Boys Basketball: Arch Rivals are Pasadena Area’s Last Two Programs Standing in Tuesday’s CIF Quarterfinals; PHS Travels to Damien, Muir Goes to Walnut

Published : Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 5:47 AM

Boys Basketball: Arch Rivals are Pasadena Area’s Last Two Programs Standing

From Top Clockwise: Simaine Stewart, Hunter Woods, Tiyon Martin, Haleem Jenkins, Coach Simaine Stewart, Coach Tony Brooks, Tavian Percy, Darius Mason, Darius Brown II, Bryce Hamilton

All season, the Pasadena and Muir boys basketball programs have set the tone for area excellence.

PHS earned their 14th consecutive Pacific League championship and Muir finished second to the Bullogs.

Muir has the most wins (22) in the area, and it’s the program’s high water mark in nearly 20 years.

Aside from a pair of losses to PHS, the Mustangs have won 17 of their last 19 games.

The Bulldogs have won 14 consecutive games, which started with the return of injured point guard Darius Brown II in the second game of Pacific League play back on Jan 5.

After a first-round bye in the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs, Pasadena blew out visiting Loyola, 77-47, on Friday night, and they will travel to Damien (24-6) in La Verne on Tuesday at 7.

Muir has CIF-SS Division 2A postseason victories over Saugus and La Serna by a combined score of 152-108, and they’ll go to Walnut tonight as well..

Over their 14-game win streak, PHS has outscored its opponents by a margin of 1,155-691.

Muir is averaging 71 points per game, and the Mustangs’ balance offensively has been vital in their quest for a CIF-SS Division 2A championship.

Both PHS and Muir have strong leaders in coaches Tony Brooks and Simaine Stewart, respectively.

Muir will take on a Mustangs’ team that averages 52 points per game.

But 40 of those 52 come from two players.

Eli Ramos puts up 21 points per night and Agassi Goantara averages 19 points a game.

Goantara also leads the Mustangs with 6 rebounds, and he has a team-best 52 3 point baskets made (in 142 attempts).

Muir’s offense is more explosive, not to mention they are much more balanced.

Hunter Woods is ‘the man,’ and averages 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots each night.

Haleem Jenkins has been second in scoring all year, and has really come alive in the postseason.

Jenkins averages 13 points per night, and has 40 combined points in two playoff wins thus far.

Tiyon Martin plays with incredible heart.

The 5-foot-7 point guard is never intimidated or afraid to challenge players 6 or more inches taller at either end of the court.

He puts up 11 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds.

Tasson Aubry is the muscle, and is a very important figure in taking advantage of the Mustangs’ size differential with opponents.

Aubry, who is 6-foot-6, is averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Last but certainly not least is senior Simaine Stewart Junior.

Stewart broke his ankle in July and has never been 100 percent this season, but you’d never know by his numbers and contrbutions.

Stewart and his stepbrother (Martin) make up one of the area’s most productive guard duos.

He puts up 8 points, 4 assists and 2 steals for his father’s program.

Pasadena will be no stranger in La Verne, as they played four games in the “Damien Classic” just after Christmas.

Back then, the Bulldogs were far from healthy and they went 2-2 over a four-game stretch.

PHS is playing its best basketball of the season and they are even more stacked than they were a year ago when they made appearances in the CIF-SS title game and the CIF State Regional finals.

Bryce Hamilton is the area’s best player, and the future UNLV Runnin’ Rebel puts up 26 points and 11 rebounds per night.

Hamilton has been on a torrid shooting streak and has made 38 of his last 50 shots in the Bulldogs’ last three games, including the 30-point blowout of Loyola on Friday.

Darius Brown II makes the PHS offense go, and is almost without question the area’s best floor general.

DBII scores 17 a night, dishes out 12 assists and garners nearly 6 steals per game.

Darius Mason has been incredibly valuable to PHS’ 14-game win streak with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists a night.

The difference in finishing second (like in 2016-17) could likely be the key additions of Omari Moore and Tavian Percy.

Percy, a Miami transfer, fit in well and instantly with his teammates and program.

He’s chipping in 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game, not to mention his ability to lock down an opponent’s offensive threat.

Moore has been a big addition after bailing from St. Francis.

The senior has been huge with 11 points, grabbing 5 rebounds and having 3 assists per game.

Damien is explosive offensively, scoring 2,396 points in 30 games this season.

PHS has scored 1,963 points in 27 games.

The Spartans have two CIF-SS Division 1 victories heading into this game over Temecula Valley and Cantwell-Sacred Heart, and by a combined margin of 169-130.

Damien is led by 6-foot-3 senior guard Cameron Shelton, and will be a big focus of the Bulldogs’ defensive scheme.

Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. for both games.


Pasadena coach Tony Brooks: “Damien is well deserved in its recognition as one of the top basketball teams in Southern California. There are serious weapons all over the court and they are led by a truly talented and intelligent floor general in Cameron Shelton. They have shooters, athletes and a proven system. so we will certainly have our hands full. As a basketball fan, you have to love the individual match ups in each position. Our kids are excited and ready for the challenge. This game could very well come down to the last possession.”

Muir coach Simaine Stewart: “From what I have seen, they are a really well prepared and focused basketball team. They execute their offense and set multiple screens to get their shooters open. They play really hard. We will need to win the deflection and 50/50 ball battles. We have to play in their gym, so they will be comfortable, but we will need to make them play on their heels, and do things they aren’t accustomed to do. Our plan is to establish our style of play and make adjustments where needed.”

2018 CIF-SS Playoff Scores:
Feb 14: Muir 80, Saugus 61
Feb 14: Pasadena Had A Bye
Feb 14: Damien 100, Temecula Valley 67
Feb 14: Walnut 48, Newport Harbor 39

Feb 16: Muir 72, La Serna 47
Feb 16: Pasadena 77, Loyola 47
Feb 16: Damien 69, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 63
Feb 16: Walnut 60, Trabuco Hills 43

Feb 20 Quarterfinal Schedule:
Muir (22-7) at Walnut (20-9)
Pasadena (21-6) at Damien (24-6)

Friday Feb 23 Potential Match Ups:
Muir-Walnut winner vs Cypress-San Marcos winner
Pasadena-Damien winner vs Roosevelt-Rancho Verde winner

League Finishes For Playoff Teams:
Pasadena (first in Pacific League)
Muir (second in Pacific League)
Damien (tied for second in Baseline League w/Chino Hills)
Walnut (fourth in Hacienda League)

Current Win Streaks:
Pasadena: 14
Walnut: 4
Muir: 2
Damien: 2