LIVERMORE, CA — Even in defeat, Northern California shined.
Las Positas College hosted the first ever Prep2Prep California Classic all-star game. The event pitted the class of 2016 all-stars from Northern California against their rivals from the south.
Despite impressive performances from Jordan Ford (28 points), who led the game in scoring, Nikhil Peters (25 points) and Jordan Ratinho (20 points), Nor Cal fell just short by a final score of 137-134.
Devearl Ramsey paced Southern California to victory with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, a performance good enough for the MVP award given by the members of the media that were in attendance. Lonzo Ball, a UCLA commit who is ranked as the 11th best high school basketball player in the country by ESPN, contributed with 19 points and Keith Fisher of Westchester high school scored 20.
The south jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and an eventual 31-18 lead, but Nor Cal fought its way back.
After getting the lead back to single digits, De La Salle’s Jordan Ratinho provided a spark off the bench by draining back-to-back threes and six straight points to give Nor Cal a 52-50 lead midway through the second quarter.
The final two minutes of the half was a wild affair that featured 11 lead changes. A final three-point shot by Cal commit Oscar Frayer, who also had a highlight-reel dunk worthy of an NBA dunk contest earlier in the game, gave Nor Cal a 78-76 lead as they headed to the locker room for halftime.
Nor Cal continued their hot shooting to begin the third quarter, even jumping to a 84-76 lead, their biggest of the game. But just how Nor cal battled back earlier, So Cal did the same.
Ball and Ramsey led the way for the south as they took the lead and added on. A big dunk by Ball increased So Cal’s lead to 133-119 and looked to be the final nail in the coffin, but Nor Cal had one more run.
After a timeout with 2:58 left in the game, Jordan Ford hit a big three-pointer to bring Nor Cal within two points.
A missed free throw from So Cal’s Keith Fisher kept the score at 137-134 and gave Nor Cal a chance to tie the game with 9.9 seconds left.
Back-to-back timeouts were taken by both teams and the ball was given to Nor Cal sharpshooter Jordan Ratinho for the last shot.
Ratinho launched a three that bounced off the rim at the buzzer and So Cal escaped Las Positas with a 137-`134 victory.