Dominguez edges Santa Margarita
In 18 years coaching basketball at Compton Dominguez High, Russell Otis’ teams have won six state titles, 10 Southern Section championships and produced NBA players Tyson Chandler and Tayshaun Prince.
Now Otis is beaming about another exceptional talent, 6-foot-7 Jordan Hamilton, whose offensive versatility makes him one of the top players in the state.
“Once he figures out things totally, he’s going to be something special,” Otis said.
Hamilton, averaging 28 points, had 25 Saturday night in helping the Dons defeat Santa Margarita, 59-55, in the Nike Extravaganza at Santa Ana Mater Dei.
It was an important victory for Dominguez (21-2) in terms of seeding purposes for the upcoming Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs. The Dons are ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ association poll ahead of unbeaten Mater Dei, and by beating the Monarchs’ Trinity League rival, Dominguez might have locked up the No. 1 seeding. Myron Green made two free throws with 12.4 seconds to clinch the victory and drop Santa Margarita to 21-4.
Hamilton, who was an All-City forward at Los Angeles Dorsey last season, didn’t have his best shooting game, making 11 of 27 shots. But he contributed 14 rebounds, had two assists in the fourth quarter and kept his poise throughout.
Otis seems to be succeeding in getting Hamilton to control his emotions during games. Last season, Hamilton would erupt on the court, whether at officials, teammates or his coach.
“It has a great deal to do with him wanting to change,” Otis said. “Sometimes he’s so competitive he flares up.”
Hamilton is listed as a junior academically, but he’s in his fourth year of high school and will need to petition the Southern Section to obtain a fifth year of athletic eligibility.
It was a day and night to watch the best in high school basketball, with nine teams represented in The Times’ top 25 rankings participating.
In other games:
Los Angeles Fairfax 62, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick 61 -- Lance Bailey’s free throw with nine seconds left broke a 61-61 tie, and the Lions (21-3) survived a three-point attempt at the buzzer to pull out an emotional victory in which they successfully overcame the loss of center Renardo Sidney to five fouls with 6:38 left.
North Carolina-bound junior guard Dexter Strickland scored 28 points for St. Patrick (18-3), making nine of 12 shots. He tied the score with 27 seconds left on a layup. Strickland got the ball on St. Patrick’s final possession, dribbled down court, then passed it to Jermel Jenkins, who missed.
Sidney was limited to nine points and four rebounds, but Solomon Hill came through with 22 points and 11 rebounds for Fairfax.
Westchester 75, Concord De La Salle 56 -- The Comets (23-3) used their superior quickness and strong play from All-City guards Oscar Bellfield and Jarred Dubois to rout the Spartans (18-3). Westchester shot 62% from the field and received 13 points apiece from Bellfield and Dubois.
San Juan Capistrano JSerra 74, Ontario Colony 53 -- Demetrius Walker, a junior transfer from Fontana, had 25 points and eight rebounds to lead the No. 17 Lions (16-9). Tyler Lamb, a 6-5 sophomore, scored 23 points to lead Colony (16-8).
Anaheim Canyon 62, Los Alamitos 50 -- UCLA-bound point guard Jerime Anderson had 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals for the Comanches (20-4). Corbin Moore, a 6-10 senior forward, had 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots for No. 15 Los Alamitos (18-7), which lost for the second time in two days. Canyon led, 32-19, at the half.