Northridge, CA – Saturday, October 28th, Core Prep Academy hosted The Fall Classic at Heritage Christian High School, which featured six games between 12 teams primarily from the Valley (Northern Los Angeles County). The showcase kicked off with a match-up between Chatsworth and Viewpoint of Calabasas, featuring 247’s Class of 2026 #4 ranked 6’5” Alijah Arenas.
The skilled and lengthy wing/guard got it going out of the gate, as Arenas would get to the line 4 times in the opening frame along with a pair of threes to score 14 of the team’s 17 points in the 1st quarter. Junior point guard Aeneas Grullon and Sophomore Monty Koonce combined for 24 points in the first half to keep Viewpoint close, with Chatsworth leading by a score of 44-43. Arenas proved to be too much for the Patriots, as he would finish with an event scoring high of 42 points connecting on 5 threes, and showing his ability to create off the bounce and score it from 3-levels. Senior guard Nasir Jones chipped in 12 points, as Chatsworth would pull away and won the opening game, 74-60.
The second game of the showcase featured Crespi of Encino against Cleveland of Reseda. Junior forward Peyton White of Crespi dominated the paint in the first half, as the Celts would take a 10-point lead into the break, 31-21. Crespi blew the doors open in the 2nd half, as standout sophomore guard Joe Sterling would heat up and score 11 of his team-high 14 points after intermission. White would finish with 13 points and 7 rebounds, as well as 11 points and 3 assists from freshman Isaiah Barnes in a complete team win, 68-37.
After the blowout win by Crespi, the third game of the showcase featured Village Christian of Sun Valley and St. Francis of La Canada. Junior standout Mazi Mosley of St. Francis (247’s #83 for Class of 2025) was the watch-list player entering the game, but two of his teammates, along with a few Crusaders, stole the spotlight in one of the best games of the day. Village Christian got a huge first half from freshman point guard Deion Lewis, scoring all 16 of his points before the break, and hitting on 4 threes in the process. Sophomore DeLan Grant of St. Francis scored 8 of his total 14 points in the half to keep the Golden Knights within striking distance, but the Crusaders were up 36-26 after two quarters. St. Francis got a big 2nd half from junior Joe Hickey, scoring 12 of his team-high 16 points after the break and going 4 for 4 from the free throw line. Junior Aaron Matthews had 9 points after intermission to help the Golden Knights close the gap, but junior shooting guard Andy Porcayo was too much for St. Francis to contain, as he would put up 13 of his game-high 17 points in the 2nd half to give his team the 68-63 win.
The fourth game of the showcase featured Campbell Hall of North Hollywood and Birmingham of Lake Balboa. The Vikings have been busy this Fall playing in some high-level events and great competition, and it showed on Saturday, as Campbell Hall dominated the Patriots from the start. Senior Aliaun Iscandari was locked in on defense and on the attack on offense, as he would score 18 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, to go along with 4 steals and a block. Standout scoring guard Aaron Powell also chipped in 22 points, as he displayed his ability to get to the line, knock down the 3-ball off the dribble or the catch and shoot, and his elite burst of speed when on the attack. Junior Isaiah Johnson dropped 17 points and was locked in on defense with 4 steals that led to multiple transition buckets. Sophomore Deuce Newt added 15 points with 3 threes, as the Vikings would win big, 90-62.
The best game of the event came in game 5 between host-team Heritage Christian of Northridge and Windward of Los Angeles. Heritage Christian’s one-two punch of juniors Dillan Shaw and Tae Simmons came up big for the Warriors in the first half, as they would combine for 17 of the team’s 36 points. Standout freshman Josiah Nance scored all 7 of his points before the break to help give the Warriors a 36-35 edge going into the half. Juniors JJ Harris and Louis Bond combined to score 22 of the team’s 35 first half points, with Harris connecting on 3 threes after two quarters. Senior Nasir Luna came out on fire in the 2nd half, knocking down 3 threes in the first four minutes of the 3rd quarter to get things rolling for the Wildcats. Shaw and Simmons continued to put up points for the Warriors, finishing with 19 and 18 points respectively, but the 8-point 4th quarter by junior guard Gavin Hightower, along with 9 of his game-high 22 points for Harris gave Windward the 74-69 win over the host team.
The final game of the day featured defending state champs, Harvard-Westlake of Studio City and West Ranch of Valencia. Standout senior James Evans Jr. of West Ranch would keep the Wildcats close in the first half, as he would score 15 points with 3 threes. The chemistry and skill of the trio of seniors Trent Perry and Robert Hinton, and Junior Nikolas Khamenia, dug the Wolverines out of an early 9-2 deficit to take an 8-point lead into the half, 37-29. Despite the tough defense and 6-point 3rd quarter from senior guard Darrell Morris, the depth and multiple scoring options for Harvard-Westlake proved to be too much for West Ranch, as it won by a score of 78-58.
Overall, a very well run event that featured some elite prospects, as well as some of the top teams in the Southern Section. Great pre-season warm-up event as we get closer to the start of the official season.