More From The HoopHall Prep Showcase

Dylan Thayer | Thursday, January 18th, 2024

More From The HoopHall Prep Showcase

As we progress through the week following the HoopHall Prep Showcase, it's fitting to recap more of the four-day action. Here's a look at more big games, notable performances, and my experience at the clash of the nation's top prospects who happen to be from New England (Cooper Flagg & AJ Dybantsa).

Some More Notable Games

St. Andrew’s secured an 81-75 victory over #14 Phelps on Saturday night. Unsigned 2024 Ryan Weiss led the way for the Saints with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Citadel-commit Graham Eikenberry had an off night in the scoring column but still added 12 rebounds (six offensive) and three blocks. Eikenberry and Luke Michalski combined for 20 rebounds and five blocks, shoring up the frontcourt.

Canadian-based Vanier won in the final seconds against Spire Academy 59-57. Raphael Dumont finished the game 4-8 from long range, scoring 16 and grabbing four rebounds. Liam Ngos paced the team with 18 on 8/12 from the floor, including the game-winning fallaway shot as the buzzer sounded.

Hargrave and Covenant College Prep went down to the wire on Saturday. Hargrave ultimately prevailed, taking out a determined Covenant team that played well as a unit. Trey Minard stood out for Hargrave as the unsigned 2024 guard posted 18 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

#9 Fork Union had a strong performance in their win over #13 Perkiomen on Saturday. The Virginia military academy has had a strong season thus far with only two losses on the season. Michael Wilson stood out in this one, finishing with 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Wilson’s solid all-around game led to him being +36 at the end of the contest.

In an early morning thriller with IMG, Canada TopFlight’s Sam Akot and Dylan Kayijuka connected on an amazing full-court buzzer-beater. Akot threw a dime three-quarters of the court on one bounce to a dashing Kayijuka who converted the bucket as time expired. In a weekend full of buzzer-beaters, this one stood out among them.

Others Who Impressed

Putnam Science transfer Grant Randall’s HoopHall debut was much anticipated, and the 6’ 9” forward’s upside was evident. Randall displayed his offensive versatility, knocking down shots from the paint and from three.

6’7” wing LaJoseph Burgess was very impressive over the weekend, notably dropping 19 points on 9/14 shooting to go with six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Burgess’s knack for using his length on slashing opportunities and as a ballhandler/facilitator caught my eye. Mavrick Miller’s shot-hunting ability in the mid-range and from deep stood out, as well as his bounce to the rim.

Pesky guard Greg Brooks powered Northfield Mount Hermon to a Class-AA victory over Winchendon. Brooks knocked down 3/4 from long-range and converted a remarkable 11/11 free throws, finishing with 32 points in the win. He also grabbed six boards and had three steals.

Just committing to Niagara yesterday, Will Shortt of IMG posted a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds in Friday’s action. The 6’ 8” forward’s floor-stretching, hitting 2/2 from downtown, and physicality on the glass were noteworthy.

Vermont's Joson Sanon, a five-star prospect in the class of 2025 came into the event having just dropped 46 points in a win over Newman. At HoopHall, he led the team to wins over #15 Putnam Science and #9 Fork Union as he dropped 32 and 29 points in those contests. Sanon's shot creation skills off the dribble, catch-and-shoot marksmanship and overall ability to score the ball have continued to dominate contests as he has done for some time now. 

Unsigned 2024 wing Jaden Zimmerman finished with 20 points on 8/17 from the floor in Sunday’s action. The New York native recently received offers from Siena and Quinnipiac and has been a huge piece for Cushing this season. 

Sunrise Christian’s Makhi Myles jumped onto the scene in the New England area at the National Prep Showcase in November and once again played very well. Myles had 23 in a close loss, but his ability to create off the dribble in the mid-range, and fearlessness on dunk attempts, continues to prove why he is one of the best unsigned postgrads in the field.

Nehemiah Franco of Pomfret came up big in a win, hitting 6/12 from downtown leading to 20 points.

The Battle of New England's Best

I was able to step away from the action at AIC to make my way over to the powerhouse battle between Montverde Academy and Prolific Prep.

As most know, these two prospects hail from both Maine and Massachusetts, respectively, and this was a big game for New England itself. Both players are proud of their roots and have made a big impact in our region.

The atmosphere in the gym for this game was like nothing I have ever experienced before. You could consider yourself lucky to find a seat as this gym was completely packed from wall to wall. 

As a striving scout in basketball, an opportunity to see Cooper Flagg for the first time in person was a must, and getting to see AJ Dybantsa’s return was the x-factor.

Montverde held the lead for almost the entire game, but Prolific fought back off a three-pointer from Dybantsa. The Brockton native had a strong second half, contributing 15 points on a number of big shots.

Seeing him in this setting was much different than the AAU/Prep events I had in the past, although those too were always pretty packed.

Cooper Flagg’s defensive dominance was on full display in this one as he had five blocks throughout the contest. Flagg and Dybantsa matched up many times and seemingly enjoyed the task each other faced.

The game definitely lived up to the hype as the best team in the country, Montverde, pulled out a 76-71 victory, but it was clear that Prolific was up to the task. With the win, they moved to 18-0 on the season, but another matchup between the two down the line would be one you cannot miss.


Photo Credits: Trey Minard (Ryan Lee Productions), Joson Sanon (Kyle Prue Photo), AJ Dybantsa vs Cooper Flagg (Super Preps Hoops)