bye and will take on the winner of Hart and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame Friday riding a six game winning streak.
Anaheim Canyon stumbled in its final regular season game of the year, falling to Esperanza 72-67 after running off seven consecutive wins. Sometimes it’s good to get the losses out of the way prior to the postseason and Canyon still has the No. 2 overall seed playing in its favor. The Comanches are a versatile and deep team who can put points on the board in a hurry led by junior guard A.J. Perry, senior forward Lucas Holden and sophomore guard Justin Williams. What Canyon does best is speed up its opponent with its full court pressure defense. Watch out for 6-foot-8 junior forward Sami Abdelahad on a trail or pick and pop 3-pointer.
Mayfair has one major piece working in its favor and that’s perhaps the most talented sophomore in the state, Joshua Christopher. Christopher has the big play and game takeover ability help the Monsoons beat any team in the division. Add in his older brother Caleb Christopher, interior presence Michael Ofoegbu and physical wing Jared Springer into the mix and that’s how you win a Suburban League title with an 11-1 record.
Capistrano Valley is one of the most interesting high school teams I’ve covered to date. The Cougars have on Division I player, Dawson Baker, whose recruitment has yet to take off as it should for a player of his caliber, and the rest of the starting five is filled with pure role players. And did I mention that coach Brian Mulligan only plays five, maybe six guys every game? Nik Lipovic, Nick Draper, Grayson Beeman and Daniel Ramsey are the other four on the floor for Capo and each of them knows, understands and plays to their role perfectly.
Cajon is loaded with athletes and talent. Jarred Hyder, Deshawn Washington, Cameron Browne, Jeremiah Martin and D.J. Jackson are all capable of taking a game over by themselves and not many other teams in the division have the athletes to keep up. The Cowboys have won 15 straight games heading into Wednesday’s match-up against El Toro.