It's finally here! The Southern Section Open Division championship game is set for Friday night, March, 2, at 8:30 p.m. at Long Beach State's Pyramid.
And what a matchup it is.
Mater Dei vs. Sierra Canyon. Two private school powerhouses.
No. 3 Mater Dei won the Trinity League and knocked off Crespi and Etiwanda in the playoffs. Three-time Trinity League player of the year Spencer Freedman leads the team and gets help from 6-foot-9 Michael Wang, Utah Valley-bound Harrison Butler and Reagan Lundeen.
It is not Mater Dei's most talented team ever but the Monarchs have fought all the way through to the section's most important game.
Sierra Canyon did the impossible last week knocking off previously unbeaten Bishop Montgomery one week after taking down Rancho Christian and the Mobley brothers.
Coach Andre Chevalier's squad boasts a 23-3 overall record and is led by Ohio St.-bound Duane Washington and four top juniors with a great sophomore.
K.J. Martin, Cassius Stanley and Scotty Pippen, Jr. and L. Simpson are the juniors. Terren Frank is the sophomore. All players mentioned are transfers. It's amazing this group has come together so quickly to reach the section's top division championship game.
Sierra Canyon gets the slight edge here in talent and wins the game close.
Other top championship games this weekend include Pasadena and Chino Hills at 8 p.m. Saturday at Azusa Pacific. UNLV-bound Bryce Hamilton going against top junior 6-foot-9 Onyeka Okongwu.
Another top team to watch is Rolling Hills Prep. Coach Harvey Kitani's club is going for its second consecutive championship behind Chris Koon, Alex Garcia and Vaughn Flowers.
The Huskies take on Carnegie of Riverside Saturday at Godinez High in Santa Ana.
Riverside Poly is going for a championship behind super-sophomore Lamont Butler.
Santa Clarita Christian is a big favorite in Division 5-AAA. The Cardinals feature Jordan Starr, Kaleb Lowery and freshman Noah Veluzat.
A very interesting game is the Division 2-AA championship between Crossroads and Brentwood. The two exclusive privates schools located on Los Angeles' westside have already played twice this year. Crossroads features Shareef O'Neal, son of Shaq and recently committed to UCLA after walking away from Arizona due to the recent events related to the FBI probe into college basketball corruptness.
Brentwood counters with a slew of underclassmen, including Braelee Albert, Sam Clareman, and J.R. Olofson.