CIF San Diego Division 1 Finals: Seven Takeaways

High School
Southern California

Posted On: 03/2/18 8:22 PM

Santa Fe Christian is the first boys team to notch a title this year, defeating El Camino 63-52 to win the Division 1 title. The Eagles used a disciplined offense and physical brand of defense to pull away from the Wildcats in the second half.

So, what stood out to us in the first of six title games scheduled for the weekend? Prep Hoops gives you seven takeaways.

2018 SFC F Matt Stevenson scored 21 points in the second half en route to a game-high 24 in the Division 1 Championship

Matthew Stevenson returns from injury in a big way

The 6-4 senior forward had missed two postseason games with a concussion, but returned and was the difference for Eagles. He exploded in the second half for (points), as the Eagles pulled away from the Wildcats. Stevenson is a disciplined ball player who makes decisive cuts without the ball, leading to three backdoor layups in his big third quarter, during which he scored 12 points.

Jalen Flanagan shows his versatility for El Camino

In what will likely be his final game in San Diego, Flanagan notched a double double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. His shot wasn’t falling like we’ve seen it in the past (8-25 FG), but his toughness slashing to the basket and quick hands in the passing lanes on defense were evident. He’s one of the best unsigned players on the board in San Diego, and should be off the board in short order.

Spencer Rydin is a potent ex-factor for SFC…

Rydin, a 6-0 senior shooting guard, hit four threes in the contest, but none were bigger than the back-to-back threes he hit in the 4th quarter to extend the Eagles lead. Rydin has excellent balance on his shot, and has a very quick release, which allows him to get his shot off in tight corners.

…as is RJ Davis for El Camino

Not to be outdone, Davis, a 6-1 junior guard, hit four threes of his own, finishing with 16 points. Davis matched Rydin’s back-to-back threes with consecutive threes of his own. He’s improved dramatically as a shooter from his sophomore to junior year. His finishing off the dribble will be an area we’ll monitor during the offseason.

Big arena, big shooting troubles for both teams – in the first half.

Playing in an arena like Viejas Arena can be daunting for high schoolers. The backdrop can throw even the best of shooters. The team’s combined to shoot 16-50 in the first half.

But the second half was a different story, as the Eagles put on one of the best shooting performances you’ll see, going 18/27 from the field and 5-7 from three. Conversely, El Camino shot 36 percent for the game.

TJ Askew and Jack McRoskey will help their future D3 schools

2018 SFC W TJ Askew is headed to Claremont McKenna

Claremont McKenna and Colorado College dipped into San Diego and got two steals in Santa Fe Christian’s McRoskey and Askew. McRoskey, a 6-2 senior point guard, notched a near triple double with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. His poise with the ball in the fourth quarter stood out (only two turnovers), as he never got rattled against El Camino’s tough man defense.

Askew, a 6-6 wing, is long and crafty with the ball. He showed off some range hitting a three in the 2nd quarter. He needs to get stronger with his off hand and finishing through contact, but his size and skill set will make him a tough cover at the Division 3 level.

Youth is well served

Three freshmen¬† saw significant minutes in the championship game. For El Camino, guards Keavie Love and Tyson Robinson are very active and aggressive on-ball defenders. Santa Fe Christian’s Trevan Martin had the best stat line (7 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds), and is more polished offensively than the El Camino duo. All three will be prospects to monitor in the future.