In an unusual schedule, both Mesa and Red Mountain High School opened their season with a region game. Mesa would thwart Red Mountain, 74-38.
In the big home win, Mesa would unleash their version of a "BIG 3" - emerging with seniors, 6-foot-7 senior post Tanner Crawford (22 points), 6-foot-1 senior guard Jimari Grayson (14 points) and gifted 5-foot-11 senior guard Steven Cervantes (15 points). The BIG 3 would propel Mesa to a big home victory, despite also showcasing glimpses of their younger talent - two standout guards, which included 6-foot-3 senior guard Bennet More (11 points) and 5-foot-10 senior guard Cameron Oltmans (6 points).
The first quarter appeared to be close in the opening minutes, but Mesa showed their dominance with Crawford having his way in the paint - scoring the first (3) field goals of the game. The next two field goals were provided by Grayson, just slashing through the lane and putting up points.
Mesa showed a nice balanced attack on offense, with a nice inside (Crawford & Grayson) and outside (Cervantes and Cummard) scoring combination. 6-foot-4 junior Talbot Cummard complemented the Big 3 well by chipping in 7 points.
Mesa just outmuscled Red Mountain, however Red Mountain showed fight with Bennet More and Cameron Oltmans playing hard on both ends.
We look forward to seeing how the 6A Division shapes up, as Mesa showed they are one of the top contenders in 6A. Other top programs in the 6A Division this season include Brophy Prep, Perry, Hamilton, Mountain Pointe, Mountain View and Chandler High School.
#2 Bennet More - 6-3 Sr. Point Guard - A good distributor who makes good decisions to get his teammates involved on both ends of the floor. Has a nice range.
#11 Cameron Oltmans - 5’10 Sr. - Guard - Showed nice range and scoring ability. Has a good motor and plays hard on both ends of the floor.
#23 Tanner Crawford - 6’7 Sr. - Forward - Currently has an offer from Glendale CC and interest from several D-2 schools. After tonight, his stock should rise as he led all scorers with 22 points. He has impressive footwork and back-to-the-basket post moves. He cleans the glass well and knows how to utilize his size to his advantage. His third field goal of the game impressed me, since he jumped over a defender for an offensive rebound and came down with a two-handed slam dunk. A huge steal for any college program, as he has tremendous upside.
#5 Steven Cervantes - 5’10 Sr. Guard - A Glendale Community College commit, who impressed with his long range and mid-range scoring ability. He has a high IQ with solid decision-making ability. One of the premiere guard prospects in the state.
#4 Jimari Grayson - 6’0 Sr. Guard - A hidden gem prospect. Down-hill scorer that loves contact and finishes strong at the hoop. He is a great facilitator with excellent vision to find the open man, as defenses collapse on him. He is an excellent on-ball and off-ball defender with athleticism and strength. College coaches looking for a physical point guard, this is a solid prospect for your program. A steal for any college coach. Kid has a tremendous work ethic.
#34 Michael Kim - 6’1 Sr. Guard - Another shooter to add to the mix at Mesa. A transfer from Kailua High School in Hawaii, who played for legendary high school coach Wally Marciel. Has nice range with a smooth stroke. Though he was one of the first guys off the bench, definitely a silent assassin that showed he can hit shots, if left open.