Arizona basketball signee Stanley Johnson played in Phoenix on Saturday in a high school tournament. Richard Obert of our Gannett partner The Arizona Republic was there. Here is the story:
By Richard Obert
From warm-ups through most of Saturday’s game, Stanley Johnson attacked the rim with an electric array of powerful moves.
He had four thunderous dunks in the first half, feasted at the free-throw line after being fouled on quick moves to the basket, and helped Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei punish Houston Yates at its fast-tempo game in a 100-57 rout in the Basketball Hall of Fame Hoophall West at Grand Canyon University Arena.
In the later national game, Oak Hill Academy, a top-10 team in the nation, used an 18-9 third-quarter run to hold off Las Vegas Bishop Gorman 60-54. Guard Caleb Martin, MVP of Friday’s win over Houston Yates, had 20 points, making 11 of 13 free throws. Trevor Manuel made 9 of 10 foul shots and had 13 points ,and Terrance Phillips scored 11 points to help Oak Hill (16-1), which shot only 36.6 percent in the game, 29 percent in the first half. Bishop Gorman led until the third quarter, but managed only 28 second-half points, shooting 38.1 percent in the half.
Johnson, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound senior who chose Arizona over Kentucky and Southern California for college, had 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, playing mostly facilitator for the third-ranked team (5-0) in the nation.
“I could have zero points and zero assists, as long as we win,” Johnson said. “I’m playing point guard now. It’s a little different for me, but I want to guys get their shots off.”
M.J. Cage added 22 points and 14 rebounds and guard La’Vette Parker added 21 points for Mater Dei.
Johnson is trying to lead Mater Dei to a fourth consecutive upper division CIF state championship. He has started for Mater Dei since his freshman year. He will play a prominent role for UA as a freshman next season.
“I expect to come in and make an impact from the start,” Johnson said.
In the earlier Arizona invitational part of the Hoophall West, Gilbert crushed Scottsdale Chaparral with a strong inside game, led by 6-8 Truman Moore, and went home with a 56-41 victory and the third-place trophy. Gilbert made 23 of 26 free throws. Moore made all six of his free throws and had 16 points and two blocks. Point guard Anthony Bryant added 12 points. Chaparral made just six of 11 free throws and got outrebounded 34-25. Ryan Bayster and Andrew Croft each had eight points to lead Chaparral.
Yates (6-4) played arguably the two best teams in the showcase, and barely got halfway to its accustomed 100 points a game. It lost to top-10 Oak Hill Academy 102-56 on Friday during the first day of the Hoophall West.
It came out faster and stronger Saturday, but after about three minutes, Mater Dei put on a fast-break clinic with Johnson putting on a dunk show and finding open teammates inside for easy baskets.
Mater Dei went on a 14-2 run and built a 24-14 lead in the final 4:31 of the first quarter.
Johnson had 12 points, making 4 of 8 free throws, and had seven rebounds in the half. M.J. Cage made six of 10 shots and pulled down 10 rebounds in the half for Mater Dei. La’Vette Parker added 14 points in a 48-27 half.
Yates, lacking height and a half-court game, made just 11 of 34 shots in the half and got outrebounded 26-15.
Impressive game from Stanley Johnson tonight at Hoop Hall West. Too easy for him at HS level. Had a few big dunks & got to the rim at will.
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) December 15, 2013
Good showing for Stanley Johnson against Yates. Got to basket at will and had some explosive finishes. Becoming a strong outlet passer.
— Josh Gershon (@JoshGershon) December 15, 2013
— Tracy McDannald (@TracyGOAZCATS) December 15, 2013