The early hints of what Scotty Pippen Jr. could accomplish in his senior year this season at Sierra Canyon were visible at the end of last season when the Trailblazers won the state Open Division championship.
Pippen’s play in big games had lifted the Trailblazers to prominence. You could see a player just beginning to develop and imagine what he might be like with additional strength.
It has come to fruition this season. You see it in how he finishes drives even when he’s fouled. You see it in how much easier it is for him to dunk. You see it in his aggressiveness on defense.
Sierra Canyon is 20-1, and Pippen has been good from Game 1 through Game 21. He’s second in scoring on the team with a 17.4 points average and leads the team with 4.2 assists.
He recently committed to Vanderbilt. The Trailblazers have lots of big games ahead, from playing Brentwood for the Gold Coast League championship on Jan. 25 to facing Rancho Christian at Cerritos College on Feb. 2. If they win out, they will be the No. 1 seed for the Southern Section Open Division playoffs. They lost by two points to Mater Dei in last year’s final.
But it’s clear if you want a chance to beat Sierra Canyon, you must deal with Pippen, who always seems to deliver when needed.