There are many top high school basketball players graduating in California but make way for the next star, freshman Aidan Mahaney from Campolindo High in Moraga. He served notice on Saturday that he’s ready to thrust himself into the conversation of players to watch.
The 6-foot-2 point guard made seven of 10 shots and finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists to help Campolindo win its first state championship with a 55-40 victory over Ontario Colony in the Division II final at Golden 1 Center.
“He’s not afraid of the moment,” Colony coach Jerry De Fabiis said of Mahaney.
It was a tough moment for Pepperdine-bound senior Sedrick Altman of Colony. The Titans (31-6), who had won 14 consecutive games, shot only 29.6% from the field. Altman finished with 28 points but was 10 for 24 shooting.
“It stings now,” De Fabiis said. “We were a little spooked and afraid of getting charges. We took some quick shots that we didn’t want to take.”
Meanwhile, Mahaney, 15, showed poise beyond his age. He caused Altman to commit an offensive foul in the first quarter with great anticipation. Campolindo (27-7) is loaded with talented freshmen, sophomores and juniors and could be an Open Division team in the coming seasons. Sophomore Emmanuel Callas scored 19 points.
Mahaney embraced St. Mary’s assistant Justin Joyner after the game. Joyner has been training him since first grade.
Los Angeles Ribet Academy 60, Reedley Immanuel 49: The three-point shots weren’t going in for Ribet in the Division IV final, which was deadlocked at 46-all with 3:14 left, but an 11-0 run gave the Fighting Frogs the title.
Ribet was two for 18 from three-point range when Tyler Powell, who was 0 for 6, provided a spark. With the 30-second clock winding down, the sophomore fired up a three from the right side and it went in. It broke the 46-46 deadlock and led to the winning run.
“I had faith in our guys,” said first-year coach Reggie Howard, a former Long Beach State assistant.
Powell finished with 15 points. Point guard Snookey Wigington led Ribet with 19 points and six assists. Freshman Barrington Hargress added 10 points. Wigington’s younger brother, Tookey, is a member of Open Division finalist Chatsworth Sierra Canyon.
Asked whether it puts pressure on him to win a state title, Wigington said, “Yes, it does.”
Ribet (27-3) won one game last season. Then Howard was brought in and Ribet picked up seven new players.
Powell has been the best newcomer. He came from Playa del Rey St. Bernard, where he was a starter as a freshman. While he loves shooting threes, and despite a 29-28 lead, it was him at halftime saying, “We need to go inside.”
Immanuel (26-9) received 18 points from Winston Williams.