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February 3, 2013

Individual performances rule at Nike Extravaganza

Santa Ana, Calif. - The 2013 Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei High presented many promising match ups, and was loaded with Arizona recruits.

Unfortunately for the those in attendance, a majority of the games didn't live up to the hype, but the Wildcat recruits fared much better than the overall tournament itself.

Huntington Beach (Calif.) Ocean View 88, Las Vegas (Nev.) Durango 66

Class of 2015 combo-guard Kendall Small barely missed a triple-double in the Seahawks rout as he finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Small, who says he's been working on his outside shot this season, was 2 of 4 from behind the arc. The 6-foot guard is shooting 30-percent from 3-point range this season.

Fellow Seahawks sophomore Tyler Burch led all scorers with 24 on 10 of 16 shooting. Burch, a 6-foot-5 wing, was the catalyst for Ocean View from the outset, and set the tone with his smooth jumper and crafty drives to the bucket.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax 55, San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra 52

The game was sluggish from the outset, as JSerra scored just four points in the second quarter and went into the break trailing 26-18.

The second half was more of the same from both teams, but JSerra was able to put together a decent third quarter, outscoring Fairfax 20-13 in the period to trail by just one, 39-38 heading into the fourth.

JSerra had the ball with 11 seconds to play and trailing by three. Johnnie Vassar crossed half court and found Rex Pflueger on the left wing with a look at a three, Pflueger passed on the look and swung the ball back to Vassar who missed his 3-point attempt.

A 6-foot-4, class of 2015 wing Pflueger scored 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting, including 2 of 6 from behind-the-arc. What the sophomore lacks in aggressiveness he makes up for, sometimes, in athleticism. There's no question that the sophomore is among the elite leapers in the tournament.

2013 recruit Jamal Aytes paced JSerra with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while three-star, class of 2014 prospect Johnnie Vassar finished with 16 points on 5 of 10 shooting.

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman 70, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran 60

It took an extra four minutes, but Bishop Gorman ousted a feisty Orange Lutheran squad in overtime.

The Gaels didn't look like themselves in the 3:30 p.m. game, but held a 28-14 lead at halftime.

Orange Lutheran outscored Gorman 24-13 in the third, and 18-15 in the fourth to send the game into extra time.

That's where Gorman took over, holding the Lancers to just four points in overtime to secure the win despite a tough night from class of 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman.

The struggles of the five-star Zimmerman allowed another Gorman sophomore, Chase Jeter, to shine.

The Gaels ripped Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Oasis on Friday night, 82-38, but then jumped on a bus and made their way to Southern California to take on the Lancers.

Fatigue might have been a factor for the less-than-Gorman performance, especially from Zimmerman. The 7-footer finished with just three points on 0 of 5 shooting and 3 of 8 from the free throw line. Zimmerman pulled down eight rebounds in his 23 minutes of play.

Another factor to Zimmerman's struggles was the defensive effort from Orange Lutheran. The Lancers doubled the five-star prospect on every catch, making it hard for Zimmerman to get anything going.

Again, the struggles of Zimmerman allowed fellow class of 2015 prospect Chase Jeter to shine. Jeter finished with nine points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes on the floor. It was clear that Jeter made big strides since the last time GOAZCATS.com saw him in Las Vegas in late December at the Tarkanian Classic.

Jeter was very active on the screen-roll, and was also effective on defense. The 6-foot-9 forward altered a number of Orange Lutheran shots at the rim.

Three-star, class of 2013 wing Rashad Muhammad led Gorman with 24 points on 8 of 19 shooting. Sadly, Muhammad's half court 3-pointer at the end of the first half might have been the most exciting moment of the Extravaganza.

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei 63, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester 60

The finale of the Extravaganza didn't start on time, didn't end when people expected it to and also didn't live up to the usual hype of the premier game of the Nike Extravaganza.

Mater Dei got the win behind 21 points and 16 rebounds from five-star, class of 2014 recruit Stanley Johnson, but the aura surrounding this game was nothing in comparison to years' past.

Elijah Brown added 19 points for the 24-1 Monarchs, who went into the fourth tied at 42 with the Comets.

The Mater Dei defense stepped up and held Westchester scoreless for the first five minutes of the final period. The Monarchs closed out the win at the free throw line, making 14 of them in the fourth quarter.

Matthew Grant led Westchester with 23 points.

Devin UglandDevin Ugland
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst

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