Maranatha’s formidable and talented front court is extremely tall for a high school team, and consists of center Muusa Dama at 6-foot-9, power forward Ron Gore at 6-6 (16 points and 14 rebounds), and small forward Nick Springer at 6-5.
In a nonleague clash against host Flintridge Prep last Friday evening, the Minutemen (6-8) simply powered past the short-handed Rebels, 74-50, who were without two starters including one of the best players in the Southland in point guard Robert Cartwright, who will play at Stanford.
Of course this is hardly a recipe for success, but the Rebels (3-7) were able to battle throughout and despite the disadvantage came within 40-32 before giving up a 15-0 spurt with Springer nailing consecutive three-pointers.
Meanwhile, St. Francis used six free throws late to hold off neighbor La Canada, 58-51, in the third-place game of the San Gabriel Valley Classic on Monday.
La Canada (8-4), ranked No. 7 in the CIF Southern Section Division III-A, prefer to hoist up three-pointers at any time and connected on 14 in 32.
The Spartans’ final hoop was a mid-range jumper from Dan Jun (13 points with three assists), who was named to the all-tourney team, and teammate Jacob Brown also had 13 points.
St. Francis, the No. 3-ranked team in Division III-A, didn’t score after Jun’s hoop which got the Spartans within 52-51 and slightly more than three minutes left, but Evan Crawford (15 points) stole the ball, raced the length of the floor and put in a layup that gave the Golden Knights (11-3) a 54-51 advantage and 2:39 showing.
In another contest on Monday, Hoover (9-3) took apart Norco, 53-40, behind Argin Sarkissian’s 19 points and Chris Sarkissian’s 15 in a consolation game of the Whittier Tournament.
Two days earlier the Tornadoes drilled La Puente, 72-40, as Chris Sarkissian dropped in a team-best 12 points, while Teo Davidian, Argin Sarkissian and Kevin Nazari all poured in 11 points.
The La Salle girls’ team pulled away from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 50-34, in the fifth-place match of the La Canada tourney on Monday as Jenna Tran had 11 points, while Camilla Homans and Casey Johnson each tallied seven points for the Tologs (5-9).