Jordan has stepped up to challenge

first_imgArtesia, which won the CIF Division III State title last year, looks just as good if not better this season. It is ranked 12th in the nation by USA Today. Led by Arizona State signee James Harden and 6-foot-10 sophomore forward Renardo Sidney, who’s scored 30 and 28 points in playoff wins over Dana Hills and Simi Valley, the Pioneers appear to be on a collision course to meet top-ranked Mater Dei in the I-AA final March 3 at the Honda Center. But on Wednesday night, first-year Artesia coach Loren Grover said Jordan, especially on its home court, should not be overlooked. “Jordan’s won two games they were supposed to lose and they make me nervous,” Grover said. “We’ve got to be afraid of them because we’re playing in a hostile environment and they’re peaking at the right time.” Here’s a look at the other playoff games involving area teams tonight at 7:30 p.m. DIV. I-AA QUARTERFINALS Mayfair (21-6) at Mater Dei (26-3) Before the playoffs started, Monsoons coach Brian VanderWal said they didn’t have a win yet in the season that they could hang their hat on, but a victory tonight would certainly qualify. The Monarchs are ranked 13th in the nation by USA Today and for Mayfair to win, it has to contain Duke signee Taylor King, who’s averaging 29 points a game. Compton (25-3) at La Mirada (21-7) On Wednesday night, Tarbabes coach Tony Thomas admitted his squad is playing with a chip on its shoulder and through two games, the Tarbabes are taking it out on everybody they play. Compton has looked dominant in two playoff wins and on Tuesday, junior center Edgar Garibay was fantastic, scoring 28 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in an 85-59 win over Harvard-Westlake. Junior forward Demar Derozan was also his usual self, scoring 20. For La Mirada, after Josh Robbins had a huge game in the first round, Derrick Williams scored 16 in a 63-54 win over St. John Bosco in the second round. Dominguez (21-7) at Thousand Oaks (25-3) While the Dons may not be grabbing most of the headlines as Artesia and Mater Dei are, they’re proving to be very dangerous in the postseason. Quinton Watkins is playing some of the best basketball of his career, demonstrated by the 26 points he poured in on Poly on Tuesday but what really has to make Dominguez coach Russell Otis happy is that Watkins is not the only one stepping up. In the first round, Mathew Dewaal had a big game and against the Jackrabbits, Derrick January scored 14. DIV. I-A QUARTERFINALS Etiwanda (22-7) at Los Alamitos (24-4) The Griffins played awfully well in the last round, beating Leuzinger on the road 79-63 behind Cameron Jones 36 points. In addition, 6-foot-9 Corbin Moore scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the win. DIV. IV-A SEMIFINALS St. Anthony (25-3) vs. Buckley (22-6) at Harvard-Westlake High St. Anthony has looked like anything but a second seed in its first two playoff games, barely beating Cathedral 60-59 in the quarterfinals. Michael Cotton scored 19 points in that game for the Saints. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Still, it was perhaps their greatest moment of the season for even in their worst hour, they realized they could beat anybody. After upsetting Centennial in the first round and Santa Margarita in the second, the Panthers (20-9) will try to keep their season alive tonight at 7:30 p.m. when they host nationally ranked Artesia (26-2) in a CIF Southern Section Division I-AA quarterfinal game. On the final day of the regular season and with the Jordan High boys basketball team needing to beat Compton to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Panthers were up 16 points in the fourth quarter with seven minutes left when the game suddenly got away from them. The Tarbabes went on a huge run, Demar Derozan ended up with 35 points and when it was over, the Panthers had blown a huge lead at home, suffering a demoralizing 67-63 loss. center_img “For a fourth-place team in the Moore League to get this far is incredible,” Jordan coach Ron Massey said. “But I think it’s a tribute to our league and it shows just how tough it is because every game is like a playoff game.” After losing to Compton on Feb. 8, Jordan fell to 6-6 in league and it had to beat Wilson in a playoff game at Lakewood High the next night to automatically qualify for the playoffs. In the fourth quarter, however, the Panthers fell behind by eight points but this time, it was Jordan, which found a way to come from behind and win 56-51. “Every game we lost this season was because we failed to execute at crucial times,” Anderson said. “But since that Wilson game, we’ve been executing really well, especially in the fourth quarter.” The Panthers have scrapped and clawed their way to two OT victories in the postseason. last_img read more