Posted On: 03/3/18 2:41 PM
The CIF-SS boys basketball championship games from the Open Division on down to Division 5AAA will be played over the next two days at various sites across Southern California.
The Division 2A title game is the one with perhaps the furthest distance between the two schools in Riverside Poly and San Marcos of Santa Barbara.
It’s also one of those games of contrasting styles. Poly is guard oriented, led by stud sophomore Lamont Butler, while San Marcos rides with its 6-foot-9 senior Jackson Stormo.
Below is a capsule of storylines to watch for, who to watch and what the keys will be for either side to come away with a victory.
Overall Record: 24-7
League Record: 7-3, third place, Inland Valley League
Top Players: PG Lamont Butler (6-0, 155, So.); G Tobin Kund (6-1, 160, Sr.); F Lavele Johnson (6-6, 175, Jr.); F Trent Thornton (6-5, 180, Jr.); G Carlton Brown (5-10, 160, Sr.)
Others to Watch: G Budd Bernie (5-11, 165, So.); G/F Derek Rubidoux (6-1, 175, So.); G Amare Flanagan (5-11, 160, Sr.)
How They Win: Lamont Butler is one of the most polished true point guard prospects in all of Southern California and he’s pulled all the right strings for Poly this season. The Bears don’t feature another top shelf prospect the likes of Butler, but do have a solid supporting cast of role players led by sharpshooter Tobin Kund and active forward Lavele Johnson. Poly is well-known as an offensive juggernaut and will need to be firing on all cylinders Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Poly defends against Jackson Stormo in the paint. The Bears don’t have a true big with the size and girth to single-cover the San Marcos big, so look for Poly to send a hard double his way.
Overall Record: 25-6
League Record: 8-0, Channel League champions
Top Players: C Jackson Stormo (6-9, 240, Sr.); G Ryan Godges (5-11, 155, Sr.); G Stef Korfas (5-11, 160, Sr.); F David Frohling (6-3, 175, Sr.); G Nate Fay (6-0, 165, Sr.)
Others to Watch: F Beau Allen (6-4, 185, Jr.)
How They Win: To beat Poly, you have to try and make Butler as uncomfortable as possible which is easier said than done. Before this season, the game plan against Poly’s sophomore point guard was to turn him into a scorer rather than a guy who sets up his teammates, but now he’s scoring at an impressive clip, while also making his teammates around him better. San Marcos needs to control the pace and make Poly grind it out on offense. A healthy dose of Stormo is surely in the cards on the offensive end.