HoopHall Classic - New England Standouts
The Spalding Hoophall Classic wrapped up on Monday night at Springfield College, bringing an end to arguably the nation’s premier high school event.
While the Hoophall brought some of the very best prospects and teams from across the country to Springfield, it also provided a forum for some of New England’s best to standout.
Here’s a look at the five prospects who seized the opportunity.
1. Tyler Bertram, Vermont Academy
Playing without both Simi Shittu and Thornton Scott, Vermont Academy took on IMG Academy’s prep team on Sunday in what was one of the most entertaining games of the weekend. IMG ultimately pulled out an 81-78 decision but it went down to the very last possession. Bertram emerged as the de facto star for Vermont Academy, scoring a game high 31 points and connecting on 8 of his 18 attempts from three while even mixing in a couple of crafty plays from inside the arc. All in all it was a bit of a coming out party for a junior who has consistently been producing at a very high level this season.
2. Cole Swider, St. Andrew’s
Swider put up a similar heroic effort in defeat as St. Andrew’s fell to Woodstock Academy in Sunday’s nightcap. While Woodstock ran away with a 97-73 decision, Swider reminded everyone while he is one of the most potent scorers and shooters in New England. The Villanova commit not only went for 41 points but was efficient doing it on 14-27 shooting from the floor, 6-11 shooting from the arc, and 7-9 shooting from the stripe. It wasn’t nearly enough to change the outcome of the win but another reminded as to why there isn’t a prospect in New England who can match his combination of size, skill, and emerging athleticism.
3. Tre Mitchell, Woodstock Academy
In that same game, Mitchell showed the skill and efficiency that has pushed his recruitment to the highest levels this year. While balance was a key for Woodstock from start to finish, with seven different players scoring eight or more points in the game, Mitchell led the way with 19 points on just 9 field goal attempts. He converted 8 of those 9 while also showing signs of the sweet passing ability and nimble field that make him so intriguing with his wide frame.
4. Walter Ellis, Brewster Academy
The Academy has had some growing pains in the first half of the season but they played with a vengeance on Sunday morning and didn’t let up until the final horn had sounded in a 101-57 win over Cushing Academy. While a number of different players showed well it was unsigned senior Walter Ellis that was perhaps the most impressive and certainly the most efficient. He has played his way into the starting line-up this season and established himself as one of the team’s best spot-up shooters. He was 5-7 from three on the day and added a clean pull-up for good measure in route to a team high 19 points as plenty of coaches looked on.
5. Ryan Greer, Northfield Mount Hermon
NMH was equally impressive under similar circumstances this weekend. Coming off a loss less than 48 hours earlier, they took the court for the 9am game on Sunday morning in Springfield against Hargrave Military Academy but looked inspired from the get-go. While six different players scored in double figures in what was a balanced team effort, the consistent evolution of Ryan Greer was a noticeable theme. The junior guard has proven himself to be both one of the team’s most dependable ball-handlers and distributors while simultaneously setting the tone with his toughness and embracing challenges on the defensive end of the floor. Greer even knocked down some shots to finish with 14 points on 4-9 shooting from the floor and 3-6 from the arc along with 6 assists and 4 rebounds.