Prep Profile - Tilton School
Class AA of the NEPSAC has seen three different champions in the last three seasons, but there isn’t a program that can come close to matching the sustained excellent of the Tilton School over the last 10 or 15 years.
Under head coach Marcus O’Neil, Tilton won NEPSAC Class B championships in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010. They also won the National Prep Championship in 2009, an unprecedented achievement for a program not competing in the highest class within their respective league, and one which may never be duplicated.
In recent years, Tilton may not boast the same amount of future NBA players that they once had when Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, and Wayne Selden took the court but they’ve nonetheless sustained a standard of winning that has been unmatched since NEPSAC realignment created Class AA. The Rams have been to the AA finals in four of the last seven seasons, winning championships in 2011 and 2015, and never missing the post-season.
Last year marked their latest run to the NEPSAC finals and National Prep Championship field and this year they’ll have retribution on their mind as they look to take the next step and reclaim the New England title.
The Zegarowski brothers return for their final season in New England and will undoubtedly be satisfied by nothing less than a championship. Marcus Zegarowski has proven himself to be a top national point guard, who earned a variety of high-major offers before committing to Creighton. He’s as impactful a prep school player as there is in New England and will be one of the early favorites for Class AA Player of the Year honors this season.
Twin brother Max Zegarowski is a shot-maker extraordinaire whose ability to catch fire behind the arc is now well known. More than that though, he’s an efficient player with a heady floor game who simply knows how to play on both ends of the floor.
Jonathan Soschaczevski and Gabriel Kingsley-Nyinah are also returning seniors from Canada and Jordan respectively. Sochaczewvski is a 6-foot-8 big man who will add to the team’s frontcourt depth after seeing minutes last year while Kingsley-Nyinah is a versatile 6-foot-4 player who also doubles as a football player.
Christian Hinckson, a post-graduate from John Bowne High School in New York, is the most notable new name on the roster. He’s long, powerful, and earned offers all the way up to the Atlantic 10 this summer while running with The Firm on the Adidas Gauntlet. Daishaun Woods, a skilled 6-foot-8 forward from Texas, is another post-grad who arrives with his reputation already intact while Cameron Parker is a southpaw playmaker guard that was one of the top high school players in the state of Oregon last year.
The most impactful newcomers though may actually be a pair of local products who were previously flying below the radar. Joey Glynn, a rugged 6-foot-6 forward, was the best player in the gym the day we visited. He’s tough, physical, and just productive. Cal Connelly has great perimeter size at 6-foot-6 along with a high basketball I.Q. and ability to knock down shots from the arc.
On this veteran laden team, being a junior means you’re still an underclassmen. Eric Beckett, another Canadian native, is back for his second season and appears to be on the verge of a breakout year. A powerful presence on the perimeter, he’s a bucket-getter and under-rated defender who was also one of the more impactful players we saw in an open gym setting.
Sam Okauru, the younger brother of former Brewster guard and current Florida freshman Michael Okauru, already holds a division I offer and adds another perimeter weapon with his rangy frame and ability to make shots. Roby Mudugo, a native of South Africa, is back for this season and solidifies the team’s perimeter depth.
This year’s Tilton squad is among the oldest and deepest in all of Class AA. That doesn’t yet mean they’re experienced though as they’ll have to acclimate a number of newcomers to levels of competition that they might not have yet seen.
This is also a different kind of roster than we’ve seen at Tilton in previous years. There isn’t a prototypical post player like we’ve seen so often in black and gold. There is an obvious point guard in Zegarowski and then a group of largely multi-positional players. That could lead to a slightly different style and tempo than we’ve seen from the Rams in the past.
They have the winningest coach in the league, a point guard who will be among the best players in the league, and as much depth and sheer age as anyone in Class AA. In short, they’re one of the teams to beat in Class AA this season.