Posted On: 03/1/18 4:37 PM
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – Five observations from the Rancho Christian-Santa Margarita CIF Southern Section Open Division seventh-place contest Tuesday night, won by the visiting Eagles, 61-56, and giving Rancho Christian the section’s No. 3 seed to the State Southern Regional D-I playoffs and host Santa Margarita the 4 seed:
*Rancho Christian’s Mobley Brothers are terrific now – and just how good are they going to be a year from now, when Isaiah is a senior and Evan a junior?
Evan, IMHO, is the most gifted sophomore in California – especially, at 6-foot-10, in his ability to make large impacts out on the outcomes of games at both ends of the floor.
He scored 21 points with seven rebounds and five blocked shots Tuesday night – most of those deflections against members of Santa Margarita big and gifted frontcourt.
And Isaiah was every bit as productive with 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
*Sophomore point guard Jordan Montgomery (eight points and four assists Tuesday night) remains Coach Ray Barefield’s most under-appreciated player – and the guy on whom whose shoulders will rest a major of the responsibility if Rancho Christian is going to make a deep run into the state regionals that get underway on March 7.
If he can consistently get his team into its half-court offense, hit open jump shots (that will create more operating room for the Mobleys in and around the lane), limit his turnovers and put pressure on its point guard-counterparts, the Eagles are capable of winning not only the regional but state title, as well.
*And here’s another reason Rancho Christian will have one of the very best frontcourts in all of high school hoops a year from now:
Six-six freshman Luke Turner has made steady progress all season, both as a jump shooter (he hit a 3 coming off the bench in the first quarter) and rebounder.
*Santa Margarita was short-handed in both of its consolation losses (it fell at Crespi, 80-69, last Friday) with its best all-around player, 6-7 junior Jake Kyman, sidelined with an infection in his lower back.
But Kyman is expected back for his team’s March 7 opener (that will be at home, as the likely No. 4 overall seed in the 16-team field).
He scored 22 points in the Eagles’ first-round loss at Etiwanda, which is the Southern Section’s No. 4 seed for the State Open Regional competition (which begins March 10).
*Rancho Christian was able to stay within striking distance throughout the Tuesday clash, largely do to the production of 6-8 junior Max Agbonkpolo (PICTURED), who scored 24 points with eight rebounds and scored a couple of spectacular hoops over the top of each Mobley.
He seemingly improves each time he steps onto the court and, like Kyman, he is on the short list of the very best prospects in the western class of 2019.