As usual, Shaun Jackson was his cryptic self Saturday night after Mater Dei's 78-51 victory over Clovis West in the Southern Regional Division I championship game. One-, maybe two-sentence answers was about as long-winded as Jackson got.
And as usual, Jackson's game and his teammates did most of the talking. Twenty-six points, 14 rebounds, four blocks, one steal and one bandage over a large gash on his chin said it all.
Mater Dei guard David Castleton said he was in awe of Jackson Saturday night.
"That's the way Shaun is," he said. "He took all of us on his back and took us to Oakland. He's been telling us all year, in practices, games, everywhere that he wanted to go to Oakland."
Forward Schea Cotton scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but he admitted the game belonged to Jackson.
"This is Shaun's senior year and I know he wanted to go out with a bang," Cotton said. "Shaun got us going and all we had to do was follow him."
Jackson scored eight points in the first quarter as Mater Dei took a 22-5 lead. But it wasn't only the points. Jackson also blocked two shots, intimidated a few others and grabbed four rebounds.
The painted area on both ends of the floor had been established early, and it was clear Jackson wasn't about to let anyone else have a piece of it.
Clovis West guard Nathan Fast, who had two of his shots swatted by Jackson, said he isn't used to seeing 6-foot-8, 215-pound players with Jackson's athleticism.
"Cotton and Jackson beat us up inside pretty good," Fast said. "Their strength killed us. They're high school kids with 21-, 22-year-old bodies."
About the only glitch in Jackson's game came in the second quarter when he landed on the floor and split open his chin. He spent all of 30 seconds on the bench while the Mater Dei trainer taped his chin and gave him jersey No. 54. His No. 35 jersey was stained with blood.
The blood appeared to faze Jackson about as much as a reporter's question. He made two quick layups after returning and then an eight-foot jumper to help give Mater Dei to a 31-18 halftime lead.
Jackson scored another eight points in the third quarter, all on power moves in the lane as bewildered Clovis West players looked on. Jackson said it was really no big deal.
"I just wanted to go back to Oakland, that's all," said Jackson, who made 12 of his 19 shots and also had two assists.
It didn't matter that Jackson dominated a Fresno-area team or a Los Angeles Crenshaw team.
"A game's a game," he said. "Whoever we play, we just go out and play hard."
Mater Dei point guard Kevin Augustine said no one played harder than Jackson.
"Shaun was there whenever I needed to be bailed out," he said. "Shaun was a man on the boards, and whenever we threw the ball to him inside, he scored with ease."