Hoop Mountain - Day 3 Recap
The third and final day of the 29th annual Hoop Mountain Elite Prospect camp produced some incredibly hard fought and emotional games with 24 teams battling for the right to be crowned champs.
Play-offs began with an upset as prep powerhouse Worcester Academy, playing without Kevin Marfo in the line-up, fell to the Cavs, a squad of quick and scrappy three-point shooters. Incoming STM post-grad Trey Witter ran the show from start to finish, hitting deep threes and setting up his teammates. Another guard heading for the NEPSAC next season, Avelino Damoura (6'1 , Lexington Christian Academy / Boston Warriors AAU ) was able to contribute by slashing to the basket and finishing in transition. The Nobles trio of Cam Nelson (6'5), James Welch (5'10), and Jayden DePina, rose to the challenge of competing against Worcester’s frontline.
The Cavs would continue their Cinderella like run, winning three more game and marching into the D2 final after going 0-4 just a day earlier. The championship game would go all the way down to the wire, and then to overtime, until Witter saw a potential game winner roll out but Damoura was there to put back the game winner just as time expired to deliver the championship. He finished with a game high 25 points.
In the division I bracket, the Hawks battled the Sixers in a dramatic opening round contest. The Hawks were led by Shandon Brown (5'10 , Beaver Country Day), Terrell Williams (6’4, Bridgewater Raynham) and Marcus Santos-Silva (6’6, Bridgewater Raynham). Silva was an animal on the glass and was finishing everything he got his hands on with his pump fakes and soft touch around the rim while Charles Gaylor (5’10th, North HS) stepped up big by knocking down mid-range shots and creating from the wing.
The Sixers were loaded with talent including Graham Lynch (6'6, Wheeler School) who can beat you offensively in a lot of ways and plays a strong inside-out game with pure shooting ability from the three-point line. Terell Brown (5'11, Brooks school) is a naturally fast-paced and strong slasher that can finish in traffic with both hands. Eli Degrange (6'7, Essex Junction), Patrick Freiermuth, Douglas Dahl (6'4, Weston), Cameron Ray (5'10, Brooks School), Ross Gerber (6'4, Kimball Union Academy) and Andrew Galanek (6'4, Sandwich High School ) also made solid contributions but the Hawks ultimately proved to be too athletic, wearing the Sixers down in transition, to win an emotional game by 5 and advance to the semis, where they would run into a powerful Williston Northampton squad.
The BABC 16U squad opened the day with a pair of wins until, they too, would fall victim to Williston Northampton’s size and talent. Nevertheless, the young BABC squad should off a talented team all week long with the likes of Sherron Dailey-Harris, Jaylin Hinton, Jakigh Dottin, Nicholas Osarenren, Caden Dumas, Javaughn Edmonds, Martin Mann, Justin Mazzulla and Garrett Stephenson.
The D1 final came down to Williston Northampton vs. the Bay State Magic after the Magic knocked off St. Andrew’s earlier in the day. The Magic opened with a strong first half but, playing without point guard Ryan Morrisey, simply ran out of gas in the second before losing 48-32. Rodney Simon and Christian Hon were tough in defeat while Miles Graham (5'9 , Randolph HS) stepped up in Ryan's Absence with quick ball handling and aggressive attacking the lane. Carl Pierre (6'4, BC High) Ben Holding (6'6, Dartmouth HS), Mike Mahoney (6'8, Braintree HS), Jack Loughnane (6'2 , BC High) and Austin Jones ( 6'4 , St Paul Catholic High School) contributed strong performances all week long as well.
The championship was appropriate for Williston as they were probably the most impressive team at camp from start to finish. Jake Ross (Camp’s most outstanding player) was almost un-guarable at times throughout the playoffs and championship game. Kyle Doucette was arguably the most dynamic post player at camp with the ability to go inside out. Matt Folger and Alex Bzdel are solid post players with versatile games to create an increased presence in the paint. Sam Geschicker, Patrick Gallagher, Chris Hudson, and Jake Wisiewski are quality versatile hybrid players that can finish on the break, play great team ball and score in the half court. Luca Mirabello and Timothy Nolan are crafty young guards who contributed key minutes throughout the week.
Jude Guerrier (6'6, Lexington Christian Academy / Boston Warriors ), Niles Cohan (5’10, Beaver Country Day) and Issaiah Chappell (6’0, Bradford Christian Academy) all stood out in play-off action. Guerrier is a big bodied power player with a soft touch around the rim and great mid-range jumper. Cohan is a dynamic role player that can hit from the outside, drive to the basket and facilitate from the wing with a very unselfish style. Chappell was the leading scorer in the state of New Hampshire next year and is looking to make his mark in the NEPSAC next season as Bradford Christian jumps up to AA.
Some other notable opening round game performances were Luca Mirabello (5'10, Northwest Catholic High School), Eric DAguanno (6'4, St. Andrews), Matthew McCune (5'10, Somerville High School), Connor Daly (6'0, Northwest Catholic High School), Louis Ellis (6'3, Lynnfield High School), Zac Meyer (6'1, Advanced Science and Math Academy / Boston Warriors) and Callum Connacher (6'3, Leominister High School / Boston Warriors ).
Camp Award Winners
Most Outstanding Player - Jake Ross (6'4, Williston Northampton) – Ross simply dominated the camp. His aggressive and high motor style of play was turning heads all week. Ross can break you down off the dribble and is athletic enough to rise up and finish with a dunk in traffic or he can pull up quickly from anywhere and knock it down. He a promising future to play and succeed at a high level at whichever school and route he decides to pursue.
Best Playmaker - Jaylin Hinton (6'3 , BABC, class of 2017) – This young, athletic high flyer has the ability to slash to the basket, light up a defense quick and will throw it down on anyone with just a half of a step to take off. A few times this week Jaylin had the whole gym "in ah" as he rose up and threw it down around multiple defenders. With 2 more years to develop, Jaylin has a very bright future.
Defensive Player - Dwayne Henry (5'8 , Onteora High School , New York) Dwayne played relentless defense all week and was almost a unanimous decision on the coaches votes. Always covered a lot of ground all over the court giving his opponents fits. managed to come up with steals on what seemed like every other possession. Most of the time turning those steals into fast break lay-ups or assists to his teammates. A true definition of a scrappy point guard that as a coach you wish you had more people play with his mentality. With hard work and continued focus, Dwayne could have a bright future playing basketball at the college level.
Best Rebounder - Kevin Marfo (6'8, Worcester Academy) – Marfo has all the traits you want in a dominant post player. He blocks shots, rebounds the ball like most others can't and finishes strong around the rim. There was no question in anyone's mind who deserved this title at the end of camp. A high division 1 bound player and 3 star recruit, Kevin brought his dominant post play to camp this week and had no trouble grabbing every rebound in sight.
Hustle Player - Patrick Bulger (5'10, Marblehead High School) – Patrick demonstrated all out hustle, determination, and effort all week. He was constantly coming up with loose balls, chasing down defenders on the break, and getting out into transition quick. Many coaches in the gym took notice of his relentless style and willingness to leave it all out on the floor. Aside from his hustle he is a very good point guard that will succeed at the next level with his continued hard work and determination.