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Boys' basketball: Jordan Mathews rises up for Santa Monica

February 28, 2013 |  9:33 am

Jordan Mathews is having an MVP  season for Santa Monica (24-6), which plays El Toro (27-5) for the Southern Section 1A championship on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“He’s had a great year,” Coach James Hecht said. “He’s just been such a work horse for us and is such a pleasure to coach.”

Mathews came in known more for being the son of UCLA assistant Coach Phil Mathews. He’s leaving having earned respect for his overall game, showing scoring ability, unselfishness and leadership skills.

He’s averaging 24.5 points and eight rebounds a game. He has signed with California. He scored 32 points in a semifinal win.

Hecht, in his 19th season as coach, has worked hard developing a team that works well together. Guard Trevis Jackson, the student body president, averages nine points and five assists. Center Chris Smith averages 10 points and nine rebounds. Troy Maloney and Erron Vaughn have also contributed.

El Toro is best when its three-point shooters are bombing away, but the challenge of shooting at the Anaheim Convention Center could give a slight edge to the Vikings.

-- Eric Sondheimer