The Southern Section Open Division got off to a rousing start last Friday across the southland. Bishop Montgomery, Etiwanda, Mater Dei and Sierra Canyon all came away with victories to advance to Saturday's semifinals at Cal Baptist Univ. in Riverside.
Top-seeded Bishop Montgomery remained unbeaten with a 60-43 win over St. John Bosco. The Knights are now 26-0 and seem unstoppable. UCLA-bound David Singleton scored 17 points, Josh Vasquez scored 14 points and Boston Univ.-bound Fletcher Tynen scored 10 points to lead Bishop Montgomery.
Joshua Adoh scored 15 points to lead St. John Bosco, which finished third in the Trinity League and came limping into the section's top bracket having lost four of its past nine games. Make it five of 10 now.
Etiwanda improved to 28-1 with a 67-62 victory against Santa Margarita, the No. 2 team from the Trinity League. Kessler Edwards scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Eagles, who have not lost since late November. Elijah Harkless added 13 points and six rebounds with six assists to help Edwards.
Jake Kyman scored 22 points to lead Santa Margarita, which also received 15 points and seven rebounds from Max Agbonkpolo and 11 points and seven rebounds from Jordan Guest.
Santa Margarita was within three points on two different occasions late in the game but could never solve the outstanding defense orchestrated from the top by coach Dave Kleckner.
Mater Dei was able to handle No. 6 Crespi in a 63-53 victory. Harvard-bound point guard Spencer Freedman (expected to be selected Trinity League player of the year for the third consecutive time) scored 16 points to lead the Monarchs (22-6). Utah Valley-bound Harrison Butler scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help Freedman while Reagan Lundeen (headed to Washington) poured in 15 points.
Mater Dei did a great job defensively holding Crespi to a season-low 53 points. Mater Dei held Arizona-bound Brandon Williams to 15 points on four of 20 shooting from the field.
The only road team to win was No. 5 Sierra Canyon with an 83-79 victory over No. 4 Rancho Christian.
Cassius Stanley was spectacular in the second half with 20 points and finished with 27 total. Scotty Pippen, Jr. poured in 22 points while K.J. Martin added 18 points.
Stanley and Pippen were a combined 14 of 17 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter alone.
Sierra Canyon held a 10-point lead early in the first quarter before seeing the advantage evaporate behind a barrage of three-point baskets from Jordan Montgomery and K.J. Redfield.
The Mobley brothers (Isaiah and Evan) combined to score 30 points to lead Rancho Christian. Redfield scored 18 points (all on 3's) and Montgomery had 12 points (all on 3's) for Rancho Christian, which could not hold onto two separate five-point leads in the second half.
SATURDAY FEB. 24
CAL BAPTIST UNIV. IN RIVERSIDE
No. 1 Bishop Montgomery vs. No. 5 Sierra Canyon, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Etiwanda vs. No. 3 Mater Dei, 8:30 p.m.