Scholar Roundball Classic - Sunday Recap
The Scholar Roundball Classic wrapped up on Sunday with the third straight day of exciting games as 30 plus college coaches looked on. By the time the weekend had come to an end schools like Harvard, Yale, Brown, Williams, Tufts, Middlebury, Trinity, and many other top academic schools had all been on hand to check out the action.
Game of the Day - Northfield Mount Hermon 62 Hill 44
In a highly-anticipated match-up between two elite academic institutions with big-time basketball pedigrees, Hill took on Northfield Mount Hermon in a game featuring a plethora of Division I talent on both rosters. With the two teams trading baskets early, back-to-back threes from recent Dartmouth-commit John Golden would push the Northfield Mount Hermon lead to double-digits, at 19-9, with just under seven minutes remaining in the half. A beautifully-executed give-it-up, get-it-back play from Evan Cummins and Tommy Carpenter would push the NMH lead to 14, at 23-9, with just over four minutes to play, before a much-needed three from Hill’s Alex Hoey a few possessions later would trim the lead to 11, at 25-14, with 1:30 left in the half. Seton-Hall bound Aaron Cosby, who struggled to find his range from the perimeter for much of the game’s opening 20 minutes, would convert on an acrobatic lay-up in transition to make the score 27-14, NMH, heading into the break.
NMH would pick up right where it left off in the opening minutes of the second half, increasing the lead to 17 at the 14-minute mark, at 31-14, on a driving, left-handed finish from Brown-commit Joe Sharkey and a transition dunk from Ethan O’Day. Another pair of threes from Golden would stretch the lead to 24, at 43-19, with under ten minutes remaining and, while Hill would fight to cut into the lead behind the inside-out scoring of Hans Brase, NMH would maintain a comfortable margin with multiple baskets from Cosby and Cummins. Hill would get as close as 14 on a three from Hoey with 2:24 to play, but NMH would convert on a series of late free-throws to push the spread to 18, at 62-44, at the final buzzer.
Golden finished a dynamite performance with 19 points for NMH, to go along with 17 from Cosby and 10 for Sharkey. Brase led Hill with 15 as his team’s only player to reach double figures.
Lawrence Fauntleroy (Tabor) - An explosive, creative driver of the basketball, the 6’ guard was tough to handle off the bounce in the first half against Vanier on Sunday, consistently getting into the lane and scoring the ball at the rim or creating for others. Fauntleroy is a strong, physical defender committed to pressuring the basketball and creating turnovers, and with the addition of a perimeter shot to his offensive skill set, he has the chance to be a complete, impact player at the next level.
Lenny Austin Antwi (Vanier) - Super quick with a polished handle, Austin Antwi (12 points) is a creative playmaker off the dribble, attacking off ball screens and pushing the pace in transition to get into the lane, draw help, and locate open shooters for clean looks. Perhaps too unselfish on some occasions, the 6’1” lead guard is a capable mid-range shooter and, with a heightened aggressive mentality, could develop into a dynamic force attacking the basket and using his athleticism to finish at the rim.
Michael Fosu (Vanier) - The 6’5” forward has a wide, strong frame that he uses to carve out space on the interior and maneuver past less-physical defenders for scores. While he lacks supreme quickness and leaping ability, Fosu (16 points) is crafty and efficient with his activity in the paint, combining a high motor with strong hands to rebound his area well and catch and finish through contact.
Youssef Ouahrig (Champlain) - Limited by a swarming Choate defense in the half-court that made an emphasis to prevent him from turning the corner consistently off high ball-screens, the 6’0” lead guard still demonstrated his ability as a heady playmaker and solid perimeter shooter. While scoring only nine points on just three field goals, Ouahrig was solid against pressure, made sound decision, and continued to compete defensively despite his team being down numbers.
Brandon Sherrod (Choate) - Finishing with a team-high 14 points, Champlain had no answer for Sherrod’s physicality and skill-level on Sunday, as the Yale-bound forward consistently caught the ball at the high-post and went to work with a series of aggressive drives to the basket. A workhorse defensively, the 6’6” forward stops all traffic in the paint and uses his supreme size and athleticism to snatch rebounds in and out of his area and challenge and block shots without fouling. An impressive overall player, Sherrod’s terrific work ethic, high basketball I.Q., and natural talent should instantly make him one of the premiere big-men in the Ivy League with his arrival on the Bulldogs’ campus next fall.
Phil Gaetano (Choate) - The straw that stirs Choate’s drink, Gaetano is an impressive lead-guard with an outstanding feel and polished ability to facilitate his team’s offense and locate open shooters in areas where they’re most comfortable scoring the ball. A heady playmaker with the awareness to see the potential of a play before it unfolds, he is poised and patient with his decision making and tactfully aggressive without turning it over. While his mentality is certainly pass-first, Gaetano is a capable scorer with a pure perimeter stroke he showed off in drilling a big-time three in the second half on Sunday that put an end to a threatening Champlain run.
Deshawn Murphy (Choate) - An impressive athlete on the wing, Murphy is a terrific offensive rebounder, attacks the rim off the bounce, and is a capable three-point shooter. Finishing with a team-high 14 points to lead a balanced Choate effort on Sunday, he plays under control and looks to attack in rhythm, within the context of his team’s offense. An underrated passer, Murphy showed his versatility against Champlain by posting smaller defenders and drawing contact to get to the line.
John Golden (Northfield Mount Hermon) - Golden was the best player on the floor in the first half against Hill on Sunday, single-handedly breaking the game open with an electric scoring spree that included multiple shots from behind the arc, an emphatic dunk off a steal in transition, and a high-flying weak-side put-back off a missed three-pointer. An above-average athlete, the Dartmouth-commit stretches the defense with a pure perimeter stroke and shows solid commitment on the opposite end of the floor as a long, wiry defender capable of locking down multiple positions on the perimeter.
Evan Cummins (Northfield Mountain Hermon) - Lean, long, and active, Cummins was terrific in NMH’s convincing win over Hill on Sunday, catching and finishing through contact in traffic, rebounding the ball productively in and out of his area, and showing off impressive ball skills as a polished passer for a player his size. Surrounded by a group of shooters in Cosby, Golden, and Sharkey, the 6’9” forward has outstanding feel as a facilitator in the high post area, while being more than capable of scoring the ball himself with a pure perimeter stroke out the three-point line. An impressive overall prospect, Cummins’ high basketball I.Q. and versatile offensive skill-set would be a welcome addition down the road for any one of the several high-major programs currently tracking his progress.
Hans Brase (Hill) - One of the few offensive bright spots for Hill on Sunday, the 6’9” forward showed the ability to step out and stretch the defense with five threes and a team-high 17 points. A highly-skilled, mobile player, Brase works hard to establish position on the interior and is efficient scoring and passing the ball when getting consistent touches on the block.
Tyler Bisack (Cheshire) - Struggling to find his range from the perimeter early against an aggressive Kent defense on Sunday, the 6’3” guard continued to play hard and look to attack with his team down significant numbers. Best suited to play off the ball in order to run off screens and look for catch-and-shoot opportunities off dribble penetration, Bisack (16 points) is fairly adept at putting the ball on the floor, but his most effective skill at the next level will be his ability to stretch the defense and hit shots from behind the arc.
Stefon Williams (Kent) - An athletic quick-forward in the class of 2012, Williams finished with 13 points to lead a balanced Kent squad in its convincing victory over Cheshire on Sunday. At, 6’7”, he used his length and quickness off the dribble to attack the basket from the wing and showed a pure left-handed stroke from behind the arc.
Cameron Buchan (Kent) - Cheshire had no answer for Buchan’s size and skill-level inside, as the 6’10” big-man caught and finished in the paint to finish with 10 points in limited minutes. In order to be consistently productive scoring and rebounding the ball against bigger, stronger opponents, he needs to add some muscle and show a commitment towards playing a more physical brand of basketball inside.
Rene Castro (Beaver Country Day School) - An explosive athlete in the class of 2013 with a smooth perimeter skill-set, Castro was clearly the premiere talent on the floor Sunday in Beaver’s match-up with Albany. With the ability to break his defender down at will off the dribble, the 6’2 combo guard created multiple catch-and-shoot opportunities for teammates off drive-and-kick action. A potential high-major prospect, Castro finished with 21 points on a variety of fluid change-of-pace, change-of-direction moves to the basket.
Jeff Spellman (Beaver Country Day) - Just a freshman, Spellman showed off a text-book stroke from behind the arc against Albany, hitting five threes and getting to the line 14 times en route to a game-high 30 points. The young guard showed mature understanding of how to make himself available in open space on the perimeter and was the beneficiary of several catch-and-shoot opportunities off Castro penetration.
Tabor (MA) 65 Vanier (QC) 60
Choate (CT) 58 Champlain (QC) 37
Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) 62 Hill (PA) 44
Kent (CT) 75 Cheshire (CT) 39
Beaver Country Day (MA) 77 Albany (NY) 72