High school point guards are not usually 6 feet 5, but that’s one advantage for sophomore Bryan Alberts of Sun Valley Village Christian, and he showed Friday night why he is headed for big-time status.
With his team in need of leadership, Alberts took charge in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of his game-high 18 points and helping the Crusaders defeat previously unbeaten Pasadena Muir, 58-47, in the championship game of the La Salle/Temple City tournament.
Alberts, who transferred from Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, was selected the tournament’s most valuable player.
“He’s one of the best players in Southern California,” Coach Jon Shaw said. “He’s an unbelievable point guard. He’s learning what it takes to lead the team.”
Muir (11-1) kept coming back from deficits, getting within 51-46 against the Crusaders (15-1), but Alberts controlled the ball and made the right decisions during key moments.
“My team helped me through this whole tournament,” he said. “We needed something [in the fourth quarter]. They were coming back. They had a 9-0 run. I was trying to be the leader of the team, so I had to get us going.”
Marquis Salmon scored 14 points and Marsalis Johnson, another sophomore transfer from Sierra Canyon, added 11. Jelani Mitchell had 13 points for Muir.
There were a couple of schools that became big winners as a result of the off-season transfer movement. Bellflower St. John Bosco picked up the Hamilton brothers, Isaac and Daniel. Woodland Hills Taft got Anthony January from Compton and Shaqquan Aaron from Santa Ana Mater Dei. And Village Christian certainly came out feeling good with Alberts and Johnson.
“They’re impact players,” Shaw said.
About the only person happier than Alberts after the game was Shaw’s 8-year-old son, Kaden.
“We get ice cream tonight,” he exclaimed.