National Prep Championship Preview

New England Recruiting Report | Monday, March 8th, 2010

National Prep Championship Preview

The top eight prep school basketball teams in the country will come together over the next two days to crown a national champion for the fourth consecutive year. 

The championships made their debut in 2007 when Michael Beasley returned to his hometown of Washington D.C. to lead Notre Dame Prep to the first ever undisputed national championship.  A year later Hargrave Military Academy went to New York and came out of a field that included Findlay College Prep and an American Christian team that featured Tyreke Evans.  Last year the Tilton School made a Cinderella run to the final and defeated Hargrave to take the 2009 national title. 

This year Hargrave Military Academy comes into the field as the top seed thanks to their undefeated record.  NEPSAC Class A champion Brewster Academy is second while Winchendon is third.  Notre Dame Prep takes the fourth seed while Northfield Mount Hermon, St. Thomas More, Westwind Prep from Arizona, and the Tilton School fill out the top eight. 

Here is a preview of Tuesday’s quarterfinal action: 

2pm - #1 Hargrave Military Academy vs. #8 Tilton School

A rematch of last year’s final that will have Hargrave eager for some retribution.  Tilton comes in riding some momentum following Sunday’s NEPSAC Class B title but Hargrave has a whopping 10 players who are already committed to division I schools.  The Rams will need a huge performance from Gerard Coleman to have a chance.
Hargrave’s Top Players: Lorenzo Brown, 6’5”, G, committed to N.C. State; Mardracus Wade, 6’3”, G, committed to Arkansas; Isaiah Epps, 6’2”, G, committed to Pittsburgh; Dominique Ferguson, 6’8”, F, committed to Florida International; Shawn Kemp, 6’10”, F, committed to Auburn. 

Tilton’s Top Players: Gerard Coleman, 6’4”, SG, committed to Providence; Ryan Canty, 6’10”, C, 2011; Georges Niang, 6’7”, PF, 2012; Jeff Adkins, 5’10”, PG, 2010

4pm - #4 Notre Dame Prep vs. #5 Northfield Mount Hermon

This one should be an intriguing battle of wills between two teams from the same state who have not yet played each other this year.  Notre Dame will look to push the tempo on both ends of the floor with their quickness and athleticism while Northfield Mount Hermon will spread the floor with shooters.  Notre Dame may be the slight favorite but if NMH is making shots they’re capable of beating anyone. 

Notre Dame’s Top Players: Ron Giplaye, 6’7”, PF, committed to Providence; Antonio Barton, 6’2”, committed to Memphis; Jordair Jett, 6’2”, PG, 2010; Cleveland Melvin, 6’8”, PF, 2010; Lamount Samuell Jr., 6’2”, G, 2010. 

Northfield Mount Hermon’s Top Players: Hector Harold, 6’7”, G/F, committed to Pepperdine; Laurent Rivard, 6’6”, G/F, committed to Harvard; Majok Majok, 6’8”, C/F, 2010; Aaron Cosby, 6’2”, PG, 2011; Vince Van Nes, 7’0”, C, 2011; Joe Sharkey, 6’2”, G, 2011, committed to Brown

6pm - #2 Brewster Academy vs. #7 Westwind Prep

After taking the class A title in dramatic fashion on Sunday, the big question for this game is if Brewster can get jacked up to play again 48 hours later.  When they’re playing well they may very well be the best team in the country but it may be difficult to duplicate the energy from Sunday’s championship win.  Westwind will need to limit Brewster’s easy points in transition and on the offensive glass and also hope to have a hot shooting day in order to have a chance against Brewster’s depth and talent. 

Brewster’s Top Players: Will Barton, 6’6”, SG, committed to Memphis; C.J. Fair, 6’8”, F, committed to Syracuse; Austin Carroll, 6’4”, G, committed to Rutgers; Melvin Ejim, 6’6”, SF, committed to Iowa State; Maurice Walker, 6’10”, C, 2010; Ashton Khan, 6’1”, G, 2010; Naadir Tharpe, 6’0”, PG, 2011. 

Westwind’s Top Players: Tony Snell, 6’8”, G, committed to New Mexico; Freddy Wilson, 6’4”, G, committed to Seattle; Ludovic Ndaye, 6’9”, PF, committed to Cleveland State; Brandon Tuggle, 6’5”, G/F, 2010; Bo Barnes, 6’5”, SF, 2010; Ted Wang, 7’0”, C/F, 2010. 

8pm - #3 Winchendon School vs. #6 St. Thomas More School

A game that will no doubt attract plenty of local attention with Connecticut natives Anthony Ireland (Winchendon), Dominique Langston, and Andre Drummond (St. Thomas More) all playing in front of the home fans.  Winchendon is coming off a disappointing 3 point loss in Sunday’s Class A final but they could very well call themselves the national champions in 48 hours as they are sure to show up with a passion.  Meanwhile St. Thomas More has the firepower to make a run themselves.  It will be an exciting game between two teams who know each other well. 

Winchendon’s Top Players: Markus Kennedy, 6’9”, C, committed to Villanova; Eric Ferguson, 6’8”, F, committed to Georgia Southern; Anthony Ireland, 5’9”, PG, committed to Loyola Marymount; Devon Saddler, 6’2”, SG, committed to Delaware; Khem Birch, 6’9”, PF, 2012; Angel Nunez, 6’7”, G/F, 2011. 

St. Thomas More’s Top Players: Dominique Langston, 6’3”, SG, committed to Quinnipiac, Bryon Allen, 6’2”, G, 2010; Tre Bowman, 6’4”, G/F, 2010; Matt Conway, 6’7”, PF, 2010; Andre Drummond, 6’11”, C, 2011.