Five Takeaways: WCE Summer High School Invitational

High School
Southern California

Posted On: 07/5/18 10:46 PM

Garden Grove, Ca. — West Coast Elite’s deep cast of employees put together a strong field in its inaugural high school invitational event held at The MAP sports facility in Garden Grove.

The match-up style event featured 71 total teams, including perennial Open Division contenders Mater Dei, Bishop Montgomery, Damien and Long Beach Poly to go along with one of San Diego’s best in Mission Bay and up-and-coming squads the likes of Riverside Poly, Santa Clarita Christian, Riverside Notre Dame and Dorsey.

Here are five things we took away from the two-day event:

St. Bernard is loaded with talent again

The Vikings, led by head coach Mitch Runco, not only return their top players from last season in seniors Romelle Mansel and Amani Harris, junior Nick Bowden and sophomore Tyler Powell, but they’ve also added a deadeye shooter in Josh Himel, who transferred in from Providence in Florida. Senior guard Dorian Stewart could be the glue guy who holds this team together throughout the season.

Santa Clarita Christian could repeat its success from last season

The Cardinals feasted on Division V competition en route to the CIF state title and return four key pieces from that team for next season. Rising junior Caden Starr could be the team’s overall catalyst next season, while solid sophomore Noah Veluzat scored in double-digits as a freshman and rising junior Kaleb Lowery has taken a couple of big steps forward in his development.

Dorsey has an impressive group of young talent

Led by class of 2021 guard Reese Dixon, the Dons have a strong young core of returners and newcomers. Fellow rising sophomores Damion McDowell and Jay’len Carter flank Dixon on the wing as variety scorers and transition athletes with loads of potential. The addition of 6-foot-7 freshman Amir Gibson gives Dorsey an inside presence it didn’t have last season, but it will take Gibson some time to get up to varsity speed.

Is Mission Bay the early favorite to take the San Diego Section Open title?

Boogie Ellis leads the defending San Diego Section Open Division champions and the highly-recruited guard has plenty of help with him. Fellow returning starters Ronnie Latting, Andre Scott and Jay Norton highlight a veteran-laden squad that graduated on one senior from last year’s team.

Washington Prep returns a strong crew from last season’s 23-win team

There is a lot of excitement coming out of the Los Angeles City Section Washington Prep squad. The Generals return five of their top scorers from last season in Noel Scott (15 points per game), Bilal Mike (13.4), Hansen Clarke (10.3), Carl Adams (9.0) and Hassan Hughey (8.4) and have added a nice forward piece in rising junior DeShawn Johnson, who transf