It doesn’t matter to the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers whether No. 1-ranked Montverde won or lost on Friday night.
The Trailbazers, ranked No. 4 by MaxPreps, simply wanted a shot at the GEICO defending national champions. Point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. is as composed off the court as he is on. After 17 points and four assists in a 64-49 semifinal win over Westchester (Calif.), Pippen kept a bag of ice on his mouth. He took an elbow in the backcourt, no whistle was blown, and he didn’t complain.
“We want to play Montverde,” he said.
KJ Martin had 18 points and 13 rebounds. His power and finesse are off the charts. He threw down two dunks in an opening-round game with his left hand on baseline drives, but is actually right-handed. Who does that? Martin agreed with Pippen, mellow in tone.
“We keep it low key,” he said.
Cassius Stanley had 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting against Westchester. The highly effective shot selection without losing pace is a major strength for the Blazers, who shot 58 percent (26-for-45) from the floor. Stanley noted that Martin had crazy-efficient performance a year ago.
“KJ went 20-for-20 once or twice last year,” Stanley said.
While Pippen and Martin have celebrity fathers — Scottie Pippen and Kenyon Martin — Cassius Stanley has a unique perspective.
“My dad was in the league to represent players,” Stanley recalled. “He showed me a different side.”
Stanley was hoping to enter the Classic’s slam dunk contest, but the Blazers didn’t allow it, preferring to focus only on the championship.
“I would’ve won the contest,” said Stanley, who has amazing vertical ability.
Priorities, however, are priorities.
“They do well,” coach Andre Chevalier said, “when when they are focused.”