When tournament organizer and San Dimas boys basketball coach Gordon Hamlow released the pairings for the annual Southern California Shootout showcase that will be played at Damien high on Saturday, there was instant thirst for that game that wasn’t on the schedule.
In the final two games of the night, Damien was scheduled to play Corona del Mar and Los Altos would play Etiwanda.
While those are great matchups, there was instant buzz on social media clamoring for a big area showdown of Damien taking on Los Altos instead.
Hamlow made a few calls and everyone was agreeable with a switch, so the game is on.
Damien (17-3), ranked No. 9 in Division 1, will take on Los Altos (17-2), ranked No. 1 in Division 2AA.
Damien and Los Altos will play the final game of the night at 7:30 p.m., with Etiwanda taking on Corona del Mar at 6 p.m.
“I think it’s great,” Hamlow said. “I’m excited to see two really talented teams go at it with some really gifted players. It’s nice to get them together because they’re both so good and for Los Altos, this is one of the best teams they’ve had in a long time. It makes sense that they play.”
Los Altos’ 6-foot-3 junior point guard Jarod Lucas, who already has several offers that include Oregon State, Nevada, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, Boise State, UNLV, Santa Clara, Fresno State, Utah Valley, Montana, Tulane and others is excited about the game. On Wednesday, Lucas dropped 45 points with 11 rebounds in a 72-46 win over Walnut.
Damien has a lot of depth headlined by Northern Arizona commit Cameron Shelton and Sacramento State commit Elijah McCullough.
Locally, Los Altos is ranked No. 1 in the SGVN rankings with Damien No. 2.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Lucas said. “They’re a great program and we’re a great program. They’re the number one private school and we’re the number one public school, it should be a great matchup.”
There are lots of intriguing local games set for the Jan. 20 shootout which are as follows
Glendora vs. Flintridge Prep, 9 a.m.
Rowland vs. Walnut, 10:30 a.m.
San Marino vs. San Dimas, Noon
Riverside Poly vs. La Canada, 1:30 p.m.
Bonita vs. Charter Oak, 3 p.m.
Colony vs. Diamond Bar, 4:30 p.m.
Etiwanda vs. Corona del Mar, 6 p.m.
Los Altos vs. Damien, 7:30 p.m.
“I love the lineup,” Hamlow said. “For area fans, it’s great. La Canada and Riverside Poly should be a good one and excited to watch Charter Oak take on Bonita. Charter Oak is having a really good season so it should be a good day with a lot of great games.”