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Foothill League basketball: Lonnie or Trevor

Posted: February 13, 2010 8:33 p.m.
Updated: February 14, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Lonnie Jackson drives for two of his game-high 33 points when the Foothill League co-champion Vikings earned a 74-48 win over Saugus on Jan. 26.

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We’re having the same debate that a lot of others are having.

Is it Trevor or is it Lonnie?

Who’s better?

There was some heat behind the debate we had on Friday night in The Signal’s newsroom.

We, Signal sportswriters, were even breaking down who’s the better passer.

At the end of each Foothill League season, the coaches from each respective sport gather to select their all-league teams and Player of the Year.

Very likely, with Golden Valley and Valencia’s boys basketball teams sharing the Foothill titles, we will have co-Players of the Year and they will be Viking Lonnie Jackson and Grizzly Trevor Wiseman.

But the coaches don’t necessarily have to go that route.

They can debate who’s the Player of the Year and go with one.

Is it Wiseman — the point guard/forward who averages 20.7 points, over five assists, nearly 10 rebounds and two steals per game.

Or is it Jackson — the swingman who averages 23.8 points, 4.9 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game.

On Feb. 5, the Vikings and Grizzlies met, and the crowd took part in a debate.

“Overrated” and “ballhog,” the Golden Valley side chanted about Jackson.

Wrong and wrong.

“Where’s your offer?” the Valencia side chanted, mocking the fact that Jackson has some Pac-10 scholarship offers.

Wiseman’s NCAA Division I offer will come.

Want to make an educated choice as to who is better or who had the better season?

Head to head, the teams were 1-1 against each other.

Wiseman scored 28 points in the first game, a Golden Valley win, and 20 in the second — a loss. Wiseman was 14-of-29 from the field in the two games.

Jackson scored 13 points in the first meeting and 25 in the second. Jackson was 14-of-28 from the field.

Wiseman’s better driving to the basket.

Jackson’s the better shooter.

Wiseman averaged 22.1 points per game in Foothill League play.

Jackson scored 22.8 points per game.

Against the top teams in league — Valencia and Canyon — Wiseman scored 23.8 points per game.

Against Golden Valley and Canyon, Jackson averaged 16.5 points per game.

If you had one shot left, who would you rather take it — Wiseman or Jackson?

You’d want Wiseman driving inside, as he’s so adept at creating offense near the basket — be it by scoring, passing off a double team or drawing a foul.

You’d want Jackson to take a 3-pointer or any other kind of jump shot.

But it’s not all about scoring.

Both play defense — well.

Both rebound — Jackson’s unique in that he’s five inches shorter than Wiseman.

Both have tremendous court vision.

OK, you have to pick one player to start your team with.

“I can’t answer that question,” says Canyon head coach Chad Phillips. “I want them both. They both bring something to the table. They both present two unique challenges. They both aren’t the same player. Our game plans only worked for one game against both.”

Phillips seconded a compliment Saugus head coach Derek Ballard gave earlier this season about the senior Wiseman: “I’m glad to see he’s gone.”

Then Phillips said about the junior Jackson: “I’m intrigued to see how good Lonnie’s going to be.”

The debate will rage on and The Signal will also chime in with its Player of the Year award.

We honestly hate to split the award, but have done so many times in the past.

Despite all this, we all realize that Wiseman and Jackson are the best pair of boys basketball players to have ever played at the same time in the Foothill League.

Last year, we had Wiseman, Jackson and two other players who could still play college basketball — Golden Valley’s Maverick Ahanmisi and Steven Thornton.

For years we’ve heard about how this valley’s boys basketball teams have been defined by good teams, not great players.

It’s probably prompted some kids to play elsewhere.

In this valley’s history, we’ve had two boys go straight from high school to Division I basketball — Hart’s Ali Peak (1992) and Canyon’s Cody Anderson (2008).

In a year, we’ll probably double that number.

Wiseman and Jackson proved that great players do play in the Santa Clarita Valley.


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