Mike Stanton, basketball player?

Mike Stanton looks more than just a highly prized high school football and baseball player...

After leading Sherman Oaks Notre Dame to a 79-65 win over Harvard Westlake in a Mission League game on Friday, Mike Stanton looked more than just a highly prized high school football and baseball player.


The 6-4, 215 pound Stanton looked every bit the part of an in shape, rookie Charles Barkley against the Warriors after scoring 26 points and pulling down 24 rebounds.


Stanton is just rolling into basketball shape after joining coach Bill Bedgood's squad following the end of football season, where he has drawn Division-I recruiting attention as a wide receiver and defensive back.


Against Harvard Westlake (16-5, 7-2) Stanton was not the best player on the court, however his balance, size, coordination, and determination, showed he is just too developed for almost any high school player basketball player to contend with.


Stanton kept getting better as the game went on, helping the Knights expand its 36-30 halftime lead to as much 62-44 late in the third quarter.


During the game, Stanton did miss six easy shots, had some turnovers and four fouls, yet at no time wasted energy by displaying  cry baby behavior like Koby or Allen.


Stanton has many options after graduation. He can already hit  with major league power and could sign a pro  baseball contract after high school; meaning he could still play college football as well.


Harvard Westlake had no one willing to defend the muscular Stanton on the inside, with Warriors' star player Renaldo Woolridge often just slowly loping around out of harm's way. Woolridge finishd with 13 quiet points, well below his 20 point season average. Teammate Jabari Trotter had 14 points.


Notre Dame (16-6, 7-2) featured a formidable front line with Stanton flanking 6-3, 240 pound Aaron Thomas, 6-5 Aaron Fisher and 6-7 Pierce Brooks.


Knights' point guard Jose Garcia put in a very impressive performance against Harvard Westlake, totaling 23 points and handing off 13 assists. The speedy Garcia, who stands about 5-7, displayed ball-handling skills that would rival any community college point guard.


With its package together, Notre Dame could give any playoff opponent a match up problem. However, the Knights seem locked into an inside game and are inconsistent at the free throw line.


Notre Dame lost its Mission League opener to Los Angeles Loyola, followed by a 64-47 first round league loss to Harvard Westlake. They came back to pin Encino Crespi with its only Mission League loss with a 69-56 victory, and will play Crespi again on Feb. 5  for what could decide the league title.


Notre Dame has some nice wins on its schedule sheet, including a 71-68 win over state-ranked Rocklin High from Northern California. The Knights also defeated Los Angeles Price, 78-75, and have a 76-67 win against Clovis East High.


More big wins seem obvious for Notre Dame and if Stanton continues improving his hoop game, he could become a Danny, Dave, or Gene, instead of a Deion, Brian or Bo.

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