Don MacLean of Simi Valley High said he's "pretty good friends" with Dave Heckmann of rival Westlake.
But for one night, they were enemies.
MacLean did not appreciate reports asserting that Heckmann and his teammates stood a chance of stopping him and his team.
MacLean didn't get mad or even; he got a lot more.
The 6-10 junior center, guarded by the 6-8 Heckmann, had a game-high 26 points and 19 rebounds. And his team easily won, 71-55.
So much for the big match-up.
"Some of the newspapers were billing it as The Game, and saying he could stop me," MacLean said. "That didn't really make me mad. That kind of pumped me up. I just wanted to prove I'm pretty superior to him, basketball-wise."
Point made, loud and clear.
In fact, MacLean did plenty in the first quarter alone to silence the doubters, scoring 12 points to go with 8 rebounds.
MacLean limited Heckmann to just seven points--well below a scoring average that has hovered around 15 throughout the season.
"I thought I contained him," MacLean said. "They didn't do anything special. I was crashing the boards. I'm not saying anything to put him down. I just don't think he's as good a player as I am."
The win kept Simi Valley atop the Marmonte League. The Pioneers (16-1, 4-0) have since won another league game.
"We're right where we want to be," MacLean said. "We're the team to beat. But we can't afford to take any team for granted. If they beat us, it's going to make their season."
MacLean was especially satisfied with his rebouding performance--his best of the season, he said.
"I had a couple of good games in Hawaii, but nobody saw it. So rebounding-wise, I was really pleased. I was rebounding the hardest. That's where the bulk of my points came from."
And where his point was made.