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Posted On: 10/5/18 6:13 PM
Culver City, Ca. — It just its second year of operation, the RyseUp Fall Classic hosted by Culver City high school brought together 18 of Southern California’s top high school basketball programs for a day of hoops, but more importantly, to bring awareness to a rare form of cancer, Renal Medullary Carcinoma, which sadly took the life of Ryse Williams, a standout basketball player and student at Redondo Union high school in 2017.
Last year’s CIF Southern Section Open Division state champion Sierra Canyon headlined the field and was joined by other top-flight programs the likes of Bishop Montgomery, Long Beach Poly, Brentwood, Westchester, Taft and St. Anthony of Long Beach for the nine game slate. Below are four takeaways from a strong morning and afternoon of hoops.
Sierra Canyon loaded with talent, will likely open the season as state No. 1 team
Even playing without one of the top players nationally in the 2019 class, Cassius Stanley, Sierra Canyon still looked the part of the (potential) top-ranked preseason team in the state. Scotty Pippen, Jr. is poised for a huge season, Kenyon Martin, Jr. showed some improved perimeter touch to go along with his freakish athleticism, Terren Frank is as good of a prospect you’ll find in any class and 6-foot-11 center Christian Koloko brings a much-needed inside presence, especially on defense, which will be crucial in the Trailblazers defending their state Open Division crown.
St. Anthony got deeper and more talented
The Saints return three starters from their 28-win team last season and add a couple of nice pieces in Cantwell-Sacred Heart transfer Jadon Jones and Mary Star of the Sea transfer Dedrick Allen, Jr. Jones immediately joins Frank Staine, Marquise Nellom, and Joshua Belvin in the first five and his length and energy fit in perfectly with how coach Allen Caveness likes his teams to play. St. Anthony likes to run opponents ragged and Caveness can feasibly go 10-deep into his bench to keep legs fresh.
Forward addition gives Long Beach Poly another layer
Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve become accustomed to seeing the Jackrabbits playing small-ball with its all-guard lineup defined by quickness, defense and fast tempo offensively. But the addition of bouncy and active 6-foot-6 forward Solomon Jones adds a great interior piece on defense and a transition finishing threat on the other end.
Taft is a legitimate City Section contender
The Toreadors have a litany of talented guards and wings at their disposal which will help them remain among the top three teams in the Los Angeles City Section along with Fairfax and Westchester. Senior wing Brandon Wilson caught fire from 3-point range, point guard Dominique Winbush is as tough and heady as they come, 6-foot-4 junior Demetrius Calip II can shoot it with the best of them and bouncy 6-foot-4 wing Khalil Haywood is a transition threat.