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Basketball Jordan

CIF State Boys’ Basketball: Jordan Falls Short In Regional Semifinals At Valencia

The562’s coverage of Jordan Athletics is sponsored by John Ross, Class of 2013.

Madness in March seemed imminent on Saturday night at Valencia High when Jordan’s Kane Young put his team on his back.

Young almost single handedly erased a double-digit deficit at the end of the third quarter of the 2023 CIF State Boys Basketball Championships Division IV regional semifinals, but Valencia answered with a big run of its own to beat Jordan 89-80 and end an historic season for the Panthers.

“It was one hell of a run, one hell of a senior class,” Jordan coach Chris Francis said. “I’m proud of these dudes and the North is back. No doubt about it.”

Young scored eight of his 19 points at the end of the third quarter while Dennis Redmond Jr. scored a team-high 22 points for Jordan. Fellow senior guard Franklyn Chambers chipped in 11 points.

“We made history, and of course we wanted to win and go to Sacramento to win State, but at the end of the day I’m still proud of my guys,” Chambers said. “Nobody thought we could really do it. But everybody is going home happy, honestly.”

Valencia got a game-high 26 points from senior guard Mikah Ballew and 6’9” junior center Bryce Bedgood scored 24 points. Senior Jayden Ares chipped in 15 points.

The Vikings led 54-44 with about three minutes left in the third quarter when Kane sparked the comeback and capped a 14-5 run with a 3-pointer, a steal and layup through contact in quick succession to tie it up.

Valencia pushed a one-point lead to an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter when a controversial kicked ball call went the Vikings’ way. Their lead doubled in about two minutes, and they proceeded to lead by more than 20 points down the stretch.

“There’s a lot of things we didn’t do right tonight,” Francis said. “I felt like we did a lot of individual things tonight and didn’t stay as a team. That happens in this type of environment. I think we just wanted to do so well that we kind of overcompensated in areas we shouldn’t have.”


Both teams traded early 3-pointers as they combined for 12 makes from behind the arc in the first half. They were tied a handful of times before a Ballew jumper put Valencia up 20-19 headed to the second quarter.

Chambers finished one of the few fast break layups for Jordan to put his team up 33-31 with 2:36 left in the first half. At the other end, Bedgood kept possessions alive with offensive rebounds for Valencia and one of those put-back buckets came just before the halftime buzzer to put the Vikings up 42-37 at the break.

“Our last three games we’ve been giving up a lot of offensive rebounds and with (Bedgood) being physical on the boards and we just couldn’t stop him,” Chambers said.

Ares hit a couple big shots in the third quarter to keep the home team in front, until Kane took over thanks to increased activity from the Jordan defense. A handful of Vikings turnovers quickly turned into the run that gave a big visiting J-Town crowd all of the momentum.

“It’s amazing that some (colleges) have taken this long but they’re starting to take notice (of Kane),” Francis said.

Redmond Jr.’s And-1 finish with about six minutes left in the game kept Jordan close, but senior Maurice Pitts came off the bench to hit a pair of big 3-pointers that kept it a two-possession game for Valencia.

With less than five minutes left to play, a fast break for Jordan looked to be stopped by a kicked ball. There was no whistle despite Jordan’s plea, and Ballew drilled a 3-pointer at the other end to add insult to injury. The Jordan fans went crazy, and the Panthers bench was given a technical foul.

After the technical foul free throws, Ares hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession that elicited the biggest roar of the night from the home crowd. The Vikings lead went from 68-60 to 81-60 in a little over two minutes.

Even in the face of a blowout loss on the road, the Panthers never stopped playing hard— as has been their hallmark all season long while winning the first CIF championship since 1996.

“One of my proudest moments tonight was with two minutes left and we were down like 15 and Frankie said ‘It’s not over’ and I looked into those boys' eyes and it wasn’t,” Francis said.

Francis even took the starters out so they could get a round of applause from the Jordan fans, and the Panthers bench still cut into the lead.

“We’re going to preach the same message and the importance of knowing your role, accepting your role and doing your job,” Francis said of rolling this momentum over into next year. “(The underclassman) got a first-hand look at it. I’m excited about Benjamin Taylor, Trent Parker, Daveyon Chisom, Jaymari Redmond and Tai Williams. We’ve got a lot of guys I’m really excited about.”

VIDEO: Jordan vs. Valencia, CIF State Boys’ Basketball
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.