Posted On: 03/15/18 7:02 PM
Bellflower, Ca. — With a trip to the Division I SoCal State Regional Final on the line, St. John Bosco harkened back to what it knows best to topple Rancho Christian for a third time this season — defense.
The Braves double and sometimes triple teamed Isaiah Mobley and Evan Mobley, the two versatile 6-feet-9 and then some forwards who have paced the Eagles since they entered high school.
Bosco couldn’t hold down Evan too much as the sophomore finished with a game-high 20 points, but Isaiah managed 11 points which is well below his season average.
The Braves held Rancho Christian to 54 points in its 71-54 victory and move on to face another tall task in 6-foot-9 junior center Onyeka Okongwu and Chino Hills Saturday at The Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State.
Jonathan Salazar led St. John Bosco with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Chris James and Josh Adoh added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Jonathan Salazar’s versatility shined through
The 6-foot-5 forward is strong, powerful and athletic enough to play and guard as many positions as you’d like. Salazar has great timing on his shot blocks and shot contests, cleans the defensive glass with his explosive leaping ability and can lead the break despite shaky decision making at times. Bosco coach Matt Dunn said he didn’t know if Salazar would play due to an injury, but the junior battled through the pain and dominated on both sides of the ball.
Evan Mobley trending toward the top 2020 prospect in the state
The tools that Evan Mobley has at 6-10, pushing 6-11, are otherworldly. The length speaks for itself, but his fluidity both in transition and when picking and popping in the half-court are uncanny for a sophomore prospect. Mobley can score inside and out with touch and confidence to the 3-point line. He has quick first and second jumps, soft hands and just a high level overall feel for the game.
Future is bright for Bosco
Of all of Matt Dunn’s deep rotation, only one, Chrystian Medina, is a senior. Salazar, James, Adoh, Fernando Gomez and Jalen Manson are all juniors, while Josh Camper and Jordan Brown are sophomores and Boogie Evans is just a freshman. We can’t forget about the three high level freshmen that Dunn stashed on the junior varsity team in Scotty Washington, Jeremiah Paul and Lamaj Lewis.
This is a matchup we could see for at least another year
The likelihood we see some more battles between these two sides is quite high. With CIF going to the “competitive equity” model to determine playoff divisions, Bosco and Rancho Christian will most certainly be in Division I, if not the Open Division, for the foreseeable future with its depth of talent. As noted above, the Braves have tons of talent returning next year as does Rancho Christian. The Eagles return the Mobley’s along with starting point guard Jordan Montgomery and freshman wing Luke Turner who has logged solid minutes this season.