Prep Impressions: Nov. 30, 2013

I covered the Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda-Corona Centennial boys varsity basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.com, and came away thinking the first two minutes of the second half decided the game.

Etiwanda (4-0) jumped from a 36-32 halftime lead to a 47-32 margin on the back of power forward Kameron Edwards (Sr., 6-foot-5, 190 pounds), who scored the Eagles’ first two buckets of the run.

By the time there was 12 minutes left in the game Etiwanda could comfortably trade baskets with Centennial (3-1), and Edwards finished the game off with a thunderous dunk with 1 minute remaining.

The Eagles look like the real deal, and were recently ranked 23rd in the nation by MaxPreps.com.

Senior SG Jordan McLaughlin (Sr., 6-foot, 180 pounds) has a silky touch but was just 6 of 18 shooting and just 1 of 5 from 3-point range for 17 points.

Already committed to USC, McLaughlin’s frame needs muscle mass. The rigors of college basketball will demand it.

Not the be outdone, Centennial G Sedrick Barefield (Jr., 6-foot-1, 180 pounds) was electric at times, and was a much more respectable 8 of 16 from the field. He made an NBA-range 3-pointer near the end of the first half, penetrated consistently and got Etiwanda’s big men, including Edwards (13 pts, 12 reb.), into foul trouble.

Barefield, who has yet to make his collegiate commitment, finished with a game-high 22 points and also had six assists.

Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda coach David Kleckner:
“We knew we had to get back on defense, transition-wise because the get the ball up the court so quickly. They really like shooting that 3-point shot so we had to make sure we were up on those guys and not giving them stand-still 3s. Trying to contain the ball. Barefield’s such a good penetrator (but) I though our guys did a really good job tonight. Barefield had a heck of a game. He looked solid out there. He’s everything people talk about. He’s that good but I’m also happy with the way my guy defended him. I thought he did a nice job on him, and specifically guarding the front-court dribble press. Josh and I know… we’ve been through this so many times before. There’s a good chance we could meet again in the CIF playoffs. We have a great comradarie together. I have a lot of respect for Josh and his program. We like playing games like this with teams like this. It’s a good measuring stick for us to see where we’re at. I think, offensively, we’re trying to tell our kids to make really good decisions. They do want to play that up-tempo style so don’t get caught trying to play too fast if it’s not there. I think we did that more than I would’ve like to… then toward the end with their trap I don’t think we did as good a job to keep the ball moving against their half-court trap.”

Corona Centennial coach Josh Giles:
“We wanted to pressure them. Speed them up a little bit. They’re always good, and anytime you play Etiwanda it’s going to be a tough test. Every time we play these guys it seems to go back and forth but they got us tonight. That’s all you can try to do is to slow (McLaughlin) down. You can’t stop him. He’s going to make some plays. We have a lot of respect for them. I’m friends with their coach, and they do a lot of things really well. It’s always a great game when we play them and they played well. We got to clean stuff up. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds. We missed free throws. We didn’t execute offensively for the first time this tournament. And it’s the first time we played team that was physical and that’s tough for us. At times we didn’t respond very well.”

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