Hoop Mountain Prep Classic: Saturday Recap
Game of the Day - Suffield Academy 58 Brimmer & May 48
In Saturday’s first match-up featuring New England programs, Suffield Academy squared-off against Brimmer &May in what turned out to be a highly-competitive contest. Behind the perimeter shooting of lead guard Andre King and creativity of Tell White and Jamel Torrence off-the-dribble, Suffield would jump out to an early lead in the first half while Brimmer & May struggled to find any continuity on offense. Point-guard Marco Banegas and 6’7” wing John Powell fought to keep the Gators in the game with a series of strong drives to the basket, but Suffield’s ability to bracket Fordham-bound big-man Ryan Canty in the paint would allow the Tigers to take a four-point lead, at 24-20, heading into the break.
After managing just four points in the first six minutes of the second half and seeing its deficit balloon to as many as 11, Brimmer & May would implement an aggressive full-court press to speed up the game and create easy scores in transition. With Banegas taking advantage of driving opportunities off high ball-screens and Chris Sherwood knocking down shots from the perimeter, the Gators would fight back to cut the Suffield lead to two, at 50-48, with under two minutes to play. However, a put-back lay-in by Colin Pascoe would push the lead back to four with 1:12 remaining, and, after Brimmer & May failed to answer offensively on the ensuing possessions, late free-throws by King and Pascoe would push the spread back to 10, at 58-48, by the final buzzer.
King finished with a team-high 20 points for Suffield, followed by 12 for White. With Canty being held scoreless, Banegas led Brimmer & May with a game-high 21 points, to go along with 13 for Sherwood.
Game of the Night - St. Andrews 56 Putnam Science Academy 55 (OT)
In a match-up featuring two teams loaded with athleticism on the perimeter and imposing size up-front, Putnam Science and St. Andrews locked up in a physical, back-and-forth contest that would come down to the final possession. Implementing an active 3-2 zone to limit the one-on-one creativity of Syracuse-bound Michael Carter-Williams, Putnam Science stayed close in the first half behind the outstanding play of 6’4” combo-guard Desmond Williams, who combined a series of deep threes with several explosive drives to the basket to score at will in stretches for the Mustangs. Despite Carter-Williams being held scoreless through the first 20 minutes, St. Andrew’s would use physical play and balanced inside-scoring from Cedric Kuakumensah and Aboubacar Casse to take a 30-21 lead heading into the break.
Putnam Science would come out of the locker room with a heightened sense of urgency in the second half, and, behind the inspired play of Williams, point-guard Zaquan Nelson, and big-man Wilson Arob, the Mustangs would battle back to within two, at 40-38, with 9:48 left to play. Carter-Williams would connect on his first field-goal of the game on the next possession to push the lead to four, but a deep three from Williams several minutes later would ignite the crowd and give Putnam Science its first lead of the game, at 46-45, with 5:59 remaining. A three from St. Andrew’s Anderson Santana would tie the game at 50 with just over two minutes to play, and, following a goal-tending call that gave the Saints a two-point advantage, an Arob bucket down-low would tie the game at 52 and eventually force overtime.
In the two-minute extra session, Carter-Williams would open the scoring with two free-throws to give St. Andrews the lead with just over a minute to play. Putnam Science would regain the lead, at 55-54, on a put-back from Tyree Robinson with 33 seconds remaining, before Carter-Williams would answer yet again with an athletic baseline move to give the Saints a 56-55 advantage. Putnam Science would have a chance to win the game on the last possession, but a running three-point attempt by Williams from the right wing was blocked by Carter-Williams and St. Andrews would escape with a hard-fought, one-point victory.
Struggling with his perimeter jumper all game long, Carter-Williams finished with eight points for St. Andrews on just two field-goals. Williams, who was the best player on the floor for much of the evening, led Putnam Science with a game-high 24.
Connor Wood (REDA)- Wood (12 points) was hitting perimeter shots in bunches early against TAAG on Saturday, preparing himself well before the catch to connect on a series of corner threes of dribble-penetration. The 6’2” wing showed some athleticism in transition, attacking the basket with a purpose in the open floor and finishing with both hands at the rim.
Brian Rouse (REDA)- An explosive athlete, Rouse had a series of impressive finishes in the open floor on Saturday, showcasing quick-bounce and excellent body control to finish above and through contact. Finishing with a game-high 25 points for REDA in its heartbreaking, 66-64 loss to TAGG at the buzzer, the 6’3” wing was dominant in a 16-point second-half performance, capping off a series of creative drives to the basket with a pair of emphatic dunks. While his offensive skill-set is still developing, Rouse has a chance to be a prolific scorer at the next level if he can improve his ball skills to match his natural physical ability.
Juan Ferrales (TAAG)- Demonstrating a terrific feel for the game, Ferrales stands out with his knack to consistently be the centerpiece of positive plays. Always poised and under control with the basketball, he utilizes a tight handle and deceptive quickness to break defenders down off the dribble and convert buckets through contact. Only 6’2”, Ferrales has a strong upper-body that allows him to create space for off the bounce, and while his perimeter shooting isn’t the elite part of his game, he’s consistent enough from behind the arc to keep defenders honest and attack close-outs with effective burst.
Marquis Clayton (Next Level)- Clayton was impressive again on Saturday running the show for Next Level, excelling as an aggressive scorer from the lead guard position while still managing to create high-percentage looks for his teammates. Constantly look to push the pace in transition, he rebounds the ball well from the guard spot and uses excellent burst in the open floor to put pressure on converting defenders and score with a mix of pull-up jumpers and drives to the basket. An impressive overall prospect, Clayton makes up for his lack of size at 5’11” with a polished offensive skill-set, ability to pressure defenders for 94-feet, and nice feel for the game.
Kelvin Amayo (Nia Prep)- A physical specimen at 6’5”, 200lbs, Amayo was an absolute beast for Nia in the first half on Saturday, brutalizing Kiski defenders with his size and toughness in the paint en route to a 24-point performance in the game’s opening 20 minutes. A match-up nightmare with his unique blend of size and quickness off the bounce, Amayo is at his best driving the ball down-hill, utilizing a sharp crossover to change directions in tight spaces and carve his way to the basket for scores. Finishing with a game-high 34 points, his challenge moving forward will be not remaining satisfied with using solely his superior athleticism to be effective and expanding his game to include consistent three-point range and a dependable, mid-range pull-up.
Ryan Rhoomes (Nia Prep)- One of the best available big-men remaining in the class of 2011, Rhoomes ran the floor well on Saturday, caught the ball in traffic, and finished with authority through contact. In addition to his power and toughness around the rim, the 6’9” forward used polished footwork on several occasions to slide past defenders and create positive scoring angles for himself in tight spaces.
Marco Banegas (Brimmer & May)- Banegas was dynamite off the high-ball screen for Brimmer & May in the second half of Saturday’s game, showing great patience in reading the defense off the initial action and then recognizing where to attack with his bounce. Once in the lane, he showed a variety of ways to score the ball, utilizing a soft floater off the glass and a series of acrobatic finishes with both hands over the front of the rim. Finishing with a game-high 21 points, Banegas would benefit from incorporating a consistent perimeter jumper into his game to complement his polished arsenal of creative moves off the dribble.
John Powell (Brimmer & May)- Powell used his length and athleticism to get to the rim on multiple occasions against Suffield on Saturday, beating defenders with a quick first-step and showing a nice touch scoring the ball off the glass with both hands. With some added muscle, the 6’7” sophomore has the potential to develop into a versatile offensive player capable of driving the ball from the perimeter and taking advantage of match-ups with smaller defenders to score in the post.
Patrick Lowndes (Suffield)- Undersized in the post at just 6’4”, Lowndes was highly-active against bigger, more athletic players on Saturday, displaying toughness and a high-motor to consistently rebound the ball out of his area on both ends, track down loose balls, and score through contact. While his final stat-line might not reflect a profound impact on the game’s outcome, Lownde’s work-ethic and willingness to do the little things was a big part of Suffield’s success.
Andre King (Suffield)- Despite his contention to settle into the mold of a volume shooter at times, King was the clear catalyst for his Suffield team in its impressive, 58-47 victory over Brimmer & May on Saturday. After hitting multiple shots from the behind the arc early, he utilized a strong handle and crafty change-of-pace to get into the lane and score the ball over bigger defenders. Down the stretch, King (20 points) was solid against a physical Brimmer & May press, taking care of the basketball through contact and hitting free-throws to seal his team’s victory in the closing seconds.
Zach Chionuma (Marianapolis)- The Boston-University commit showcased terrific end-to-end speed in Marianapolis’ win over Proctor on Saturday, changing directions on a dime in the open floor and jetting past defenders for scores. At 6’4”, Chionuma (13 points) rebounds the ball extremely well for a lead guard and has the ability to blast out and lead the break with an impressive blend of speed and vision that most guards don’t feature. Possessing all the physical tools to be a special player at the next level, Chionuma’s rate of progression as a sound decision-maker and consistent three-point shooter will determine not if, but when, he becomes a force in the backcourt for Pat Chambers in the America East.
Ousmane Drame (Marianapolis)- Proctor had no answer for Darme’s length and athleticism on Saturday, as the Quinnipiac-bound forward consistently beat opposing big-men down the floor and finished with authority above the rim en route to a 20-point, 15-rebound performance. While he possesses the ability to step out and play effectively at the arc, Darme is still most productive from 10-feet and in, using his superior size and touch around the basket to score in a variety of ways and get to the free-throw line.
Mike Geanellis (Proctor)- Geannellis was on-fire from three in the first half against Marianapolis on Saturday, knocking down his first three shots from behind the arc while doing everything he could to keep his team in the game early. The 6’3” guard showed a solid understanding of how to adjust to a defense reacting to his knock-down shooting ability, recognizing hard close-outs and getting into the lane to draw help and find open teammates.
Michael Carter-Williams (St. Andrew’s)- Despite scoring just eight points on two field-goals in his team’s overtime victory over Putnam Science on Saturday, Carter-Williams demonstrated his ability as an elite player in the region by continuing to attack off-the-dribble and find teammates for easy scores. Like all great scorers, he didn’t shy away from having the ball in his hands down the stretch and in overtime, hitting big free-throws and converting on a tough baseline drive that would give the Saints the lead for good in the extra period. A constant presence on the defensive end as well with his length and ball-hawking ability, Carter-Williams stepped up to the challenge on the game’s last possession, blocking a last-second three-point attempt by Putnam Science’s Desmond Williams to seal the victory as time expired.
Cedric Kuakumensah (St. Andrew’s)- A strong, active body up-front, Kuakumensah worked tirelessly on the offensive glass on Saturday, battling for rebounds in-and-out of his area and getting his hands on loose balls to give his team extra possessions down the stretch. At 6’7”, he’s a touch undersized against elite level post players, but more-than makes up for it with a relentless motor and wide frame that allow him to elevate through contact and score the ball in traffic.
Zaquan Nelson (Putnam Science Academy)- Poised and clever with the basketball, Nelson played an outstanding floor-game at the lead guard position for the Mustangs on Saturday. Using a creative handle and outstanding quickness to break pressure and facilitate his team’s offense, his cerebral presence with the basketball allowed Putnam Science to get back into the game against St. Andrews and eventually force overtime. A capable shooter from behind the arc, Nelson’s greatest fault may be that he sometimes looks to pass the ball too much after getting in the lane, opting to try and make an extra pass rather than simply laying the ball in the basket.
Desmond Williams (Putnam Science Academy)- Williams was the best player on the floor during his team’s match-up with Carter-Williams and St. Andrews on Saturday, knocking down shots from well behind the arc and slashing to the bucket through multiple defenders to finish acrobatically at the rim. Playing with supreme confidence while single-handedly keeping Putnam Science in the game in the first half, the 6’4” combo-guard showed no hesitation in going at the highly-touted Carter-Williams at the offensive end and more-than-held his own in Saturday’s contest.
Martin Dixon-Green (Vermont Academy)- A superior athlete with the game and work-ethic to match, Dixon-Green has high-major talent written all over him. With a smooth stroke from the perimeter, the 6’3” wing can stretch the defense and use an explosive first-step to blow-by defenders trying to crowd him at the arc. A blossoming national prospect in the class of 2012, Dixon-Green is dynamite in transition, as he’s capable of leading the break himself and making good decisions or filling the lanes hard and finishing with flare well-above the rim.
Keron DeShields (Vermont Academy)- DeShields was sensational at the lead guard position for Vermont Academy in its 91-77 win over REDA on Saturday, single-handedly breaking REDA’s full-court pressure with a creative handle and tremendous end-to-end speed to consistently locate open teammates for scores off well-executed dump-downs.. A capable shooter from beyond the arc, DeShields is a leader on the floor for first-year head coach Jesse Bopp, combining with Dixon-Green to form a dynamic, explosive backcourt capable of causing havoc on the defensive end and getting out in transition for easy offense.
Jevane Dawson (Satellite Academy)- A lethal catch-and-shoot player with unlimited range, Dawson helped Satellite get out to an early lead on Saturday with a series of deep threes in the first-half en route to a 39-point performance on a perfect night shooting from the floor. Not just a shooter, the 6’0 guard possesses excellent quickness as well, pressuring the ball and getting in passing lanes on the defensive end to create steals and attack the basket in transition.
REDA (ON) 64 TAAG (FL) 66
Next Level (ON) 77 Edouard Montpetit (TO) 30
NIA Prep (NJ) 98 Kiski (PA) 79
Suffield (CT) 58 Brimmer & May (MA) 48
Marianapolis Prep (CT) 77 Proctor Academy (NH) 38
Putnam Science Academy (CT) 55 St. Andrews (RI) 56
Vermont Academy (VT) 91 REDA (ON) 77
Satellite Academy (NY) 75 Phase 1 (TO) 39