Five Takeaways: Rancho Verde vs. Santa Margarita

High School
Southern California

Posted On: 03/9/18 12:28 PM

You’ll rarely see an ending as dramatic as the one Thursday night in a CIF State Division I first round game between Rancho Verde and Santa Margarita.

The Mustangs led the Eagles, 54-51, with just over 10 seconds to play after Jaxen Turner hit two free throws. Santa Margarita came down, ran a dribble hand-off between Max Agbonkpolo and Jake Kyman that turned in to a pick-and-pop for Jordan Guest.

Guest squared up a right-wing 3-pointer off of a well-timed dish from Kyman and drained it, tying the game at 54 with 2.4 seconds left.

Rancho Verde coach Brandon Baker called a timeout and drew up a play to get Turner the ball moving toward the basket up the right sideline. Turner received it, took two dribbles into a half-court heave and sunk the game-winning shot as time expired, ending Santa Margarita’s season.

Here are five takeaways from that exhilarating game and ending.

Five Takeaways

Rancho Verde has the personnel and style to beat any team in Division I

Brandon Baker, as he always does, has his team buying into being grimy and I use that term in a positive way. The Mustangs muck things up on the defensive end, getting up into the chest of guards on the perimeter and rooting opposing big men off their spots on the block. Rancho Verde will grind things out on the offensive end, as well, working the ball around until a good shot presents itself. One of the more underrated aspects of this RV team how deep they are and how all of its players understand their roles and play to them.

Rancho Verde guard Jaxen Turner scored a game-high 30 points, including a game-winning half-court buzzer beater.

Jaxen Turner, a two-sport star, could be a Division I prospect in hoops if he wanted it

Turner, a 6-foot-1, 170 pound guard, finished with a game-high 30 points and scored in every way imaginable. He hit five 3-pointers, finished through contact at the rim and got to the free throw line and the scary thing is he did that in just three quarters after going scoreless in teh first eight minutes. Turner is also a 3-star rated defensive back with offers from multiple Pac-12 schools. What Turner did Thursday night proved the notion that he’s one of the top grid-hoop players in the state.

Tory San Antonio continues is upward trajectory

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound wing continues to show why he’s projecting as a potential Division I prospect. The junior scored a modest eight points on the night, but it’s what he did outside the scoring column that made him stand out. San Antonio played good defense on Santa Margarita’s Agbonkpolo and came away with five steals on the game. He’s also a better passer and rebounder than he’s given credit for.

Jake Kyman has the early beat on Orange County player of the year next year

It’s probably far too early to be making preseason predictions on awards for next season, but Kyman’s steady improvements and consistency this season make him the early favorite as the top player in Orange County heading into his senior season. The 6-foot-7 junior wing had a team-high 21 points last night and scored efficiently and in a variety of ways.

Jordan Guest should be a good four-year player at Boston University

The Santa Margarita senior had his high school career end last night and will be remembered as one of the toughest and most versatile players the Eagles have had. Guest, a four-year starter averaged double-figures in points and near double-figures in rebounds for his career and his motor, physicality and basketball IQ project him as being a solid college basketball player.