It’s the year of the point guard in Southern California high school basketball, and two of the best, Jordan McLaughlin of Etiwanda and Sedrick Barefield of Corona Centennial, each came through in pressure-filled moments Saturday night in the Nike Extravaganza at Santa Ana Mater Dei.
The USC-bound McLaughlin had only two points in the first half against Bellflower St. John Bosco after being concerned about an ankle he had rolled the night before. He finished with 32 points in Etiwanda’s 62-53 overtime victory. He scored the tying basket with six seconds left in regulation on a drive to the basket.
“I was a little scared to play on it,” McLaughlin said of the ankle. “In the second half, it was feeling great, so I was able to play to my full potential.”
He made five three-pointers.
“He’s that good of a player,” Coach Dave Kleckner said. “He takes a team on his back and carried us tonight.”
Said McLaughlin: “This is a big stage. This is what players live for.”
Etiwanda improved to 21-3. Daniel Hamilton scored 18 points and Tyler Dorsey 15 for St. John Bosco (14-8).
Earlier, it was Barefield’s turn.
With the score tied, 57-57, against No. 2-ranked Redondo (18-4), Barefield took a handoff from Deontae North on a pick-and-roll and pulled up on the right side to make the jump shot with 1 minute 14 seconds left. Centennial (19-2), ranked No. 3 by The Times, went on to secure a 67-60 victory .
Said Coach Josh Giles: “We were looking for a backdoor cut. It was open for a second, but he was able to get Sedrick on the handoff, and Sedrick made a really big shot.”
Barefield finished with 17 points and North, a Long Beach State signee, had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Ian Fox led Redondo with 17 points.
Barefield said he has offers from Southern Methodist, San Diego State, Nevada Las Vegas and Baylor. He said Giles challenged the team before the game.
“We need to establish an identity. Are we truly one of the best around or are we just kind of pretending?” Giles told his players.
“It was a good win,” Giles said.
Mission Hills Alemany rallied for a 54-52 overtime win over Fairfax. The Warriors (16-8) trailed, 40-25, entering the fourth quarter, but sophomore Daron Henson made three consecutive three-pointers in the quarter and finished with 16 points. Brandon Boyd also had 16 points.
Gardena Serra (17-6) won its ninth consecutive game with an 81-50 win over Upland. Tavrion Dawson, a Cal State Northridge signee, made eight of 11 shots and finished with 21 points.
Orange Lutheran (13-10) defeated Santa Ana Foothill, 60-54. Rogers Printup scored 17 points and Keisean Lucier-South had 14 points and 14 rebounds.