For once, Kevin Flanagan of Torrey Pines High School won’t be the center of attention. Against Artesia, which will play at Torrey Pines tonight at 7:30 in the first round of the Division II Southern California Regional boys’ basketball playoffs, Flanagan might almost look like just another center.
The reason? Simple: Ed O’Bannon.
O’Bannon, a 6-foot-8 center, is one of the top junior players in the country, according to Torrey Pines Coach John Farrell.
But Flanagan isn’t worried. He says he likes to play against the best because it gives him more control over the outcome.
“I’ve played against players that are equally as talented as him,” Flanagan said. “That really doesn’t worry me at all.”
Farrell expects to see O’Bannon all over the court.
“He plays wherever he wants,” Farrell said. “He’s a great outside shooter.”
Torrey Pines (31-1) lost to Artesia (21-6) by 15 points in a scrimmage last summer. The top-seeded Falcons are led by 6-8 forward Courtie Miller, who will play at San Diego State next season; Flanagan, who will play at Arizona, and point guard Darren Cox.
Eddie Scott, Byron Scott’s nephew, leads what Lincoln Coach Ron Loneski calls a “monstrous” Morningside team with a 6-8, 6-7, 6-6 front line.
Morningside (21-5), which lost to Corona del Mar in the Southern Section 3-A semifinals, plays at host Lincoln tonight at 7:30 in a Division III game.
“I knew that we were going to have to play Morningside eventually,” Loneski said. “It’s unfortunate we have to play them the first game.”
Loneski said Lincoln will rely on Darryl McMillan to complement his team’s big producers, guard/forward Joe Temple (6-4) and center Aaron Wilhite (6-8).
And Loneski isn’t overly concerned about Morningside’s height.
“To me, the most overrated characteristic of a basketball player is size. I’d rather have speed and quickness.”
The Vista High girls’ team, top-seeded in the Division II playoffs, plays host to Anaheim Canyon (22-5), which may be missing starters Keri Erkenbrack (mild concussion) and Christa Ramirez (knee), who were injured in a soccer championship game Saturday.
Vista Coach Joe DeMaria says his team is well prepared for the playoffs after a difficult season.
“We feel like we’re ready for anybody,” he said. “We’ve played about as tough a schedule as I could put together.”
Vista (26-3) is led by 6-4 center Chris Enger, who finished the regular season as the second leading scorer in San Diego County. She scored 26 points in the section final victory over San Marcos.
Other San Diego teams hosting 7:30 playoff games tonight:
--In the Division I girls’ playoffs, second-seeded Point Loma (30-1) will play host to Santa Barbara (21-8), the Southern Section 5-A runner-up.
--In the Division III girls’ playoffs, USDHS (14-7) will play host to Palm Desert (23-3).
--In the Division V girls’ playoffs, La Jolla Country Day (17-5) will play host to Pilgrim (20-3).
--In the Division IV boys’ playoffs, Christian (14-11) will play host to Orange Lutheran (23-4), the Southern Section 2-A runner-up.