On a balmy evening in Southern California, over 13,000 fans (including such notable figures as Nike's Phil Knight and George Raveling and adidas' Sonny Vaccaro) and media representing over 150 media entities crowded into UCLA's Pauley Pavilion to watch the feature game of the sold-out 9th annual Pangos Dream Classic between the national high school poll's No. 1 St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron OH) led by the nation's top high school player LeBron James and nationally ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) led by the senior trio of Wesley Washington (Minnesota signee), D.J. Strawberry (Maryland signee) and Harrison Schaen (committed to Princeton).
This nationally ranked match-up also was viewed live by hundreds of thousands at home on ESPN2. Media that were present represented such major national media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Fox Sports Net, FOXSports.com, New York Daily News, New York Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon-Journal, Oakland Tribune, SLAM Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Fresno Bee, Student-Sports Magazine and Hoop Scoop as well as foreign media from as far away as France and Japan.
St. Vincent-St, Mary (8-0) endured a sub-par shooting night from James (8-for-24 from the field), but James' otherwise solid all-round performance (21 points, 9 boards, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line) carried the Irish past the Monarchs 64-58.
Washington led Mater Dei (15-2) with a team-high 18 points as well as 9 rebounds and 5 assists. St. Vincent-St. Mary (which shot 19-for-22 from the free-throw line) also received double figure scoring from senior Romeo Travis (12 points), junior Corey Jones (12 points) and senior Dru Joyce III (10 points).
In earlier Pangos Dream Classic action that day, Mayfair (Lakewood) beat Loyola (Los Angeles) 62-54 as Mayfair's senior point guard Brian McFadden sparked the Monsoon attack with a game high 19 points and 6 assists. Senior guard Dejon Prejean added 17 points and Utah signee Justin Hawkins contributed 14 points.
Carson survived 43 points by Compton Centennial's junior Arron Afflalo to outlast the Apaches 86-79 in double-overtime. Maryland signee Ekene Ibekwe had 27 points, 12 boards and 7 blocks for the Colts including several key plays in the 2nd overtime period (including a crucial 3-point play with 38 seconds remaining) that sealed the victory for the Colts.
Carson also received substantial contributions from sophomore Brian Harvey (22 points, 10 boards) and point guard Samuel Hill (19 points, 8 assists). Afflalo was terrific for Centennial, connecting on 50% of his FG attempts including a 70 foot shot to close the 2nd period) as well as having 7 rebounds and 4 assists while junior Michael Gordon scored 14 points and emerging athletic junior forward Chris Berry added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
In the event's nightcap, junior point guard Sebastian Telfair was sensational scoring 30 points (11-for-19 in less than 3 quarters) before injuring his ankle as Lincoln (Brooklyn NY) handled Vallejo 91-63 despite 37 points from Vallejo's junior guard DeMarcus Nelson (committed to Duke).
Telfair's impressive performance included several outstanding assists which kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The 9th annual Pangos Dream Classic attracted the largest regular season crowd to watch a high school event in Southern California during the last 20 years as well as being the first event ever in California and on the West Coast to have a game nationally televised live by a national television network (ESPN2).