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Posted On: 09/12/18 4:31 PM
NORWALK, Ca. – The fifth annual Ron Massey Memorial Fall Hoops Classic featured some of the west’s very best high school teams.
And it Las Vegas Bishop Gorman – the top-ranked team in the west last spring – coming out on top of the event Sunday afternoon by knocking off Bishop Montgomery, 59-57, in the eight-team Challenge of Champions bracket at Cerritos College.
But, along with the 12 games involving the CoC teams, there were 18 “Showcase” games.
Those 30 games offered a nice look at some of the very best western prospects across the classes of 2020 (current freshmen), ’21, ’20 and ’19.
Here are the freshmen that most impressed when I watched them:
Richard Isaacs Jr. (6-1/Henderson, NV, Coronado/PICTURED)
What transpires during the Pangos Frosh/Soph All-West Camp (Sept. 22-23/Westminster High) and the USA Basketball Mini Camp (Oct. 5-7 in Colorado Springs) will offer more in-depth perspective.
But, at least for the time being, I don’t think there is a more complete first-year player in the region.
All of Isaacs’ skills – as a ball handler, passer and especially as a jump shooter – were on display in his team’s CoC games vs. Bishop Montgomery, Santa Margarita and Corona Centennial.
D.J. Dudley (6-3/San Diego San Ysidro)
Dudley, who had a nice performance during the Sept. 1 Crème of the County at Army-Navy Academy in Carlsbad, dropped 27 points (including a couple of 3s) in his team’s Showcase loss to Pasadena Saturday night.
He’s going to have a monster season for Coach Terry Tucker.
Christian Moore (6-6/L.A. Brentwood)
He scored 17 points in his team’s overtime loss to Riverside Poly Sunday morning. He’ll be a key in Coach Ryan Bailey’s program pursuit of a third consecutive CIF Southern Section title this season and could prove to be the most gifted of the SoCal Class of 2022.
Randi Valle (6-6/San Gabriel Academy)
He’s got to get a bit more assertive but he’s looked like a top-flight prospect every time I’ve watched him in a camp or club ball setting. He and SGA lost to Redondo Sunday morning in a Showcase game.
Benny Gaeler (6-0/San Pedro Rolling Hills Prep)
Coach Harvey Kitani has a lot of key elements back from a program that has won back-to-back Southern Section titles.
But Gaeler – as playmaker and jump shooter – should have a nice impact on Kitani’s veteran-heavy rotation.