Turning the Corner: Basketball Championship Preview – Boys Open Division CIF SS Final

Wherewithal –
that with which to do something

It takes a different kind of ball player to become special, raising his/her game to the next level.  You find yourself able to take what you’re doing in practices, scrimmages, game situations, lab work, etc., and turn it into victories for your team (and yourself in the form of letters and recruiting opportunities).  In a nutshell, playing at the highest level, on a big stage.  Understanding, as a player, it’s all about winning.  That’s why you do what you do out there on the court.

It should be plenty of above the rim action tonight during the CIFSS Open Division ‘Ship. The game will come down to who can execute, hit their open shots and stay focused on a big stage for 32 minutes. PopScout

Well what if I’m having a bad game Popscout?  Exactly.  That’s where that word above comes into play. Wherewithal. Does your team, as a whole, have the wherewithal to get it done on a night when you’ve found yourself in a shooting slump? On a night when your star player gets into foul trouble? On a night when it just doesn’t seem to be going your way in terms of calls and that bouncing ball. That old cliche of there’s no I in team comes into play you feel me.  Players (and coaches), recognizing that on any given night, we may need to rely on another option or two.  A few guys/gals willing to take the ‘next man up’ approach, to make it happen and get it done.  No excuses.

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Sierra Canyon and Mater Dei are two teams that have relied upon each other to get it done from the onset of 2017-18.  The Monarchs lost two key pieces early on (Bol Bol, PJ Fuller), many wondering if Mater Dei and long time Coach Gary McKnight lost their mystique as well.  Sierra Canyon, on the other hand, had to sit two of its top pieces due to CIF transfer issues, many wondering if 1st year coach Andre Chevalier has enough big stage coaching swag to ‘weather the storm’ and vault his team to heights previous coach Ty Nichols just couldn’t attain.

A few questions should get answered tonight.

Mater Dei (22-6, 9-1) vs Sierra Canyon (23-3, 7-0)
Cal State University Long Beach (Pyramid Arena)
8:30pm – March 2, 2018

Two teams who’ve shown enough swag to stay on top and be special.  Mater Dei went 4-5  against national opponents out of state. Pulling from those instances and experiences will definitely be a part of their mindset and decision making abilities against Sierra Canyon tonight.  The ability to pull from real world on the court scenarios and slip them into your game on the fly, is priceless.  Mater Dei comes in ranked #8 in the State, #34 nationally per Maxpreps.  The Monarchs may have lost depth and star power, but Coach McKnight has his club playing on Championship Day – as usual.  Look for Senior captains Spencer Freedman and Reagan Lundeen to be instrumental leaders on the court tonight.  Freedman stays as cool as a cucumber, hoping to have logging enough big time playing minutes to take the brunt of Sierra Canyons back-court running mates.

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He’ll need all of those mental notes and then some, against a scrappy and determined Sierra Canyon back court with the likes of Scottie Pippen Jr. and Ohio State commit Duane Washington – who shot call and big ball with the best of them.  D Wash has become Mr. Clutch,  showing poise, smartness, toughness, and enough intangibles to make special plays for his ball club on a consistent basis.  SPJ provides leadership and a scorer’s mentality, keeping defenses honest, allowing him to become special on any given night.  Toss in Mr. Highlight-reel himself in Cassius Stanley and you got a recipe for some good old Apple Pie.

Although KMart is still finding his stroke and will need to fine tune his offensive repertoire this off season, he brings enough swag and high level play that should equal success – in college and beyond. Popscout

Sprinkle in KMart and he becomes the icing (whip cream) on the cake.  The Trailblazers are special.  In terms of court play, the foursome has guided Sierra Canyon to the Open Division ‘Ship and a #4 State, #21 National ranking.  SC came up short the last couple of seasons, even with the D1 star power they had on board.  Tonight should give us an insight on just how far these two teams have come since day 1.  Are they able to show togetherness, cohesion, and enough execution to bring home the ‘Ship?  Who will step into a zone and become locked in, taking his team to the next level? Preparing them for CIF SS State playoff games next week.  Tip off slated at 8:30pm.

The Pick:
Sierra Canyon

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