In the So Cal Clash held Sunday, Aug. 15 at the Hangar Athletic Xchange in Hawthorne, the class of 2011 edged the class of 2012 by a score of 83-78. The game matched elite players in Southern California in each of their respective classes competing for bragging rights. Coaches in the game were state champions from the 2010 season: Mike Lynch of Price (Division IV champs) who coached the seniors and Dwan Hurt of Serra (Division III winners) who coached the juniors.
The seniors would lead by as much as 25 points in the first half. They cruised into the half with a 56-42 lead and control of the game, led by Kevin Bailey of Clovis East with 11 points. The class of 2012 mounted a small comeback in third period, cutting the margin to 69-59 as the quarter ended. The juniors then mounted a furious fourth-quarter rally and tied the score at 71 with 6:10 remaining. The game was close the rest of the way with 2012 tying it again at 76 on three-pointer by Ryan Wright of Palmdale with 2:59 to play. But the seniors held their poise and made some timely foul shots down the stretch to seal the victory. Taft's Spencer Dinwiddie nailed two free throws with 17 seconds left for the final margin.
Chosen by the media as co-MVP's were Bailey and Jordan Daniels of Etiwanda, also of 2011. Bailey led all scorers with 17 points and also chipped in with 8 rebounds. Daniels had 9 points and 4 assists, which tied for game-high honors. Serra's Ronnie Stevens of the senior squad had a game-high 15 rebounds. Dinwiddie and Corona Centennial's Gelaun Wheelright each contributed 10 points for the class of 2011. Redlands East Valley's Paulin Mpawe had 3 blocks to lead the seniors.
For the 2012 team, Compton's Anthony January ledd the way with 16 points while Max Guercy of Bishop Alemany tallied 11. (January also had 9 rebounds.) Wright and Victor Robbins of Compton each contributed 10 points for the juniors. Skylar Spencer of Price lead the class of 2011 with 11 rebounds. Spencer and Robert Upshaw of San Joaquin Memorial in Fresno each had 4 blocked shots for the juniors.
Media in attendance: Dave Roghan and Dave Keefer (California Preps), Ronnie Flores (ESPN Rise), Joel Francisco (ESPN), Jack Pollon (L.A. Daily News), Frank Burlison (Long Beach Press Telegram), Andrew Showlevar (Give N Go T.V.), Don Small and Melvin Sims (GPA Scouting Service), Alan Utter (Hoop Scoop), Gerry Freitas (Westcoasthoopsreport.com/Hoop Review Scouting Service).