Brice Fantazia stood in the doorway to the gymnasium, hand on chin, watching the brightest star to ever grace the court at Modesto Christian.
It was all he could do to keep it off the floor.
San Joaquin Memorial sophomore Jalen Green erupted for 46 points in a 71-66 victory over state-ranked Clovis West in a thrilling semifinal contest at the 18th annual Holiday Hoop Classic.
The Panthers advance to Saturday's final, where they'll face the host Crusaders (9-1) for the second time in less than three weeks. Modesto Christian overcame an early eight-point deficit and eventually pulled away from Tracy, 87-69.
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The championship game tips at 7:45 p.m.
"You better get here early," Fantazia warned.
Green, who goes by the nickname "Unicorn," is sure to attract a crowd.
The 6-foot-6 guard is the No. 1 sophomore in the nation, according to Rivals, and he fits the mold. Green is long and lanky, and can attack from all angles.
After a slow start to the tournament, Green has upped his level of play, matching the challenge of each round. He scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter of an opening-round win against Beyer, and then torched San Leandro for 31 in a 76-63 victory in the quarterfinals.
On Friday, in front of a capacity crowd already stoked by Modesto Christian's Mike Pearson, a fast-rising 2020 prospect, Green challenged the tournament scoring record held by former NBA player and Taft of Woodland Hills star Jordan Farmar. Farmer had a 55-point outburst in 2002.
Green would have needed overtime to chase down that mark. Instead, he made 17 of his 26 shots, including two 3-pointers, and salted away Clovis West from the free-throw line.
"We've had some good prospects come through here," Fantazia said in the final seconds of San Joaquin Memorial's victory, "but no one like this. We've had some McDonald's All-Americans, like Arron Afflalo, but no one that has been ranked No. 1 in their class."
Fantazia said college coaches have compared Green to Kobe Bryant, the former Los Angeles Laker star and sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Green is aware of the chatter and the No. 1 ranking. He understands he's a marked man, even on a team that features two other four-year prospects: Washington-bound shooting guard Jonah Geron, who torched Beyer for eight 3s, and Loyola Marymount's Damaena Douglas, who is inactive for the tournament.
"It's important to me that I defend it," Green told a Rivals reporter when asked about keeping the No. 1 class ranking. "I want to keep it and I want to stay up there. At the same time, I'm not really worried about rankings. I am glad my name is out there like that, but I'm not too worried about rankings because they don't mean anything right now. You could be No. 1 (or) No. 2 and I'm going to come out and try to dog you.
"In games, other kids are talking, bad mouthing me, saying trash and they are coming after me heavy."
Modesto Christian has nothing but respect for Green, who is being courted by Duke, Arizona, UConn, UCLA and Oregon, among others.
In their last meeting, Green had 47, but the Crusaders won by 17, 89-72, at the Clovis West Nike Invitational.
"He can go for 60, just as long as we win," Fantazia said. "If he can come out with this same type of energy and lead his team victory, all we can do is tip our cap."