For the fourth straight year, high school basketball teams from San Diego hit the road over the holiday break to test teams in the area in the “Valley Showcase.” This year it would be five teams from around the area that faced off against some of the best teams in San Diego Saturday, Dec. 7, in the showcase showdown held at Temecula Valley High School. The “Valley” teams were represented by Perris and Elsinore from the Sunbelt League and Vista Murrieta, Great Oak and Temecula Valley from the Southwestern League.
The first game saw the Perris Panthers take out Mt. Carmel in the final seconds, 55-53. Perris was led by senior point guard Marcus Jones, who scored 20 points against the Sundevils. Other top Perris point contributors were Bryan Montgomery (13), Romeo Benevidez (11) and P.J. Martin (5). Mt. Carmel sophomore, Torrey Thomas, kept the visiting Sundevils in the game until the final seconds with his 17 points.
Game two pitted Elsinore against Escondido, who controlled the game the entire time, finishing off the Cougars, 66-50. Elsinore senior Zach Lipps brought down 17 rebounds on his way to 21 points while fellow top Tiger, Anthony Reyes, had a team high 22 points. Junior Donald Fabela was another top scorer for Elsinore with his 17 points.
Vista Murrieta, who found themselves on the CIF watch list this week, went up against Carlsbad in game three of the day. With their fierce attack, and in dramatic fashion, the Broncos blasted past the Lancers in the last minutes of the game, picking up their 12th win of the season with a 46-43 victory. Vista Murrieta, who has a senior heavy roster, were led by P.J. Slaughter’s 9 points. Michael Carongcong and Cole Clark scored 7 points each, while Ravi Alston, Nate Duran and sophomore Trevon Ridley scored 6 points apiece. Senior’s Stone Stapleton (11 points) and Bronson Montgomery (10 points) led the Lancers, who are now 10-6.
In the fourth game of the showcase Great Oak ousted Orange Glen, 65- 51, behind junior Zach Hickey’s 15 points. Senior Jason Bush scored 14 for the Wolfpack, while juniors, Jacob Rodriguez (13 points), C.J. Stevenson (12 points) and Christian Ross (8 points) helped beat the Patriots. Orange Glen led by senior Trevor Owens with 16 points.
With the San Diego teams facing a potential sweep, the fifth and final game proved to be best game of all. In a dramatic triple overtime thriller, Rancho Bernardo helped their San Diego allies keep some clout as they battled the Golden Bears to a 99-93 victory.
Led by 6’5” senior JJ Overton (29 points), the Broncos got the best of the Golden Bears in the third overtime period. Other top scorers for Rancho Bernardo were Taylor Zeimantz (20 points), Christian Wagner (17 points) and senior Andrew Thornton (15 points). Senior guard, Shaun Mitchell, led the Golden Bears with 18 points, while Bryce Denham (17 points), Dante Navarro (13 points) and senior Camden Parenti (12 points) all helped with their top scoring efforts.
League play begins for all the valley teams this week with tipoff times mainly set for 7 p.m. on their perspective days.