Posted On: 11/29/19 8:52 PM

On a rainy evening the day before Thanksgiving, Mater Dei Catholic sent a clear message in its home gym: They are an Open Division contender. 

The No. 6 Crusaders used a big night from 2021 W Melo Sanchez to defeat No. 4 Torrey Pines 72-64 in pool play of the Armstrong Horsman Automotive Memorial tournament. 

Here are some of the key takeaways:

Melo Sanchez is a big-time prospect

The 6-4, 200-point "basketball player" isn't blessed with great vertical athleticism or foot speed, but his scoring IQ, ability to use his body to create space and a vastly improved perimeter stroke make him an intriguing prospect to say the very least. 

He finished with 31 points and 7 rebounds, scoring from every level and getting key buckets or plays to repel any Falcons runs. He's had a lot of schools show interest, but performances like that will get some of the programs off the fence and convert interest into offers.

Brandon Angel is unselfish - at times, too unselfish

During the first half, I was impressed with Brandon Angel's decision making and passing off the drive, as he had several assists and hockey assists after attracting secondary defenders in the Crusaders

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