Posted On: 02/19/18 10:18 PM
A Scout’s Take: Mater Dei vs Crespi
SANTA ANA, CA—There were a plethora of outstanding match ups throughout the Southern California region on Friday night, but I finally came to the conclusion that I had to see Brandon Williams. Williams had terrorized league opponents with his scoring prowess in the past month or so, but I wanted to see if he could duplicate it against Mater Dei. The Monarchs prevailed 63-53 in a game that was quite choppy—due to the diligence each team focused on the defensive end.
Butler comes up big at both ends
If there was a common denominator attached to Harrison Butler—it would be his motor. The Southern Utah signee has a chiseled frame with good length and he’s explosive. Arguably Mater Dei’s top lock-down defender—he was assigned to Crespi’s All-American Brandon Williams.
It was evident immediately that Butler’s strength, length, and motor were going to be a major factor when defending Williams. In the first half alone Butler had 3 blocks—all of which were against Williams at the rim. Butler did an outstanding job of contesting shots and making life difficult for Williams and this only tells part of the story as Butler dropped in a solid 15-point and 7-rebound performance.
Coming into this titanic tilt, Brandon Williams was averaging 24ppg with a couple games where he dropped over 50 and 40, respectively. However, against the Monarchs he would find putting up big numbers would be tough sledding. The Monarchs play sound team defense while the aforementioned Butler face-guarded Williams throughout the contest.
Williams did have some eye-dropping drives and finishes, but overall he struggled. His ankle injury appeared to slow him down in terms of finishing and getting lift on his shot. As a result the final tally wasn’t pretty as he scored 15-points on 4-of-20 shooting, including 1-of-7 from 3 point range.
Strong and Reagans provide spark for Crespi
The backcourt of Russell Strong and Taj Reagans had their moments throughout the contest. Strong is a moxie-filled point guard at 5-foot-11 with crafty ball skills and a smooth shooting stroke while Reagans is a fearless competitor who can drain deep jump shots.
The senior laden point guard had their moments (13 points for Reagan and 12 for Strong along with 7 rebounds), but it wouldn’t be enough against the deeper Monarch squad.
Lundeen was clutch while Freedman ran the show
On a night when Michael Wang didn’t have his usual all-around impact, fellow senior Reagan Lundeen came up big with an efficient 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. The well-built 4-man has some volleyball-bounce to him and he has improved his fundamentals and scoring skills on the block.
Spencer Freedman, on the other hand, ran the team with his usual preciseness and skill. He methodically placed the ball where it needed to go and he hit a couple of clutch 3s when the game was tight in the 2nd half. However, the most impressive aspect of Freedman’s game was his leadership quality as he gathered the team with instruction during important moments in the 2nd half.