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Posted On: 11/21/18 11:15 AM
Taking advantage of the early start to the season and a spectacular venue, Montgomery High Head Coach Ed Martin organized a quality kickoff tournament in the South Bay, the San Diego Tip-Off Challenge. The four-day event pitted seven of San Diego’s top 25 programs – and one powerhouse from Southern California.
Guess who came out on top?
Sierra Canyon, the No. 1 ranked team in California according to several preseason rankings, laid waste to the field, en route to an 86-40 route of San Diego’s No. 2 ranked team, St. Augustine, in the championship game.
The Trailblazers three-game run was so dominant that Martin named the entire team MVP of the event.
We’ll try to spread the love a little bit more here, naming our standouts in a series of “Five” reports.
First up, the “first five.”
Martin, son of the longtime NBA standout, has his father’s springs and motor. Sure, his above the rim highlights were made great fodder for the videographers on hand, but the unsigned senior’s pursuit of rebounds inside and outside of the paint, offensive rebounding and active hands on defense made a big difference in the team’s three routs.
With his father, the NBA legend, on hand, Pippen put on a clinic on both ends. The 2019 guard turned over opposing guard with his quick hands and aggressive on-ball defense. Offensively, he has an innate understanding of when he needs to take over offensively, and when he needs to facilitate the offense. And, on a team with some very streaky perimeter shooting, it was Pippen who knocked down open threes at a prolific clip.
Prior to the finale against Sierra Canyon, Agbo was the revelation of the tournament, seemingly fully turning the corner in terms of his perimeter skill set. The 2020 prospect has a feathery release and great lift on his jump shot, and shot it much more consistently than in the past, from mid-range and three. Agbo also was a beast on the boards, neutralizing Sweetwater’s big duo in a semifinals rout. As Agbo’s ball handling (too upright, rigid) improves, his stock will soar.
The son of Saints Head Coach Mike Haupt plays the game like a coach’s son. He has impressive feel and basketball IQ, and his versatility and unselfishness with the ball is contagious. Haupt makes the extra pass, which often leads to easy open looks for his teammates, or “hockey assists.” The 2020 prospect also knocked down some shots from three, but needs to get more consistent and elevate his release.
Frank, a 2020 prospect, went scoreless in the first half of the championship game, but impacted the game in other ways. He is a steady rebounder, solid passer out of the mid-post, and does a good job challenging shots in the paint. He then came alive after halftime on the offensive end, scoring 11 points, including a smooth-looking three. He’s not the most athletically gifted of the Trailblazers, but his skill and feel are quite high and a necessary complement on the squad.