Ten Best: Crean Lutheran vs. Fountain Valley

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Southern California

Posted On: 11/15/18 10:24 PM

Fountain Valley, Ca. — Crean Lutheran traveled a short distance up the 405 freeway for a nonleague contest against the Barons Tuesday night.

The Saints took home an 80-64 victory, giving first-year head coach Nate Klitzing his first victory at the varsity level.

Here are the Ten Best performers from the game.

Best Overall Performance: Chris Swardstrom, Crean Lutheran

The 6-foot-4 senior scored a game-high 28 points in only three quarters of action. Swardstrom scored in every way imaginable, but saved most of his damage for the 3-point line, hitting a handful of deep triples.

Best Shooter(s): Chris Swardstrom and Jon Scherer, Crean Lutheran

Swardstrom’s performance was mentioned above, but we had to give Scherer a shoutout because of his consistent 3-point shooting strokes. When all is said and done, the 6-foot-5 wing will be in the conversation as one of the top 3-point shooters to lace ‘em up in Orange County and that’s an impressive feat. Scherer finished with 17 points on the night.

Best Play(s) of the Game: Swardstrom’s big second quarter

Swardstrom scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half and hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, allowing the Saints to gain some separation from the Barons heading into halftime.

Best Passer: Aiden Gilbert, Crean Lutheran

Gilbert is one of the more unassuming players in the area, but his basketball IQ and ability to create for his teammates are of the charts. No defender was able to keep the 5-foot-9 point guard out of the paint and he made the Barons pay with drive and kick passes along with a floater with nice touch.

Best Underclassman: Jeremiah Davis, Fountain Valley

Davis is a crafty and efficient scorer at 6-feet-3. He finished with a team-high 19 points while playing limited minutes due to an ankle injury. Davis is a strong two-footed athlete who can blow-by and finish at the rim or pull-up and hit the mid-range jumper.

Best Under-the-Radar Performance: Preston Amarillo, Fountain Valley

The 6-foot-4 lefty showed off his versatility in defeat, recording eight points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Amarillo, just a sophomore, operates best on the baseline where he uses his length to score around the basket or finds teammates diving to the front of the rim.

Best Shot Blocker: Gum Majak, Crean Lutheran

Majak, a 6-foot-9 senior center, continues to get better as both an athlete and a basketball player. A lot of his damage is done on the defensive end where he changes, alters or blocks layup attempts around the basket. Majak came up with four blocked shots in three periods of action.

Best Bench Performance: Aden Casarez, Fountain Valley

The freshman put together a nice effort off the pine, scoring 11 points, six of those from the free throw line and another on a corner 3-point shot.

Best Intangibles: Phillip Nguyen, Fountain Valley

The 5-foot-8 point guard came off the bench for the Barons and brought good energy to both sides of the ball. Nguyen is a ball-hawking defender who communicates well on that end of the floor.

Best Storyline to Watch: Can Crean keep up the hot shooting?

The Saints have a ton of guys, both starters and off the bench, who can knock down an open 3-point or mid-range jumper with consistency. Fountain Valley didn’t close out hard enough on those shooters, allowing the Saints to remain comfortable from deep.